In December 1937, in what was then the capital of China, one of the most brutal massacres in the long annals of wartime barbarity occurred. The Japanese army swept into the ancient city of Nanking (Nanjing) and within weeks not only looted and burned the defenseless city but systematically raped, tortured and murdered more than 300,000 Chinese civilians. The story of this atrocity, one of the worst in world history, continues to be denied by the Japanese government. Using extensive interviews with survivors, newly uncovered documents in four languages and the diaries of John Rabe (who led the rescue effort), Iris Chang has written the definitive history of this horrifying episode. Her book tells the story of the Japanese soldiers who performed the massacre; of the Chinese civilians who endured it; and of a group of Europeans and Americans who refused to abandon the city and were able to create a safety zone and save almost 300,000 Chinese.