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Comments from the Editor

Zengo’s Revolt is the third edition of Richard M. Baker, Jr.’s acclaimed novel, now available in an e-book format. Published as The Revolt of Zengo Takakuwa in 1962 by Farrar, Straus, & Cudahy, Inc., and in 1964 by Bantam Books, the work was heralded by reviewers for The Columbus Enquirer and The Baltimore Sun respectively as: “From the first to last page, dramatic and exciting.” And: “Seldom have I read a more graphic account of day by day agonies of the battle for survival.” The extraordinary literary craftsmanship of the author infuses the story with palpable effect, transporting us to the jungles of New Britain Island during the final days of the war in the Pacific in a gripping tale of survival against formidable odds.

Mr. Baker employed remarkable, cinematic precision in his vivid descriptions of a place he had never seen. Baker wrote: “...all of what I know about the people and the country has come from printed matter, TV, and from conversations with people who have been there....the war in Europe has been well-covered by writers on both sides. The Pacific War has practically no fiction centered on the Japanese side. Since they were able to conquer so much territory, it hasn’t been difficult to choose a setting for a novel.”

The author chose the island as the setting for an entangling conflict between a Japanese man and woman with opposing viewpoints as to the consequences of war. Baker drove them into the jungle across punishing terrain that tore at their bodies as the battle of words raged. There is in this artful building of suspense and vitriol a story of great magnitude and insight. In the telling of it, Mr. Baker speaks to the depth and resilience of human dignity in the face of hopelessness.

Editor, Zengo’s Revolt