Book Review – Rising Sun And Tumbling Bear: Russia’s War with Japan by Richard M. Connaughton

I just finished reading Rising Sun And Tumbling Bear: Russia’s War with Japan by Richard M. Connaughton about the Russo Japanese War from February 1904 to September 1905. The Russo Japanese War is a lesser known war, but foreshadowed some of what was to come not just in World War I but in World War II as well. Connaughton’s book is a narrative of the war which at times gets a bit bogged down and tedious, but it is very informative. I don’t know about the print version, but the Kindle version’s maps are rudimentary and could be made more easily read and understood, especially considering that the war took place in an area most people aren’t familiar with. Connaughton also does a good job of placing the war in the context of Russia’s slide toward revolution and Japan’s rise as an Asian power. He also looks at lessons that could have been learned by European powers ahead of the first World War and looks at whey they didn’t learn them. It may not be a compelling page turner, but Rising Sun and Tumbling Bear is very much worth reading to get a better understanding of what the war and its resolution meant in the region, what it meant on a larger stage, and the lessons Western powers should have learned from it.

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