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From Foot Soldier to Finance Minister: Takahashi Korekiyo, Japan's Keynes (Harvard East Asian Monographs) Hardcover – October 30, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0674026018 ISBN-10: 0674026012 Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Series: Harvard East Asian Monographs (Book 292)
  • Hardcover: 377 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Asia Center; First Edition edition (October 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674026012
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674026018
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,208,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Smethurst's biography is a major achievement reflecting some 20 years of work. Not to exclude the general reader--the book is a very good read--Takahashi's biography should interest not only Japanologists, but also students of economic history everywhere. Smethurst admits that it was difficult to balance the anecdotes of Takahashi's adventures with the necessary analysis of his historic accomplishments. He has succeeded, giving us a wise and immensely competent biography of a great Japanese and a vibrant human being. (Rod Armstrong Asahi Shimbun 2008-02-16)

Japan emerged from worldwide economic depression in the 1930s more successfully and quickly than the other modern world economies. Without denying the role of rapid militarization in prompting economic growth, this new biography of Japan's seven-time finance minister shows how Takahashi's countercyclical fiscal and monetary policies overcame a steep deflationary spiral and in the process engineered a remarkable record of growth built on a novel deficit spending approach... In telling Takahashi's story, Smethurst uncovers some of the pushes and pulls shaping Japan's modern economic growth, and it is a story he tells well. (W. D. Kinzley Choice 2008-05-01)

About the Author

Richard J. Smethurst is Professor of History and UCIS Research Professor, University of Pittsburgh.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ian C. Ruxton on April 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
For anybody interested in Japanese history from 1868 (the start of the Meiji era) till the 1930s, and especially the financial aspects thereof, this fascinating biography is a must-read. One curiosity is the mention of Sir Ewen Cameron (1841-1908), head of the London branch of HSBC and great-great-grandfather of David Cameron the present leader of the UK Conservative party, who assisted Takahashi with loans for the Russo-Japanese War, though the link is not specifically stated. I was also personally disappointed that there was only a brief mention of Kaneko Kentaro who travelled from Japan to the U.S. on the same boat as Takahashi in February-March 1904. (See Masayoshi Matsumura, Baron Kaneko and the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05): A Study in the Public Diplomacy of Japan which I translated into English.)

It has taken 20 years to produce this book, and the result is a masterpiece. We follow Takahashi Korekiyo (1854-1936) from humble samurai beginnings all the way to the top of the political ladder - seven times finance minister and once briefly prime minister.
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By M. Lathan on March 28, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very well written book - a biography of an almost larger that life character set against a background of tumultuous history, economics and international finance. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great. Not easily accessible topic.
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