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Cornell University Press
Machiavelli's Children: Leaders and Their Legacies in Italy and Japan / Edition 1

Machiavelli's Children: Leaders and Their Legacies in Italy and Japan / Edition 1

by Richard J. Samuels
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Two late-developing nations, Japan and Italy, similarly obsessed with achieving modernity and with joining the ranks of the great powers, have traveled parallel courses with very different national identities. In this audacious book about leadership and historical choices, Richard J. Samuels emphasizes the role of human ingenuity in political change. He draws on interviews and archival research in a fascinating series of paired biographies of political and business leaders from Italy and Japan.

Beginning with the founding of modern nation-states after the Meiji Restoration and the Risorgimento, Samuels traces the developmental dynamic in both countries through the failure of early liberalism, the coming of fascism, imperial adventures, defeat in wartime, and reconstruction as American allies. Highlights of Machiavelli's Children include new accounts of the making of postwar Japanese politics—using American money and Manchukuo connections—and of the collapse of Italian political parties in the Clean Hands (Mani Pulite) scandal. The author also tells the more recent stories of Umberto Bossi's regional experiment, the Lega Nord, the different choices made by Italian and Japanese communist party leaders after the collapse of the USSR, and the leadership of Silvio Berlusconi and Ishihara Shintar on the contemporary right in each country.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801489822
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 05/19/2005
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 480
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.95(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Richard J. Samuels is Ford International Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Einstein Visiting Fellow at the Free University of Berlin. His books have won prizes from the American Political Science Association, the Association for Asian Studies, and the Society for Italian Historical Studies. His most recent book is3.11: Disaster and Change in Japan. Follow him on Twitter @dicksamuelsMIT.

Table of Contents

Preface: Leaders Matterix
Introduction: Why Leaders Matter1
Part I.Creation Stories: The Nineteenth Century
1.Chasing Prestige and Security21
2.How to Build a State: Count Cavour, Ito Hirobumi, and Yamagata Aritomo41
3.How to Build Wealth: Alessandro Rossi, Okubo Toshimichi, and Shibusawa Eichi69
Part II.Liberal Exhaustion: The Early Twentieth Century
4.The Death of Liberalism: Giovanni Giolitti and Hara Kei99
5.The Birth of Corporatism: Muto Sanji, Alessandro Rossi, Kishi Nobusuke, Giovanni Agnelli, and Ayukawa Gisuke124
6.The Total Leader: Benito Mussolini152
Part IIIIn the American Imperium: The Cold War
7.Chasing Democracy179
8.What Kind of Ally to Be: Alcide De Gasperi and Yoshida Shigeru197
9.Putting Corruption in Its Place: Kishi Nobusuke and Amintore Fanfani225
Part IV.Degrees of Freedom: After the Cold War
10.Chasing Normality263
11.Choices on the Left: Achille Occhetto and Fuwa Tetsuzo299
12.Options on the Right: Umberto Bossi, Silvio Berlusconi, Ozawa Ichiro, and Ishihara Shintaro316
Conclusion: How Leaders Have Mattered in Italy and Japan344

What People are Saying About This

Paul Ginsborg

A highly original and intellectually courageous piece of work, Machiavelli's Children opens up new horizons and perspectives, and will undoubtedly be the subject of considerable commentary. Richard J. Samuels is a natural comparativist: the balance between the two cases, the well-constructed conclusions to each chapter, the pausing over individual comparative detail are the best things in the book.

David I. Kertzer

A breathtakingly original and ambitious book, Machiavelli's Children sets a new standard for work in comparative politics, and restores to its proper place the classic question of the role of leaders in political history. The book offers fresh and unexpected insights into the course of both Japanese and Italian history, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. In moving us away from standard national histories-inevitably mired in 'exceptionalism'-Samuels offers a whole new way to conceive of the paths taken by states in the modern era. This truly rare and exciting piece of political and historical research raises the bar for all future study.

Ira Katznelson

What a wonderful book! Machiavelli's Children shows not just why, but how, leaders shape history. It astutely identifies the coercive, material, and normative mechanisms leaders use to loosen constraints and make choices, and offers fascinating paired comparisons of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Japanese and Italian leaders who confronted problems of statebuilding, economic organization, and the character of political regimes. A joy to read, this engaging book combines analytical chronicles with sustained theoretical perceptions to powerfully illuminate social science's central puzzles of 'structure' and 'agency.'

Chalmers Johnson

Italy and Japan share the experience of the United States's postwar attempts to dictate political systems for them-in each case emphasizing neofascism over democracy and independence. As it turns out, both countries also share a lot more than that, as Richard J. Samuels demonstrates in this tour de force of comparative politics.

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