Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2000 - History - 676 pages
83 Reviews
Drawing on a vast range of Japanese sources and illustrated with dozens of astonishing documentary photographs, Embracing Defeat is the fullest and most important history of the more than six years of American occupation, which affected every level of Japanese society, often in ways neither side could anticipate. Dower, whom Stephen E. Ambrose has called "America's foremost historian of the Second World War in the Pacific," gives us the rich and turbulent interplay between West and East, the victor and the vanquished, in a way never before attempted, from top-level manipulations concerning the fate of Emperor Hirohito to the hopes and fears of men and women in every walk of life. Already regarded as the benchmark in its field, Embracing Defeat is a work of colossal scholarship and history of the very first order. John W. Dower is the Elting E. Morison Professor of History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for War Without Mercy.
  

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Real easy to read, informative. - Goodreads
However, it's not so scholarly as to be hard to read. - Goodreads
Magnificently researched, yet readable. - Goodreads
The person doing the writing has the power. - Goodreads
... dower's research was mind-blowing... - Goodreads

Review: Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II

User Review  - Ebonique - Goodreads

I don't really understand the point of writing a book about the occupation without acknowledging/researching why the occupation was successful. It just seemed to drone on about how the Americans were ... Read full review

Review: Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II

User Review  - A Smith - Goodreads

Gutwrenching and informative book about Japan under occupation after following WWII. Read full review

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Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
15
INTRODUCTION
19
VICTOR and VANQUISHED
31
SHATTERED LIVES
33
Euphemistic Surrender
34
Unconditional Surrender
39
Quantifying Defeat
45
Coming HomePerhaps
48
The Letter the Photograph and the Memorandum
289
IMPERIAL DEMOCRACY DESCENDING PARTWAY FROM HEAVEN
302
Becoming Human
308
Cutting Smoke with Scissors
314
IMPERIAL DEMOCRACY EVADING RESPONSIBILITY
319
Confronting Abdication
320
Imperial Tours and the Manifest Human
330
One Mans Shattered God
339

Displaced Persons
54
Despised Veterans
58
Stigmatized Victims
61
GIFTS FROM HEAVEN
65
Revolution from Above
69
Demilitarization and Democratization
73
Imposing Reform
80
TRANSCENDING DESPAIR
85
KYODATSU EXHAUSTION AND DESPAIR
87
Hunger and the BambooSnoot Existence
89
Enduring the Unendurable
97
Sociologies or Despair
104
Childs Play
110
Inflation and Economic Sabotage
112
CULTURES OF DEFEAT
121
Servicing the Conquerors
123
Butterflies Onlys and Subversive Women
132
BlackMarket Entrepreneurship
139
Kasutori Culture
148
Decadence and Authenticity
154
Married Life
162
BRIDGES OF LANGUAGE
168
Mocking Defeat
170
Brightness Apples and English
172
The Familiarity or the New
177
Rushing into Print
180
Bestsellers and Posthumous Heroes
187
Heroines and Victims
195
REVOLUTIONS
201
NEOCOLONIAL REVOLUTION
203
Victors as Viceroys
204
Reevaluating the MonkeyMen
213
The Experts and the Obedient Herd
217
EMBRACING REVOLUTION
225
Embracing the Commander
226
Intellectuals and the Community or Remorse
233
GrassRoots Engagements
239
Institutionalizing Reform
244
Democratizing Everyday Language
251
MAKING REVOLUTION
254
Lovable Communists and Radicalized Workers
255
A Sea of Red Flags
259
Unmaking the Revolution from Below
267
DEMOCRACIES
275
IMPERIAL DEMOCRACY DRIVING THE WEDGE
277
Psychological Warfare and the Son of Heaven
280
Purifying the Sovereign
287
CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY GHQ WRITES ANEW NATIONAL CHARTER
346
Regendering a Hermaphroditic Creature
347
Conundrums for the Men of Meiji
351
Popular Initiatives for a New National Charter
355
SCAP Takes Over
360
GHQs Constitutional Convention
364
Thinking about Idealism and Cultural Imperialism
370
CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY JAPANIZING THE AMERICAN DRAFT
374
The Last Opportunity for the Conservative Group
376
The Translation Marathon
379
Unveiling the Draft Constitution
383
Water Flows the River Stays
387
Japanizing Democracy
391
Renouncing WarPerhaps
394
Responding to a Fait Accompli
399
CENSORED DEMOCRACY POLICING THE NEW TABOOS
405
The Phantom Bureaucracy
406
Impermissible Discourse
410
Purifying the Victors
419
Policing the Cinema
426
Curbing the Political Left
432
GUILTS
441
VICTORS JUSTICE LOSERS JUSTICE
443
Stern Justice
444
The Tokyo Tribunal
449
Tokyo and Nuremberg
454
Victors Justice and Its Critics
461
Race Power and Powerlessness
469
Naming Names
474
WHAT DO YOU TELL THE DEAD WHEN YOU LOSE?
485
A Requiem for Departed Heroes
486
Irrationality Science and Responsibility for Defeat
490
Buddhism as Repentance and Repentance as Nationalism
496
Responding to Atrocity
504
Remembering the Criminals Forgetting Their Crimes
508
RECONSTRUCTIONS
523
ENGINEERING GROWTH
525
Oh Mistake
526
Visible and Invisible Hands
528
Planning a CuttingEdge Economy
536
Unplanned Developments and Gifts from the Gods
540
LEGACIESFANTASIESDREAMS
547
NOTES
565
PHOTO CREDITS
651
INDEX
653
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

John W. Dower is the author of Embracing Defeat, winner of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize; War without Mercy, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Cultures of War. He is professor emeritus of history at MIT. In addition to authoring many books and articles about Japan and the United States in war and peace, he is a founder and codirector of the online "Visualizing Cultures" project established at MIT in 2002 and dedicated to the presentation of image-driven scholarship on East Asia in the modern world. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

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