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  • The Pacific War. by Chihiro Hosoya; Nagayo Homma; Akira Iriye; Sumio HatanoReview by: Roger DingmanThe Journal of American History, Vol. 84, No. 3 (Dec., 1997), pp. 1127-1128Published by: Organization of American HistoriansStable URL: .Accessed: 19/12/2014 12:17

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  • Book Reviews 1127

    Mediterranean to oppose the Soviet Union's pressure on Turkey in the summer of 1945. That demonstration of power came a year later. He also incorrectly states that the Sino-Soviet treaty of August 1945 acknowledged Russia's preem- inence in Korea above the thirty-eighth par- allel. The treaty dealt only with Manchuria and Outer Mongolia. Approval for Russia's control of North Korea came from General Order No. 1 written in Washington and issued by theJap- anese government after Japan's surrender. In another instance, he confuses the means by which China assumed temporary control over northern Indochina at the end of the war.

    Somewhat more disconcerting is the author's uneven bibliography. Moskin, a veteran jour- nalist and author of a history of the Marine Corps among other works, has relied almost exclusively on secondary works for this study. Although several recent titles appear in the bib- liography, he appears to have overlooked stan- dard works by John Lewis Gaddis, Melvyn Leffler, Michael Schaller, and Brian Loring Villa that might have contributed to his analy- sis of Truman's approach to national security policy, unconditional surrender, and the China tangle.

    These deficiencies are balanced, however, by Moskin's skill at presenting complex issues in an interesting manner. In all, this is a well- rounded study that will appeal to the general reader rather than the specialist, but students in courses on modern American history will also find it to be a readable introduction to the postwar period.

    Marc Gallicchio Villanova University Villanova, Pennsylvania

    Taihezyo sensb (The Pacific war). Ed' by Chi- hiro Hosoya, Nagayo Homma, Akira Iriye, and Sumio Hatano. (Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1993. xxiv, 669 pp. ISBN 4-13-036070-1.) In Japanese.

    This volume, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of the Pacific war, is the latest product of a remarkable international scholar- ly collaboration. Nearly thirty years ago, two of its editors and three of its contributors par- ticipated in the Lake Yamanaka conference that

    produced Pearl Harbor as History (1973). That pathbreaking analysis of the origins of the Pa- cific war paired essays byJapanese and American scholars that focused on leadership, bureaucra- tic politics, and nongovernmental organizations. It provided the model for later collaborative volumes on Anglo-Japanese and Soviet-Japanese relations.

    This work differs from these predecessors in diversity of authorship and breadth of analy- sis. Although more than half of its twenty-seven contributors areJapanese, only seven are Amer- icans; the remainder come from five other na- tions. Each of its three sections focuses on multinational, rather than binational, ques- tions. The first, which makes up half the text, explores national responses to the internation- al circumstances attending the outbreak of war. A second segment examines the impact and legacy of the war, first on Japan proper and her pre-1937 colonies, then on the conquered peoples in China and Southeast Asia. The final cluster of essays tries to determine the signifi- cance of the Pacific war within the context of twentieth-century history more generally. No single volume can accomplish all that, and the quality of the results varies greatly from essay to essay and from section to section.

    I found the volume's first segment the least satisfying. Its American contributors - Michael Barnhart, Warren Cohen, and Waldo Heinrichs - offer stellar summations of their respective ear- lier works onJapanese military structural reform- ers, the China problem, and Soviet influence on Franklin D. Roosevelt's prewar decision mak- ing, respectively. Sakai Tetsuya and Constan- tine Pleshakov present conflicting portraits of Joseph Stalin as East Asian policy maker. They challenge one to consider whether he was a victim of the region's tortuous international politics or a visionary imperialist trying to pro- tect and expand the Romanov realm. Usui Kat- sumi and Wang Xi demonstrate that China was international political actor as well as vic- tim during the prewar decade. But the authors appear to have made little effort to coordinate their levels of analysis. The editors, moreover, settled on an oddly truncated definition of who the relevant international political actors were. Europe is represented only by Germany and Britain -the latter very ably by Antony Best's and David Reynolds's piercing analyses of her

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  • 1128 The Journal of American History December 1997

    flawed vision and strategic weakness. But no French, Dutch, Thai, or Australasian spokes- man presents an account of his nation's role in the events that culminated in war.

    The essays in the second section are more consistent and propound a common thesis: war affected Pacific Asian nations and peoples in ways that defy easy generalization. Mark Peat- tie suggests that the Japanese imperium was paradoxical, at once oppressing and liberating. He shows how and why its legacy is evanescent in Micronesia, neutral in Taiwan, and conflic- ted in Korea. The strident nationalism that informs the contribution of Fudan University's Chen Jian leads him to conclude that the Pa- cific war was, for China, a liberating event that moved the nation back to the center stage of East Asian international politics. Got6 Kan'ichi, RicardoJose, and Lee Sung-whoan employ rad- ically different methodologies to explore the war's impact on Indonesia, the Philippines, and Korea. But all three caution against uncritical acceptance of older Western academic para- digms or of recent Tokyo political rhetoric that depicts Japanese occupiers as agents of even- tual liberation for Southeast Asians seeking national independence.

    Essayists in the volume's third section ren- der radically different verdicts on the broader historical significance of the Pacific war. Marius Jansen suggests that defeat enabled Japan to achieve many of its war aims by replacing a khaki-clad elite with warriors in business suits. Ernest May, in what is perhaps the most insight- ful essay in the volume, speculates about what history might have been without a Pacific war. He concludes that its most important legacy was a unique, mutually deferential relationship between Washington and Tokyo that preserved postwar peace in the Pacific. Aruga Tadashi sounds a cautionary note, suggesting that racial differences that fed mass emotions supporting war may again be rising to trouble relations between Japan and the United States.

    The interpretive differences that run through- out this book suggest that the Pacific war is likely to remain a fruitful subject of historical inquiry for decades to come.

    Roger Dingman University of Southern California Los Angeles, California

    Editorial note: At the reviewer's request (and in deviation from the usual JAH style), the East Asian names in the body of the above re- view appear in the order conventional in their original languages.

    Nichibei senso-kan no sokoku: Masatsu no shinsu shinri (Conflicts inJapanese and Ameri- can views on war: Depth psychology of friction). By Daizaburo Yui. (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1995. viii, 236 pp. Paper, Y1,748, ISBN 4-00- 001720-9.) In Japanese.

    Daizaburo Yui examines the contrasting views on war of Americans and Japanese. The pri- mary focus is on World War II, but he extends his survey to the Korean, Vietnam, and Gulf wars. Review of public reactions to the latter wars entails primarily American perceptions.

    Yui starts by focusing on the controversy that erupted over the Smithsonian Institution's ex- hibit on the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the fiftieth anniversary of the war's end. Smithsonian officials' initial plan to focus on the A-bomb victims evoked pro- tests by critics who contended that the exhibit was pro-Japan. This caused the Smithsonian to change the exhibit, focusing primarily on the Enol'a Gay. (The author cites the OAH Newsletter for supporting the initial Smith- sonian plan.) Coincidentally during the same period, a plan to build a peace hall to me- morialize the Japanese war dead was initiated inJapan. The Asian victims ofJapanese aggres- sion were ignored in this project. Yui sees mani- festations of nationalism in both countries in these two projects.