Empires On The Pacific

Empires On The Pacific

by Robert S. Thompson


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Empires on the Pacific smashes the standard narrative of World War II in the Pacific theater, showing America's aim to replace Britain as East Asia's New Imperial Power. Robert Smith Thompson offers a long overdue explanation of what America's war against Japan was really about—in a word: China. The over-reaching British Empire was waning yet unwilling to relinquish its foothold in China, while an increasingly ambitious Japan was determined to dominate the region by conquering China. Enter the young upstart, America. For Franklin Delano Roosevelt and for the United States, the war with Japan had little to do with revenge for Pearl Harbor. Japan would have to be vanquished so that it would never again be an imperial rival.Thompson's recasting of the Asian conflict profoundly alters our understanding of World War II in the Pacific and of what followed in Korea and in Vietnam. Revisionist history at its best, Empires on the Pacific is a far-reaching book that requires us to re-evaluate what we thought we knew about twentieth-century American history and what many still consider our last "good war."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465085767
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 12/05/2002
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 472
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile: 1110L (what's this?)

About the Author

Robert Smith Thompson teaches at the University of South Carolina. His book A Time for War: FDR and the Path to Pearl Harbor was the first serious work to argue that FDR provoked the attack on Pearl Harbor as a way of justifying America's entry into war. He lives in Columbia, South Carolina.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Washington, December 8, 1941xi
Part IThe Road to War
1The Fall of Imperial China3
2Japan's Response to the West21
3The Open Door41
4New Order in East Asia57
5The Road to Pearl Harbor75
Part IIJapan's Far-Flung Battle Line
6The Onslaught101
7The Singapore Debacle123
8Warriors of the Rising Sun141
9But Not in Shame159
Part IIIThe Receding of the Tide
11America Rising199
12The Hammer and the Anvil221
13Grand Strategy239
14Unanswerable Strength257
15Turning Points277
Part IVRecasting the Imperial Far East
17Return to the Colonies313
18The New Taipans327
19The Masters343
20They Call It Peace363
Epilogue: World War II and the Road to Vietnam377

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