Pacific Nightmare: How Japan Starts World War III - A Future History

Pacific Nightmare: How Japan Starts World War III - A Future History

by Simon Winchester
     
 

The year is 1997. Hong Kong has collapsed after reverting to Chinese rule. Asia, a continent of ancient and ingrained rivalries and hatreds, has become dangerously unstable. The Far East is embroiled in savagery and bloodletting on an unimaginable scale. Within China herself all the old passions were revived in a calamitous civil war, setting North against South,… See more details below

Overview

The year is 1997. Hong Kong has collapsed after reverting to Chinese rule. Asia, a continent of ancient and ingrained rivalries and hatreds, has become dangerously unstable. The Far East is embroiled in savagery and bloodletting on an unimaginable scale. Within China herself all the old passions were revived in a calamitous civil war, setting North against South, Manchu against Han, Shanghai against Szechuan. Hotheads from one of the factions, seeking to rally China behind one flag, made a suicidal bid to retake Taiwan, bringing forceful retribution from the Republic's American-trained army and air force. While this drama was unfolding in the South, in the North the newly elevated enfant terrible of the region, the monstrous North Korean leader Kim Jong II, followed in his father's footsteps by invading the prosperous miracle-country of South Korea The Western allies, committed to defending South Korea, sent troops and ships and planes - thereby being drawn into a conflict neither of their making nor any longer a subject of their particular concern. All the time, waiting in the wings, was Japan - all-powerful, all-patient, gazing across at the countries now locked in turmoil, who had, not long before, been colonies, vassal states, or dominions of the old Japan. The newly emergent Japanese right wing was quick to recognize the imperial possibilities in the weakened state of her neighbor nations. And so, under the all-too-familiar guise of "protecting Japanese commercial interests," troops were sent from Tokyo - to the horror of the watching world in general, and the United States in particular. But Washington, in a stroke of unparalleled diplomatic boldness, decides that Japan's new imperial adventure cannot be permitted - and, moreover, that it should be stopped by use of force. The President, in an effort to prevent the whole world from sinking under the crushing weight of this devastating Pacific nightmare, orders the unleashing of possibly the most spectacul

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The catalyst for this novel by a Hong Kong-based correspondent for the British newspaper the Guardian is the planned return of that city to Chinese control in 1997. Hong Kong becomes a focal point for southern China's discontent with Beijing's hardline Maoist rulers, and civil war breaks out, plunging the nation into chaos. In 1999, Japan sends in troops to restore ``calm and stability.'' Chinese officers are preparing a retaliatory atomic strike when the U.S. takes a nuclear initiative of its own. Winchester ( Pacific Rising ) establishes a plausible early sequence of events, but then depicts Japan's intervention so sketchily that he fails to convince. By concentrating on crafting small-scale action sequences at the expense of analyzing his future history's diplomatic, political and military developments, he inhibits this disappointing narrative. Author tour. ( Oct. )
Library Journal - Library Journal
This curious and unlovely work posits dreadful events that, in the author's view, will follow the transfer of Hong Kong to China. This is not a novel in any conventional sense but rather a speculative essay on the People's Republic of China emphasizing governmental cruelty and political repression, written by the author of the nonfiction Pacific Rising ( LJ 4/15/91) and The Sun Never Sets ( LJ 5/1/86). The subtitle is misleading. Korea, Japan, and ultimately the United States enter the picture at the very end, with savage results, but the author's real attention is on mainland China. The book's purpose is unclear. Despite some scholarly trappings, there is no effort to separate fact from speculation, making it impossible for a nonexpert to assess the author's credibility. Certainly, the total omission of the United Nations weakens his scenario; it is difficult to believe, after Desert Storm and the Environmental Summit, that the United States would singlehandedly take the military action Winchester imagines. Not recommended.-- Elsa Pendleton, Boeing Computer Support Svces., Ridgecrest, Cal.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780804112390
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/04/1993

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