The GI War Against Japan: American Soldiers in Asia and the Pacific During World War II

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Overview

"Even in the midst of war, Americans could not help thinking of the lands across the Pacific as a continuation of the American Western frontier. For them the region triggered images of pioneers and romantics, of missionaries and imperialists. But this perception only heightened American soldiers' frustration as the hostile region fiercely resisted their attempts at control." The GI War Against Japan recounts the harrowing experiences of American soldiers in Asia and the Pacific. Based on countless diaries and letters, it sweeps across the battlefields, from the early desperate stand at Guadalcanal to the tragic sinking of the USS Indianapolis at war's very end. From the daunting spaces of the China-Burma-India theater to the fortress islands of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, Schrijvers brings to life the GIs' struggle with suffocating wilderness, devastating diseases, and Japanese soldiers who preferred death over life. Amidst the frustration and despair of this war, American soldiers abandoned themselves to an escalating rage that presaged Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This terrifying, remarkable work examines the attitudes, perceptions, and behavior of U.S. fighting men in the Pacific theatre. . . . Among the most unsettling books I've read in years.”
-The Atlantic Monthly

,

“Peter Schrijvers has pulled a 'double' by writing a worthy companion to The Crash of Ruin: American Combat Soldiers in Europe during World War II. His study of the soldiers' war against Japan transcends simplistic race-hate explanations and reconstructs the psycho-social context of war in which only the enemy remained the same.”
-Allan R. Millett,Director of the Eisenhower Center for American Studies at the University of New Orleans

“Schrijvers’ book is a valuable addition to the literature on the war in the Pacific.”
-H-Net Book Review
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“Schrijvers builds upon earlier works and successfully goes beyond them to provide a scholarly account of the full range of American experiences in the Pacific and Asian theatres. He makes excellent use of diaries, letters, training manuals, and official reports. The book is an impressive scholarly achievement. Schrijvers’s vivid portrayal of the American experience in the war against Japan permits us to see that experience in a broader historical context and reveals patterns of thought and action that are enduring features of the American character.”
-The International History Review

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“One cannot read this volume without coming away with a fresh way of thinking about the subject. Peter Schrijvers has broadened our perspective of the sociology of the American fighting man in the Second World War.”
-War In History
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814798164
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2002
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Schrijvers is Professor in American and International History at The University of New South Wales in Sydney. He is the author of The Crash of Ruin: American Combat Soldiers in Europe during World War II, also available from NYU Press.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
Pt. I Frontier 1
1 Pioneers 3
2 Romantics 26
3 Missionaries 48
4 Imperialists 73
Pt. II Frustration 99
5 Nature 101
6 Masses 135
7 Mind 157
8 'Going Asiatic' 194
Pt. III Fury 205
9 Human Rage 207
10 Industrial Violence 226
11 Technological Destruction 244
Notes 263
Bibliography 297
Index 315
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