American Shogun: General MacArthur, Emperor Hirohito and the Drama of Modern Japan

American Shogun: General MacArthur, Emperor Hirohito and the Drama of Modern Japan

by Robert Harvey
     
 

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In the years and months leading up to Pearl Harbor, Japan was becoming the most industrialized state in Asia, as well as the repository of a martial heritage that fueled imperial ambitions of conquest and hegemony. Across the Pacific, the United States was emerging from the Depression and again growing into its role as a global power. Today's partnership between…  See more details below

Overview

In the years and months leading up to Pearl Harbor, Japan was becoming the most industrialized state in Asia, as well as the repository of a martial heritage that fueled imperial ambitions of conquest and hegemony. Across the Pacific, the United States was emerging from the Depression and again growing into its role as a global power. Today's partnership between modern Japan and the United States was forged by the conflict and resolution between these two competing agendas and cultures in World War II, a drama that was defined by two men: General Douglas MacArthur and Emperor Hirohito. Under celebrated historian Robert Harvey's scrutiny, these two iconographic figures are brought into full relief, producing a nuanced narrative as well as a revealing portrait of these extraordinary men. American Shogun delivers a remarkable account of the vast divide that led to war, and the unforeseen commonality that helped develop a lasting peace.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
September 27, 1945, was a remarkable day. A vanquished emperor-one said to be directly descended from the sun goddess and possessing a blood line 2,000 years old-paid humble fealty to a middle-class, pipe-smoking American who hadn't bothered wearing a jacket or tie for the occasion. According to former British MP Harvey (Liberators: Latin America's Struggle for Independence), when a nervous Hirohito met the "American shogun," Gen. Douglas MacArthur-Japan's liberator and first foreign ruler and dictator-it was clear that Japanese-American relations would not be conducted between equals. MacArthur's task, as he saw it, was to forge Japan into a democracy without upsetting its ultratraditional society and institutions. He accomplished many, but not all, of his aims: Japan arose to become the world's second-greatest economy and a technological superpower, but remains a bastion of stiff social hierarchies and consensus-building that refuses to submit to a painful postwar self-examination. Harvey dissects the long, complicated, fascinating relationship between Japan and America through a dual biography of the shogun and the emperor-and the rival systems they represented. Harvey is well aware of the book's timeliness. MacArthur's efforts to export democracy to an alien culture, he says, contain "immense lessons for the American occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan." 16 pages of b&w photos. (Feb.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585676828
Publisher:
The Overlook Press
Publication date:
03/16/2006
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
6.41(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.45(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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