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The Pacific War and Its Political Legacies
     

The Pacific War and Its Political Legacies

by Denny Roy
 

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Competition among the national myths of the Pacific War held by the various countries of Northeast Asia and by the US about the Pacific still rages in the international politics, even while accurate understanding of what actually took place in that war has largely faded. Unresolved wartime grievances continue to constrain, distort, and embitter bilateral relationships

Overview

Competition among the national myths of the Pacific War held by the various countries of Northeast Asia and by the US about the Pacific still rages in the international politics, even while accurate understanding of what actually took place in that war has largely faded. Unresolved wartime grievances continue to constrain, distort, and embitter bilateral relationships, erupting over such issues as the Yasukuni Shrine, Japanese history textbooks, the Nanjing Massacre, the comfort women, how to remember the atomic bombs, and the US military bases on Okinawa. The first part of The Pacific War and Its Political Legacies recounts as straightforwardly and impartially as possible the trains of events of the Pacific War that continue to vex international relations in Northeast Asia. This summary historical narrative provides the reader with enough backstory to challenge the reader's own assumptions and to judge the veracity and balance of other competing national interpretations of the war.This second part of The Pacific War and its Political Legacies explains: the origins of contending interpretations of the war; how those interpretations have led to the positions and policies of postwar governments and societal groups on issues directly related to the war; and how the domestic and international political interests of successive postwar governments and factions have shaped the interpretations that are selected by national elites for inculcation by the national educational, political, and media systems under their control. Dr. Roy teases out the ambivalent roles of national elites as prisoners and inventors of history, constrained to reaffirm received national myths of the Pacific War while dynamically altering them to suit current political purposes.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Roy is a noted author and Senior Fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu, and he has written this volume to analyze tensions and grievances in Asia resulting from the outcome of World War II that still affect international diplomacy and trade in the 21st century. Written for those interested in international relations, this book first provides a summary of events such as Nanjing Massacre and the dropping of the atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The author proceeds to analyze the interpretations of these events and shows how the positions and policies of postwar governments continue to be shaped by these wartime grievances." - Reference & Research Book News

"This provocative, well-written study should help reverse the current historiographical trend of treating the Pacific War simply as a hagiography of heroes. . . . This important, convincing book will not only reinvigorate Pacific War historiography but also raise important questions about the proper role of history itself. It should be in every significant library in the US. . . . Essential. All collections on the Pacific War or current Asian politics." - Choice

"This book is strongly recommended for all history buffs, those interested in northeastern Asian diplomacy, and those interested in basing diplomacy on facts, not myths." - Catholic Library World

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313375675
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
04/30/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
502 KB

What People are Saying About This

James A. KellySenior Adviser

"East-West Center's Professor Roy has shone a bright light into the Asia-Pacific's slowest-healing wounds. He relates the Pacific War's stories and tragedies of three generations ago to contentious issues that continue to resonate in the world's most vibrant region. Practitioners and general readers as well as academics will benefit from these thoughtful insights."
James A. Kelly Senior Adviser

"East-West Center's Professor Roy has shone a bright light into the Asia-Pacific's slowest-healing wounds. He relates the Pacific War's stories and tragedies of three generations ago to contentious issues that continue to resonate in the world's most vibrant region. Practitioners and general readers as well as academics will benefit from these thoughtful insights."

Ralph A. Cossa President

"Denny Roy's book is a must read not just for those who want to learn (or re-learn) the lessons of World War II, but for those who want to understand Northeast Asia political dynamics today. His explanation of the unsettled claims and seismic shifts resulting from the Pacific War, and the way they have been interpreted (and all too often manipulated) by Japan and its neighbors, provides invaluable insights, not only for Americans but for Asians who cannot seem to get beyond the history issue. By cutting through the myths and objectively analyzing the facts, this book can contribute significantly to the long overdue healing process essential to long-term regional stability."

Ralph A. CossaPresident

"Denny Roy's book is a must read not just for those who want to learn (or re-learn) the lessons of World War II, but for those who want to understand Northeast Asia political dynamics today. His explanation of the unsettled claims and seismic shifts resulting from the Pacific War, and the way they have been interpreted (and all too often manipulated) by Japan and its neighbors, provides invaluable insights, not only for Americans but for Asians who cannot seem to get beyond the history issue. By cutting through the myths and objectively analyzing the facts, this book can contribute significantly to the long overdue healing process essential to long-term regional stability."

Meet the Author

Denny Roy is a Senior Fellow at the East-West Center, Honolulu. He has held faculty and research appointments in East Asian politics, history, and human rights and security issues at the Naval Postgraduate School, Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, National University of Singapore, Australian National University, Singapore Armed Forces Training Institute, Australian College of Defence and Security Studies, and Brigham Young University. He is the author/editor of five books, including Taiwan: A Political History (2003), The Politics of Human Rights in Asia (2000), China's Foreign Relations (1998), and The New Security Agenda in the Asia-Pacific Region (1997). He writes frequently for such scholarly journals as International Security, Survival, Asian Survey, Security Dialogue, Contemporary Southeast Asia, Armed Forces & Society, and Issues & Studies.

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