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Troubled Apologies Among Japan, Korea, and the United States 1st Edition

3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0231141765
ISBN-10: 0231141769
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Editorial Reviews


Dudden engagingly explores how the nexus of politics, war memory, and apology shapes contemporary trilateral relations between Korea, Japan, and the United States.

(Jeff Kingston Japan Times)

Richly and eloquently written.... Recommended.

(Choice 1900-01-00)

A significant contribution on the issue of historical apologies... This book should be required reading.

(Matthew Penney Pacific Affairs 1900-01-00)

Rich with insights... for specialists, for twentieth-century historians, and for general readers interested in a deeper understanding of the politics of history.

(Sarah Kovner, University of Florida Journal of World History 1900-01-00)

Dudden traces the intricacies and ironies of history in Northeast Asia in a compelling narrative that indicts many governments and political figures in the process, providing essential reading for anyone wishing to learn more about these complex issues.

(Elizabeth S. Dahl ID: International Dialogue 1900-01-00)


What does it mean for a country to apologize for sins committed in the past? Who gets to decide whether sufficient apology has been offered? This important work of international history addresses what such apologies mean and for whom. Alexis Dudden explores the subject with great care and specificity, and her analysis of multiple issues is splendid. I know of no other book like it.

(Marilyn B. Young, New York University, author of The Vietnam Wars, 1945-1990)|

Alexis Dudden makes a powerful case for the ways in which the practices of 'emptying' history allow states and peoples to elide the complexities of the past and evade its often inconvenient truths. Dudden carefully explores the cultural politics that shape these elisions and the contradictions that emerge from them. Her convincing argument elucidates the sources of unease, as well as the fictions necessary to sustain the national narratives that have so profoundly shaped the twentieth-century histories of Japan, South Korea, and the United States.

(Mark P. Bradley, Northwestern University, author of Imagining Vietnam and America: The Making of Postcolonial Vietnam)|

With a deceptively plain touch, Alexis Dudden offers a fascinating, uniquely accessible, cogent account of the turn of the century milieu that continues to entrench the relations among Japan, Korea, and United States within the complex struggles over their torturous pasts. Conversant in the extensive scholarship on historical memory, Troubled Apologies Among Japan, Korea, and the United States is an important study of transnational history that should be read by anyone concerned with the current diplomatic politics of East Asia and beyond.

(Lisa Yoneyama, University of California, San Diego, author of Hiroshima Traces: Time, Space, and the Dialectics of Memory)|

Issues of apology and historical responsibility have become topics of impassioned political controversy in East Asia. Alexis Dudden's insightful and immensely readable study takes the reader beyond the conventional cycle of blame and counter-blame, offering brilliant new insights into the memory politics of the region. Above all, by highlighting the key role of the United States in regional 'history wars,' Dudden provides a new framework of interpretation which reshapes the parameters of the debate. This is a must-read book for anyone interested in questions of historical justice in East Asia and worldwide.

(Tessa Morris-Suzuki, Australian National University, author of Exodus to North Korea: Shadows from Japan's Cold War)|

Troubled Apologies is a passionately argued and beautifully written account of Korea's ties to Japan and the United States. The book is especially important for episodes that have largely been forgotten in the United States but still burn in the collective memories of the Korean people. This book is a must-read for anyone trying to understand contemporary Asian history and Korea's role in the global community.

(Tim Shorrock, author of Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press; 1 edition (June 23, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231141769
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231141765
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,245,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Wactor on April 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
At just under 200 pages Dudden's book on international relations is short, almost too short given the complexities of the issues. This is not to say that the author did not conduct thorough research on the subjects of his chapters. He offers valuable insight and introduction to interest groups and political figures in ways that contextualize the significance of their political force in their respective country. For example, the comparison of a Japanese political critic to Bill O'Reilly really connected the issue he was discussing. Dudden's writing is articulate, educational, but also engaging in this way and I did not find it a dull read in the the least.

However, I can not help but feel that he only scratches the surface of diplomatic apologies between the three countries. Many incidents and facts that he places within his chapters have the potential to incorporate more detail and help paint a fuller picture between the two countries. To contrast this critique, it has to be understood that international relations is vastly complex and the information demands that authors pick which issues to focus on to paint a picture of the dominant issues between these countries. Nonetheless, Dudden mentions issues and incidents that beg to be explored more thoroughly. And at it's current size I can't help but think that it wouldn't have hurt to do just that, especially given its current listed price ($50 at time of writing.)

'Troubled Apologies' is broken into four chapters that involve international issues between Japan, Korea, and the United States. He covers a wide-array of issues to explain the complex and politically charged atmosphere, any of which is insightful and worth studying.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Westdorp on December 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It was exactly what I was looking for, a 3rd party unbiased view to nullify both sides arguments. It is a great resource for any school reports regarding the Japan Korea bilateral relationship. It has information that you will not normally find.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Yota on April 5, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
it is a book to be read for a class at CCNY. Therefore I have no comments yet. It looks interesting.
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