American shogun: General MacArthur, Emperor Hirohito and the drama of modern Japan

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Overlook Press, Feb 28, 2006 - Architecture - 480 pages
3 Reviews
In the years and months leading up to Pearl Harbor, Japan was becoming the most industrialized state in Asia, as well as the repository of a martial heritage that fueled imperial ambitions of conquest and hegemony. Across the Pacific, the United States was emerging from the depression and again growing into its role as a global power. Today's partnership between modern Japan - now Asia's most well-developed democracy - and the United States - the world's sole superpower - was forged by the confrontation, and finally the reconciliation, of these two competing agendas and cultures in World War II, a drama that was defined by two men: General Douglas MacArthur and Emperor Hirohito. MacArthur, the brilliant and often arrogant American maverick who was elevated to the level of popular hero and policy maker, and Hirohito, the passive intellectual heir considered a divinity by his people, seem at the outset the most unlikely of enemies in war, let alone partners in peace. Under historian Robert Harvey's scrutiny, however, these superficial characterizations give way to a much more nuanced narrative as well as a revealing portrait of these extraordinary figures.
American Shogun delivers an account of the vast divide that led to war, and to the unforeseen commonality that helped develop a lasting peace.

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Review: American Shogun: General MacArthur, Emperor Hirohito and the Drama of ModernJapan

User Review  - Lynne Hatter - Goodreads

This is a history of both Hirohito and McArthur, not two men I would think abut together. Yet as I read the history I realize how married these two lives became. The book is very well written and ... Read full review

Review: American Shogun: General MacArthur, Emperor Hirohito and the Drama of ModernJapan

User Review  - Andrew - Goodreads

An excellent view into the mind of MacArthur, who as a general sought to surround himself by self-created myth. MacArthur, who sought to become a political force, shows some surprising viewpoints ... Read full review


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About the author (2006)

ROBERT HARVEY is Associate Professor of French and Comparative Literature at the State University of New York, Stony Brook.