The Rape of Nanking is often overlooked in history classes even at the college level. It should be taught alongside any other world or Asian history courses, and all history majors should get a well-rounded education that covers the whole world. They can always specialize after getting a well-rounded base that includes the Rape of Nanking.
As a history major, I believe 'The Rape of Nanking' would be required reading. Going to college for a history major should include a lot of in depth study and comparison to develop a clear understanding of how history flows and is interconnected. I believe the events illustrated in The Rape of Nanking, are essential.
The Rape of Nanking should definitely be required reading, because it was one of the greatest atrocities committed during the 20th century, next to The Holocaust. In addition, it goes a long way in explaining why relations between China and Japan are so strained today, as well as why the latest actions of Japanese officials (such as visiting shrines honoring war criminals) has created so much controversy.
No, it does not need to be a book that all of the history majors need to read. I think that it is not all that important of a book, and that a lot more important books need to be read in the place of it since it was not good.
No, the Rape of Nanking should not be required reading for all history majors in college, because there is so much literature that surrounds WWII that it would be impossible to have each one read all of the literature that would be helpful to completely understanding the Holocaust. Also, there are other wars that history majors need to understand.