Wednesday, April 02, 2008

New River Kwai Book

More prisoners of war died at Sonkrai than any other camp on the infamous River Kwai Railway. Seven thousand Australian and British POWs were sent by the Japanese to build the toughest section of the railway in the mountains between Thailand and Burma. Three thousand died from slave labour, disease, starvation and exposure the never-ending monsoon rain. After the war, a military tribunal tried five Japanese and two Koreans for those deaths.
In A River Kwai Story you will also find:

For the first time it tells the story of a River Kwai POW camp from both sides Allied and Japanese, based on the investigative and trial records.

The charge in the case was keeping prisoners in "inhuman/inhumane"
conditions, a subject which is still relevant given current controversies over how detainees are held, so the book looks at the concept of inhuman conditions then and now.

One of the main characters is British Col. Cyril Wild, who was the UK's chief war crimes investigator in Southeast Asia. Wild's papers throw new light on the Yamashita case and raise more questions about the Manila military commission that tried the Japanese general.
How you can get the book.
Allan and Unwin in Australia has rights to distribute the book in Australia, New Zealand, the western Pacific and has non-exclusive English language rights for Asia.
It is NOT easily available so far in North America or Europe.
The current rights restrictions also means you cannot order it through Amazon.
However, again if you go to my website you will find links to online bookstores in Australia that do ship internationally.You should also be able to order it if you have access to a good independent specialty bookstore or university bookstore. (These notes are from the author - Robin Rowland).