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Rescued by Mao: World War II, Wake Island, and My Remarkable Escape to Freedom Across Mainland China

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For the first time ever, Bill Taylor shares his story of escape as a prisoner of war during World War II. This biography details Taylor's astonishing ... Show synopsis

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Reviews of Rescued by Mao: World War II, Wake Island, and My Remarkable Escape to Freedom Across Mainland China

Overall customer rating: 5.000
ryefish

A lesson in strength, survival, positive attitude

by ryefish on Jun 1, 2007

In 'Rescued By Mao,' author and survivor William Taylor recounts his own experiences as a Wake Island contractor, defender, prisoner of the Japanese and escapee. Taylor's journey is a lesson in strength, survival, a positive attitude and faith. Most stories, especially those of POWs, reveal a certain 'trick' or 'technique' that these men used to overcome overwhelming experiences. Taylor's was his faith. Taylor found a solid testimony in his original faith in the LDS Church amidst the horrors of the Japanese Capture of Wake Island. Born to a prominent Mormon family, Taylor lost his way for a time following his father's death during the Great Depression, but a friend and fellow contractor at Wake helped him renew his faith. Beyond Taylor's religious restoration, the story is indeed a well written first-hand account of the American POW experience. Taylor seems to have fared better in Japanese captivity than some of his fellow prisoners, parlaying some of his bad habits for valuable resources like food or clothing. He gives a fair evaluation of the Japanese who imprisoned him, the Chinese who both helped and hindered his escape and the American leadership that surrendered him along with many less willing others. Taylor gives credit to Commander Winfield Cunningham, the Wake Island Navy commander for the early military successes, but is critical of Admiral Pye, (the interim Pacific Commander following Admiral Kimmel`s dismissal) and his abandonment of the garrison calling him a "complete failure." The American pre-war intelligence about possible Japanese intentions in the Pacific is also a contentious subject for Taylor. He`s certainly earned the right to criticize, but analysis by scholars like Gregory Urwin and Robert Cressman provide overwhelming evidence of the futility of any planned relief effort for the embattled Wake garrison. Much of the story revolves around the POW experience. Mao plays only a extraneous role in the story considering the book's title, merely posing for a picture with the author. The real credit for Taylor's rescue should be given Taylor's own self-determination and perhaps even a little Divine Intervention. REVIEW EVERY BOOK YOU READ, AUTHHORS DESERVE YOUR OPINIONS TOO!

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