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Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan
Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan
Author: Herbert P. Bix
Though one of the most hated World War II leaders, together with Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini, no one has ever written a full-length biography of Emperor Hirohito. Mostly due to the secrecy of Japanese society, where responsibility for war atrocities has still not been acknowledged, it is in large part a consequence of US spin-control after the ...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780715630778
ISBN-10: 0715630776
Publication Date: 2/22/2001
Pages: 800
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Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback
Members Wishing: 0
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Helpful Score: 1
This came highly recommended as a major book on Japanese history, but I have to say I was disappointed. The author has clearly spent a long time researching it and the extensive footnotes would probably be quite useful for those seeking additional resources. However, the narrative is constrained by relatively few first-hand accounts of Hirohito's role in decisionmaking, and the author is left to fill in the gaps with arguments and assumptions. Personally, I found them unpersuasive and inconsistent-- sometimes he insisted that the emperor's written comments should be taken at face value and sometimes not; the emperor would be quoted as against a policy and the author would conclude he was hiding his true view etc. Bix may well have had solid reasons for doing so, but they were not articulated clearly enough to persuade me as a reader. I found this book not nearly as readable or informative as other "seminal" Japanese history books like Embracing Defeat.
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