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Japan's Decision to Surrender

5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Stanford Univ Pr; 1St Edition edition (June 1954)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804704600
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804704601
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,529,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Almost every book I've read about Japan's surrender was written to support a point of view : that using the atomic bomb was/wasn't necessary to end the war. Robert Butow's masterpiece was written to give you the facts.
Butow went to Japan, interviewed the surviving leaders, read the documents, and remembered that people don't always tell you the truth, or even remember it. When he was done, his considered judgement was that the Japanese leaders themselves didn't know when they would have surrendered if Hiroshima and Nagasaki hadn't been nuked.
Butow lays out the inner workings of the Japanese war cabinet, showing how a few men refused to face the fact that Japan had lost World War II. He tells how Japanese diplomats overseas tried to get peace negotiations going, only to be undercut by their own govt. He describes the way the Allies tried and failed to understand Japan.
We'll never know what would have happened if the atomic bombs had not been dropped. But after reading JAPAN'S DECISION TO SURRENDER, you'll understand -- if you're honest -- how the Japanese leadership dithered away their chance to avoid the holocausts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and why Truman felt he had no better option than using the atomic bomb.
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Format: Hardcover
Butow has sifted through all the available documents at the end of the war and compiled a chronological account of the ending days of the war in Japan. This book's strength is in its examination of the politcs and power struggles going on in Japan at the upper levels of the government and how this influenced the ending of the war. Can be read as a nice historical text, or used extensively as a source for a paper.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Robert Butow's "Japan's Decision to Surrender" gives us unique insight into the context of this "fateful turning point in history." Published in 1954, Butow has given us information based on his personal research and interviews conducted in Japan in the immediate aftermath of World War II. The result is an extraordinary portrait of Japanese culture and the military dictatorship that perpetuated the war long after even they knew their defeat was inevitable. The book details the debate (often in actual quotations) of Japan's officials as they continued to reject Allied surrender terms even after Hiroshima. This is not dry history. Butow's excellent writing reflects the drama of conflict in the military's unprecedented uprising against the Emperor's decision to surrender. "Imperial Japan's World War II" published in 2007 by Werner Gruhl is among the first (albeit belated) efforts to document Japan's military invasion of 32 Pacific Rim countries starting in 1875. Coupling these two books gives depth and understanding to today's headlines of Pacific Rim unrest.
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