A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present

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Oxford University Press, 2014 - History - 417 pages
2 Reviews
A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present, Third Edition, paints a richly nuanced and strikingly original portrait of the last two centuries of Japanese history. It takes students from the days of the shogunate--the feudal overlordship of the Tokugawa family--through the modernizing revolution launched by midlevel samurai in the late nineteenth century; the adoption of Western hairstyles, clothing, and military organization; and the nation's first experiments with mass democracy after World War I. Author Andrew Gordon offers the finest synthesis to date of Japan's passage through militarism, World War II, the American occupation, and the subsequent economic rollercoaster.

New to the Third Edition

* The previous edition's final chapter has been extensively revised for the third edition. Retitled "Japan's 'Lost Decades", it now covers the timespan from 1989 through 2008.
* An entirely new final chapter examines Japan's tumultuous recent history in a global context. Beginning with the financial crisis of 2008, it takes readers up to the traumatic events of 3/11/11, and through the aftermath of this disaster. The chapter includes a color insert with maps and photographs that document the cataclysm.
* More "voices" of ordinary people integrated into the narrative
* Increased coverage of cultural history topics, such as anime and manga

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A MODERN HISTORY OF JAPAN: From Tokugawa Times to the Present

User Review  - Kirkus

A concise history with a textbook tone, covering Japanese civilization from about 1600.Gordon (History/Harvard) chronicles Japanese social evolution during two dynasties, the Tokugawa and the Meiji ... Read full review

A modern history of Japan: from Tokugawa times to the present

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

A Chinese saying has it that "each step changes the mountain." Likewise, each major turn in history changes how we understand what went before: as Japan now continues in an economic funk that followed ... Read full review

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About the author (2014)


Andrew Gordon is the Lee and Juliet Folger Fund Professor of History and Director of the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University.

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