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Pacific Rift: Adventures in the Fault Zone between the U.S. and Japan

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Can we really succeed in opening up Japan to U.S. business? Not likely, says Michael Lewis. After all, if neither Commodore Perry nor General MacArthur could do it, what chance do trade negotiators have? Lewis's satirical journeys through the world financial markets, documented in Liar's Poker and The Money Culture, provide him with a unique window on the increasingly strained relationship between the world's two largest trading nations. In Pacific Rift, Lewis follows the fortunes of two cultural transplants: Bob...
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Overview

Can we really succeed in opening up Japan to U.S. business? Not likely, says Michael Lewis. After all, if neither Commodore Perry nor General MacArthur could do it, what chance do trade negotiators have? Lewis's satirical journeys through the world financial markets, documented in Liar's Poker and The Money Culture, provide him with a unique window on the increasingly strained relationship between the world's two largest trading nations. In Pacific Rift, Lewis follows the fortunes of two cultural transplants: Bob Collins, a forthright American insurance executive who lives and works in Tokyo, and Shuji Tomikawa, a Harvard-educated Japanese man working for Mitsui Real Estate in New York City. From the Ginza hostess bars of Tokyo to the wino gangs of Times Square, Lewis's wit pierces the mountain of rhetoric surrounding U.S.-Japanese relations to reveal a disquieting, tragicomic grassroots collision of two disparate cultures and two conflicting interpretations of capitalism.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
While a bond salesman for Salomon Brothers, Lewis ( Liar's Poker , LJ 9/1/89; The Money Culture , LJ 9/15/91) noticed that when one Japanese bought, they all bought. Their money seemed to move in concert, as if it were ``being coordinated by some sinister force.'' In writing this book, Lewis hoped to find the source of tension between the United States and Japan by examining the business lives of two men; one a Japanese real estate rep in New York, the other an American insurance man in Tokyo. Both our governments control finance and industry in similar fashions while exhibiting marked cultural differences. According to the American in Tokyo, ``The first rule in Japan . . . is that no one is allowed to go out of business.'' Lewis's opening story about the first American tourist in Japan is quite an attention getter, and his conversational style and off-center wit make the book a pleasure to read. This work is timely, given the current Japan-bashing controversy. Recommended for all collections.-- Lisa K. Miller, American Graduate Sch. of International Management Lib., Glendale, Ariz.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393031058
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/1992
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 1.00 (w) x 1.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael  Lewis
Michael Lewis, the best-selling author of Liar’s Poker, The Money Culture, The New New Thing, Moneyball, The Blind Side, Panic, Home Game, The Big Short, and Boomerang, among other works, lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife and three children.

Biography

Twenty-four year-old Princeton graduate Michael Lewis had recently received his master's degree from the London School of Economics when Salomon Brothers hired him as a bond salesman in 1985. He moved to New York for training and witnessed firsthand the cutthroat, scruple-free culture that was Wall Street in the 1980s. Several months later, armed only with what he'd learned in training, Lewis returned to London and spent the next three years dispensing investment advice to Salomon's well-heeled clientele. He earned hundreds of thousands of dollars and survived a 1987 hostile takeover attempt at the firm. Nonetheless, he grew disillusioned with his job and left Salomon to write an account of his experiences in the industry. Published in 1989, Liar's Poker remains one of the best written and most perceptive chronicles of investment banking and the appalling excesses of an era.

Since then, Lewis has found great success as a financial journalist and bestselling author. His nonfiction ranges over a variety of topics, including U.S./Japanese business relations (Pacific Rift), the 1996 presidential campaign (Trail Fever), Silicon Valley (The New New Thing), and the Internet boom (Next: The Future Just Happened). He investigated the economics of professional sports in Moneyball (2003) and The Blind Side (2006); and, in 2008, he edited Panic, an anthology of essays about the major financial crises of 1990s and early "oughts."

Good To Know

Michael Lewis attended Isidore Newman School in his native New Orleans, LA -- a private college prep school that counts among its more distinguished alumni historian Walter Isaacson, children's book author Mo Willems, singer Harry Connick, Jr., and famous pro-football siblings Peyton and Eli Manning.
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    1. Date of Birth:
      October 15, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      New Orleans, LA
    1. Education:
      Princeton University, B.A. in Art History, 1982; London School of Economics, 1985

Table of Contents

Introduction 11
1 Japanese Defense 15
2 A Gripping Tale of Insurance 31
3 Brand-Name Demons 61
4 Japanese Offense 79
5 Why Do the Japanese Want to Leap into Our Snake Pit? 103
Conclusion 123
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