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Chronicles the events that took place in Japan at the end of World War II and explores the effects they have had on the development and shaping of the Japanese society, from immediately after the war to the present day.
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Embracing Defeat tells the story of the transformation of Japan under American occupation after World War II. When Japan surrendered unconditionally to the Allied Forces in August 1945 it was exhausted; while America's Pacific combat lasted less than four years Japan had been fighting for 15. 60 percent of its urban area lay in ruins. Through the collapse of the authoritarian state and America's six-year occupation Japan was able to set off in entirely new directions. Because the victors had no linguistic or cultural access to the losers' society they were obliged to govern indirectly. General Douglas MacArthur decided at the outset to maintain the civil bureaucracy and the institution of the emperor: democracy would be imposed from above in what the author terms "Neocolonial Revolution". His description of the manipulation of public opinion as a wedge was driven between the discredited militarists and Emperor Hirohito is especially fascinating. Tojo, on trial for his life, was requested to take responsibility for the war and deflect it from the emperor; he did and was hanged. John W. Dower's analysis of popular Japanese culture of the period--songs, magazines, advertising, even jokes--is brilliant and reflected in the book's 80 well-chosen photographs. With the same masterful control of voluminous material and clear writing that he gave us in War Without Mercy the author paints a vivid picture of a society in extremis and reconstructs the extraordinary period during which America moulded a traumatised country into a freemarket democracy and bulwark against resurgent world communism. --John StevensonReview:
With Embracing Defeat, [Dower] confirms his place as this country's leading chronicler of the Pacific war. --Janice P. Nimura"
[A] superb history of Japan's occupation.... Dower brilliantly captures the louche?, squalid, but extraordinary dynamic mood of the postwar years. His interest is not just in the politics, but also in literature, the movies, and popular songs. --Ian Buruma"
Extraordinarily illuminating.... Dower has deftly mixed history from the 'bottom up' and the 'top down' to produce what is surely the most significant work to date on the postwar era in Japan.--Jacob Heilbrunn
Masterly.... A penetrating analysis of Japan in the aftermath of defeat.... A profound and moving book, the best history ever written of Japan and its relations to the United States after the Second World War.--Akira Iriye, Harvard University
Richly detailed and provocative.... For anyone who knows modern Japan, it is an endlessly fascinating explanation of why things work as they do.... A marvelous piece of reporting and analysis.--T.R. Reid
Without question, Dower is America's foremost historian of the Second World War in the Pacific.... A wonderful work of history.... I learned more than I ever would have thought possible.--Stephen Ambrose
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Book Description Blackstone Audiobooks, Inc., 2008. Audio CD. Condition: New. Brand New!. Seller Inventory # VIB1433245671