Japan and the Shackles of the Past

Author: R. Taggart Murphy
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190213251
Release Date: 2014-11-07
Genre: Business & Economics

Japan is one of the world's wealthiest and most technologically advanced nations, and its rapid ascent to global power status after 1853 remains one of the most remarkable stories in modern world history. Yet it has not been an easy path; military catastrophe, political atrophy, and economic upheavals have made regular appearances from the feudal era to the present. Today, Japan is seen as a has-been with a sluggish economy, an aging population, dysfunctional politics, and a business landscape dominated by yesterday's champions. Though it is supposed to be America's strongest ally in the Asia-Pacific region, it has almost entirely disappeared from the American radar screen. In Japan and the Shackles of the Past, R. Taggart Murphy places the current troubles of Japan in a sweeping historical context, moving deftly from early feudal times to the modern age that began with the Meiji Restoration. Combining fascinating analyses of Japanese culture and society over the centuries with hard-headed accounts of Japan's numerous political regimes, Murphy not only reshapes our understanding of Japanese history, but of Japan's place in the contemporary world. He concedes that Japan has indeed been out of sight and out of mind in recent decades, but contends that this is already changing. Political and economic developments in Japan today risk upheaval in the pivotal arena of Northeast Asia, inviting comparisons with Europe on the eve of the First World War. America's half-completed effort to remake Japan in the late 1940s is unraveling, and the American foreign policy and defense establishment is directly culpable for what has happened. The one apparent exception to Japan's malaise is the vitality of its pop culture, but it's actually no exception at all; rather, it provides critical clues to what is going on now. With insights into everything from Japan's politics and economics to the texture of daily life, gender relations, the changing business landscape, and popular and high culture, Japan and the Shackles of the Past is the indispensable guide to understanding Japan in all its complexity.

Ways of Forgetting Ways of Remembering

Author: John Dower
Publisher: The New Press
ISBN: 9781595588111
Release Date: 2012-05-01
Genre: History

Ways of Forgetting looks at the key moments in the relationship between two national powers focusing on Japanese perceptions of the United States: how the Japanese saw Hiroshima, the American occupation, and the changes in their own lives. We also catch a glimpse of Japanese attitudes toward their own war crimes. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian John Dower offers blistering comments on Bush’s attempts to justify the invasion of Iraq by citing Dower’s own work on the U.S. occupation of Japan. The book is a fascinating and probing look at the ways in which we remember the tangled history between the United States and Japan and how it is still invoked today.

Shadow Shoguns

Author: Jacob M. Schlesinger
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804734577
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Political Science

This is a vivid account of the corrupt and improbable political machine that ran Japanese politics for twenty years, from the early 1970s to the early 1990s, the period during which Japan became the world's second-largest economy. Reviews "Washington lobbyists, Moscow mafiosi, and Beijing party bosses stand back! . . . Here is one of the longest running big-time political sleaze serials of the past quarter-century. . . . This was a book waiting to be written, and not only has Schlesinger done it, but he has also produced a fine job of political reporting." --New York Times Book Review "In a rollicking style, Schlesinger . . . demolishes the popular misconception that politicians are boring. His is a tale of monstrous personalities. . . . This is the most entertaining short history of Japanese politics this reviewer has encountered." --The Economist "A story which is told vividly in this well researched and reliable account. . . . A superb analysis of Japan's politics and economic affairs." --Washington Post Book World "Shadow Shoguns is a lively and anecdote-rich account of the eerie parallels between Tokyo's now-battered political machine and New York's Tammany Hall. . . . Schlesinger masterfully demonstrates why Prime Minister Tanaka personified the collusive ties between Japanese politicians and Big Business." --Business Week "A fascinating and penetrating tale about the Tanaka machine that dominated Japan's politics for several decades and whose demise in the early 1990s has created a political vacuum that accounts for many of Japan's current problems." --Foreign Affairs

Bending Adversity

Author: David Pilling
Publisher: Penguin Press HC
ISBN: 1594205841
Release Date: 2014
Genre: Business & Economics

A portrait of contemporary Japan draws observations from a cross-section of its citizens while evaluating how its people and institutions have shown resilience through recent disasters, including the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown.


Author: Brian Salsberg
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
ISBN: 142154086X
Release Date: 2011-07-12
Genre: History

REMINGINING JAPAN: Contributors to this volume include some of the world’s most brilliant thinkers from fields as diverse as business, politics, academia, science and technology, journalism and art and design. In the aftermath of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis of March 2011, Japan has become a bigger part of the world’s consciousness than it has been for years. But Japan also is grappling with other problems that, over the long run, pose a much greater challenge to its national well-being than the devastation in Tohoku.... How can the country compete with a rising China? Cope with a fast-aging society? Deal with its enormous debt? Rediscover its entrepreneurial verve? Regain its position as a leader in technology and innovation? In Reimagining Japan, McKinsey & Company, the world’s top management consulting firm, asked more than 80 global leaders and experts to consider these questions. In essays brimming with insight, affection and occasional humor, the authors offer their assessments of Japan’s past, present and --most important -- future. What sets Reimagining Japan apart is the breadth and diversity of its contributors. They range from Fortune 500 CEOs to acclaimed writers (including three Pulitzer Prize winners) to a star videogame creator, a soccer coach, a school principal and a manga artist. There has not been such a comprehensive book about Japan in the past generation - and perhaps ever. NOTABLE CONTRIBUTORS Bernard Arnault, Ian Buruma, Gerald Curtis, John Chambers, Steven Covey, John Dower, Bill Emmott, Victor Fung, Carlos Ghosn, Pico Iyer, Bob McDonald, Stephen Roach, Masahiro Sakane, Masayoshi Son, Howard Schultz, Klaus Schwab, Bobby Valentine, Steve Van Andel, Ezra Vogel, Robert Whiting, Tadashi Yanai and more than 50 others.

Japan Restored

Author: Clyde Prestowitz
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
ISBN: 9781462915323
Release Date: 2015-11-10
Genre: Political Science

How Japan Can Reinvent Itself and Why This Is Important for America and the World. In 1979, the book Japan as Number One: Lessons for America by Harvard University professor Ezra Vogel caused a sensation in the United States by pointing out that Japan was surpassing America as world economic leader; the book remains to this day the all-time bestseller in Japan of non-fiction by a Western author. The book was timely: Japan's subsequent "bubble era" of the 1980s saw the country booming. But since the economic bubble burst at the start of the 1990s, Japan has been in decline. Japan Restored by Clyde Prestowitz, taking up Vogel's baton, is written as a vision of Japan in the year 2050, when the country's economic recovery has made it a world leader in every area of human endeavor. Prestowitz looks back to the present year as such a low point for Japan that a special reform commission was set up that helped the country regain its former position as a leader in technology, in business, and geopolitically. Looking at education, innovation, the role of women, corporate organization, energy, infrastructure, domestic government, and international alliances Prestowitz draws up a fascinating and controversial blueprint for the future success of Japan. As the eyes of the world turn towards Japan in the run-up to the 2020 Olympics, Japan Restored is as timely as the 1979 Vogel book that inspired it.

The Choice

Author: Edith Eva Eger
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781501130816
Release Date: 2017-09-05
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

A powerful, moving memoir—and a practical guide to healing—written by Dr. Edith Eva Eger, an eminent psychologist whose own experiences as a Holocaust survivor help her treat patients and allow them to escape the prisons of their own minds. Edith Eger was sixteen years old when the Nazis came to her hometown in Hungary and took her Jewish family to an interment center and then to Auschwitz. Her parents were sent to the gas chamber by Joseph Mengele soon after they arrived at the camp. Hours later Mengele demanded that Edie dance a waltz to “The Blue Danube” and rewarded her with a loaf of bread that she shared with her fellow prisoners. These women later helped save Edie’s life. Edie and her sister survived Auschwitz, were transferred to the Mauthausen and Gunskirchen camps in Austria, and managed to live until the American troops liberated the camps in 1945 and found Edie in a pile of dying bodies. One of the few living Holocaust survivors to remember the horrors of the camps, Edie has chosen to forgive her captors and find joy in her life every day. Years after she was liberated from the concentration camps Edie went back to college to study psychology. She combines her clinical knowledge and her own experiences with trauma to help others who have experienced painful events large and small. Dr. Eger has counselled veterans suffering from PTSD, women who were abused, and many others who learned that they too, can choose to forgive, find resilience, and move forward. She lectures frequently on the power of love and healing. The Choice weaves Eger’s personal story with case studies from her work as a psychologist. Her patients and their stories illustrate different phases of healing and show how people can choose to escape the prisons they construct in their minds and find freedom, regardless of circumstance. Eger’s story is an inspiration for everyone. And her message is powerful and important: “Your pain matters and is worth healing: you can choose to be joyful and free.” She is eighty-nine years old and still dancing.

As China Goes So Goes the World

Author: Karl Gerth
Publisher: Hill and Wang
ISBN: 1429962461
Release Date: 2010-11-09
Genre: History

In this revelatory examination of the most overlooked force that is changing the face of China, the Oxford historian and scholar of modern Asia Karl Gerth shows that as the Chinese consumer goes, so goes the world. While Americans and Europeans have become increasingly worried about China's competition for manufacturing jobs and energy resources, they have overlooked an even bigger story: China's rapid development of an American-style consumer culture, which is revolutionizing the lives of hundreds of millions of Chinese and has the potential to reshape the world. This change is already well under way. China has become the world's largest consumer of everything from automobiles to beer and has begun to adopt such consumer habits as living in large single-occupancy homes, shopping in gigantic malls, and eating meat-based diets served in fast-food outlets. Even rural Chinese, long the laggards of consumerism, have been buying refrigerators, televisions, mobile phones, and larger houses in unprecedented numbers. As China Goes, So Goes the World reveals why we should all care about the everyday choices made by ordinary Chinese. Taken together, these seemingly small changes are deeper and more profound than the headline-grabbing stories on military budgets, carbon emissions, or trade disputes.

The Long Defeat

Author: Akiko Hashimoto
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780190239169
Release Date: 2015-05-21
Genre: History

In The Long Defeat, Akiko Hashimoto explores the stakes of war memory in Japan after its catastrophic defeat in World War II, showing how and why defeat has become an indelible part of national collective life, especially in recent decades. Divisive war memories lie at the root of the contentious politics surrounding Japan's pacifist constitution and remilitarization, and fuel the escalating frictions in East Asia known collectively as Japan's "history problem." Drawing on ethnography, interviews, and a wealth of popular memory data, this book identifies three preoccupations - national belonging, healing, and justice - in Japan's discourses of defeat. Hashimoto uncovers the key war memory narratives that are shaping Japan's choices - nationalism, pacifism, or reconciliation - for addressing the rising international tensions and finally overcoming its dark history.

The Great Deformation

Author: David Stockman
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 9781586489137
Release Date: 2013-04-02
Genre: Political Science

A New York Times bestseller The Great Deformation is a searing look at Washington's craven response to the recent myriad of financial crises and fiscal cliffs. It counters conventional wisdom with an eighty-year revisionist history of how the American state—especially the Federal Reserve—has fallen prey to the politics of crony capitalism and the ideologies of fiscal stimulus, monetary central planning, and financial bailouts. These forces have left the public sector teetering on the edge of political dysfunction and fiscal collapse and have caused America's private enterprise foundation to morph into a speculative casino that swindles the masses and enriches the few. Defying right- and left-wing boxes, David Stockman provides a catalogue of corrupters and defenders of sound money, fiscal rectitude, and free markets. The former includes Franklin Roosevelt, who fathered crony capitalism; Richard Nixon, who destroyed national financial discipline and the Bretton Woods gold-backed dollar; Fed chairmen Greenspan and Bernanke, who fostered our present scourge of bubble finance and addiction to debt and speculation; George W. Bush, who repudiated fiscal rectitude and ballooned the warfare state via senseless wars; and Barack Obama, who revived failed Keynesian “borrow and spend” policies that have driven the national debt to perilous heights. By contrast, the book also traces a parade of statesmen who championed balanced budgets and financial market discipline including Carter Glass, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Bill Simon, Paul Volcker, Bill Clinton, and Sheila Bair. Stockman's analysis skewers Keynesian spenders and GOP tax-cutters alike, showing how they converged to bloat the welfare state, perpetuate the military-industrial complex, and deplete the revenue base—even as the Fed's massive money printing allowed politicians to enjoy “deficits without tears.” But these policies have also fueled new financial bubbles and favored Wall Street with cheap money and rigged stock and bond markets, while crushing Main Street savers and punishing family budgets with soaring food and energy costs. The Great Deformation explains how we got here and why these warped, crony capitalist policies are an epochal threat to free market prosperity and American political democracy.

Prisoners of Geography

Author: Tim Marshall
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781501121470
Release Date: 2016-10-11
Genre: History

First published in Great Britain in 2015 by Elliott and Thompson Limited.


Author: Alfred Lansing
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 9780465058792
Release Date: 2014-04-29
Genre: History

Bound for Antarctica, where polar explorer Ernest Shackleton planned to cross on foot the last uncharted continent, the Endurance set sail from England in August 1914. In January 1915, after battling its way for six weeks through a thousand miles of pack ice and only a day's sail short of its destination, the Endurance became locked in an island of ice. For ten months the ice-moored Endurance drifted northwest before it was finally crushed. But for Shackleton and his crew of twenty-seven men, the ordeal had barely begun. It would end only after a miraculous journey through more than 850 miles of the South Atlantic's heaviest seas to the closest outpost of civilization. In Endurance, the definitive account of Shackleton's fateful trip, Alfred Lansing brilliantly narrates the harrowing voyage that has defined heroism for the last century.

Numero Zero

Author: Umberto Eco
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 9780544635098
Release Date: 2015-11-03
Genre: Fiction

#1 Italian bestseller “Witty and wry . . . It’s hard not to be charmed.” — New York Times Book Review “One of the most influential thinkers of our time.” — Los Angeles Times 1945, Lake Como. Mussolini and his mistress are captured and shot by local partisans. The precise circumstances of Il Duce’s death remain controversial. 1992, Milan. Colonna, a depressed hack writer, is offered a fee he can’t resist to ghostwrite a book. His subject: a fledgling newspaper, which happens to be financed by a powerful media magnate. As Colonna gets to know the team, he learns of the editor’s paranoid theory that Mussolini’s corpse was a body double and part of a wider Fascist plot. It’s the scoop the newspaper desperately needs. The evidence? He’s working on it. It’s all there: media hoaxes, Mafiosi, the CIA, the Pentagon, blackmail, love, gossip, and murder. A clash of forces that have shaped Italy since World War II — from Mussolini to Berlusconi. “Farcical, serious, satiric, and tragic” (Le Point, France), Numero Zero is the work of a master storyteller. UMBERTO ECO (1932–2016) was the author of numerous essay collections and seven novels, including The Name of the Rose,The Prague Cemetery, and Inventing the Enemy. He received Italy’s highest literary award, the Premio Strega, was named a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by the French government, and was an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters


Author: Mike Chase
Publisher: Motorbooks International
ISBN: 9780760351857
Release Date: 2016-11-01
Genre: Transportation

Ford's classic '32, equipped with a behemoth engine and modified for speed is everything a hot rod should be. They certainly don't make 'em like this anymore. We're talking about the car that launched the hot rod subculture: Ford's 1932 Deuce. With its stylish lines, timeless grille, and flowing fenders, Ford's Deuce coupe pretty much defines the term "hot rod." The breadth of creativity this classic design has inspired for generations of hot rod builders is on full display in Deuce. Ford's '32 was an immediate hit. By 1931, the Model A was obsolete in a marketplace where drivers wanted more style and power. The design goals for the '32 Ford could be summarized as "more": more cylinders, more horsepower, and more style. The resulting car achieved its objectives and then some. It was faster, more comfortable, more refined - a masterpiece of industrial design, yet still affordable. Henry Ford and his design team got it right. As the Deuce transitioned to the used car market, it drew the attention of those with a need for speed. Stripped down with an emphasis on performance, the Deuce became the bedrock of the burgeoning hot rod movement. To this day, it very much defines what a hot rod should look like. Hot rodders took Henry's master stroke to a whole other place, and Deuce stands as a tribute to their ongoing ingenuity.

Strong in the Rain

Author: Lucy Birmingham
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9781137050601
Release Date: 2012-10-30
Genre: History

Blending history, science, and gripping storytelling, Strong in the Rain brings the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Japan in 2011 and its immediate aftermath to life through the eyes of the men and women who experienced it. Following the narratives of six individuals, the book traces the shape of a disaster and the heroics it prompted, including that of David Chumreonlert, a Texan with Thai roots, trapped in his school's gymnasium with hundreds of students and teachers as it begins to flood, and Taro Watanabe, who thought nothing of returning to the Fukushima plant to fight the nuclear disaster, despite the effects that he knew would stay with him for the rest of his life. This is a beautifully written and moving account of how the Japanese experienced one of the worst earthquakes in history and endured its horrific consequences.