It is an old story for two reasons. Is is old because it happened last century, in 1944. It is also old because it is timeless: it describes ordinary people - often families - choosing death over a life they believed would be worse.

For a few weeks, in 1944, Americans battled Japanese on the island of Saipan in World War II. Look it up if you must: young mens’ lives blown to bits, instantly, on both sides, the concrete expression of political struggle. (1)

What makes the Saipan story...

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