Thursday, August 11, 2016

Book: Japan 1941

Hotta, Eri. 2013. Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy. New York: Knopf.

This book presents a political history from a skeptical Japanese perspective of the period leading up to the Pearl Harbor attack. The history gets denser as the day of infamy gets closer in time. I found the book fascinating as I knew essentially nothing about the internal politics of Japan in the interwar period. The book makes the case that a combination of cultural (saving face, etc.) and institutional (too much shared responsibility) factors led to a war that, had you somehow collected the honest opinions of the major players, most of the Japanese leadership did not want.

Recommended if the subject is of interest.

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