When did World War II really begin? Most of us would say, on September 1, 1939, when the Germans invaded Poland. Most of us would be wrong. Richard B. Frank, the Pacific War’s greatest living historian, has traced the roots of World War II to the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War at the Marco Polo Bridge in July, 1937. In his latest book, Tower of Skulls (Norton, 2020), Frank tells the epic story of the real first act of World War II, a monumental conflict that has somehow remained virtually unknown in the West. Everything about the war in China was mind-boggling: the size of the armies involved; the scale of the battlefield; the vast migrations it caused; and the scope of the horrors, both natural and man-made, inflicted on the Chinese people. Frank approaches this formidable task with the literary skill, balanced judgment and historical accuracy that have made him a legend. This conflict directly caused the Pacific War, and it remains a profound influence in shaping the modern Far East, yet it has remained in the shadows — it has finally found a worthy chronicler. Join us to learn this remarkable story. Canvas used extensively.