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Empire and Aftermath: Yoshida Shigeru and the Japanese Experience, 1878-1954 (Harvard East Asian Monographs) Paperback – October 15, 1988


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Empire and Aftermath: Yoshida Shigeru and the Japanese Experience, 1878-1954 (Harvard East Asian Monographs) + Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II
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Product Details

  • Series: Harvard East Asian Monographs (Book 84)
  • Paperback: 650 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Asia Center (October 15, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674251261
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674251267
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #883,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John W. Dower is professor emeritus of history at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His interests lie in modern Japanese history and U.S.-Japan relations. He is the author of several books, including Ways of Forgetting, War Without Mercy, Cultures of War, and Embracing Defeat, which received numerous honors (including the Pulitzer Prize).

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joe6Pack on October 24, 2014
Format: Paperback
Yoshida was a fascinating character. As a classical colonialist of the British school he did not as a Japanese consul mind at all Japanese encrouchement upon China (after all the Western powers all did the same), but what he did mind was conflict with the UK and US over spheres of influence there, which he desperately tried to avoid. The Brits tried to give him a fair hearing in order to seek compromise with Japan, since they did not fight war at two fronts. But then it increasingly became clear that Yoshida had become a free lancer without authority to talk on behalf of Tokyo. Dismissed into retirement by MoFA he was soon ignored ignomiously. He continued to plot cautiously for peace negotiations (for which the Allies were unavailable) and then for surrender, until the Kempetai got wind of this and briefly threw him into jail. This qualification endeared him to MacArthur and SCAP to make him postwar PM of Japan, a task which he fulfilled against all odds twice. This is a first rate, though fairly critical biography of the man, his times and his ideas (portrayed as reactionary, but fine with me).
Since for his inexisting powerbase in the conservative camp Yoshida recruited lots of former elite bureaucrats, he set up the basis for these "bureaucratic" factions which continue to this day to be one of the more reliable and consistent mainstays within the ruling LDP. Needless to say that the book is well written, expertly researched and a pleasure to read.
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