Cultures of War

Cultures of War

Pearl Harbor : Hiroshima : 9-11 : Iraq

Book - 2010
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Baker & Taylor
A groundbreaking comparative study of the dynamics and pathologies of war in modern times. Over recent decades, Pulitzer-winning historian John W. Dower has addressed the roots and consequences of war from multiple perspectives. Here he examines the cultures of war revealed by four powerful events--Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, 9-11, and the invasion of Iraq in the name of a war on terror. The list of issues examined and themes explored is wide-ranging: failures of intelligence and imagination, wars of choiceand "strategic imbecilities," faith-based secular thinking as well as more overtly holy wars, the targeting of noncombatants, and the almost irresistible logic--and allure--of mass destruction. Dower also sets the U.S. occupations of Japan and Iraq side by side in strikingly original ways. He offers comparative insights into individual and institutional behavior and pathologies that transcend "cultures" in the more traditional sense, and that ultimately go beyond war-making alone.--From publisher description.

Norton Pub
Over recent decades, John W. Dower, one of America’s preeminent historians, has addressed the roots and consequences of war from multiple perspectives. In War Without Mercy (1986), winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, he described and analyzed the brutality that attended World War II in the Pacific, as seen from both the Japanese and the American sides. Embracing Defeat (1999), winner of numerous honors including the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, dealt with Japan’s struggle to start over in a shattered land in the immediate aftermath of the Pacific War, when the defeated country was occupied by the U.S.-led Allied powers.Turning to an even larger canvas, Dower now examines the cultures of war revealed by four powerful events—Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, 9-11, and the invasion of Iraq in the name of a war on terror. The list of issues examined and themes explored is wide-ranging: failures of intelligence and imagination, wars of choice and “strategic imbecilities,” faith-based secular thinking as well as more overtly holy wars, the targeting of noncombatants, and the almost irresistible logic—and allure—of mass destruction. Dower’s new work also sets the U.S. occupations of Japan and Iraq side by side in strikingly original ways.One of the most important books of this decade, Cultures of War offers comparative insights into individual and institutional behavior and pathologies that transcend “cultures” in the more traditional sense, and that ultimately go beyond war-making alone.
Finalist for the 2010 National Book Award in Nonfiction: The Pulitzer Prize-winning historian returns with a groundbreaking comparative study of the dynamics and pathologies of war in modern times.

Book News
Dower (history, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, emeritus) is well known for his books on Japan in World War II and its aftermath there. In this volume, he takes his years of experience as a historian of that war and applies it to the impact of 9/11 and the war in Iraq. Dower's frustration wells up from every page as he chronicles similar beliefs and delusions among both the Japanese high command and the Bush advisers, including the argument that both the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the invasion of Iraq were necessary preemptive strikes. With many substantiated statements on such things as treatment of prisoners on both sides in both wars, Dower makes the point that America belongs to an international "culture of war" and that there are similarities among all participants that shouldn't be ignored. An overarching theme for the book may be that famous quote from Walt Kelly, via Pogo, "We have met the enemy and he is us." Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Blackwell Publishing
"I began researching and writing this study shortly after September 11, 2001, when, comparisons between Al Qaeda's surprise attack and Japan, at Pearl Harbor six decades earlier flooded the media in the United States. Japan and World War II Asia hays draw n my attention as a historian for many scars, and analogies between the new conflict and that old one were provocative in unanticipated ways-increasingly so, as it turned out, as 9-11 spilled into the war of choice in Iraq, and that war and ensuing occupation in turn led to chaos and great suffering in a supposedly liberated land."

"Extraordinarily illuminating...the most significant work to date on the postwar era in Japan."ùWall Street Journal

"Magisterial and beautifully written...[A] richly nuanced book...A pleasure to read."ùNew York Times Book Review

"One senses that Dower set out to write the most important Japan book in a generation (and perhaps more). The uplifting news is that he has succeeded...A masterpiece."ûThe Nation

"One of the handful of truly important books on the Pacific War... a cautionary tale for all peoples, now and in the future."ùForeign Affairs

"May well be the most important study of the Pacific War ever published."ùNew Republic

Over recent decades, John W. Dower, one of America's preeminent historians, has addressed the roots and consequences of war from multiple perspectives. In War Without Mercy (1986), winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, he described and analyzed the brutality that attended World War II in the Pacific, as seen from both the Japanese and the American sides. Embracing Defeat (1999), winner of numerous honors including the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, dealt with Japan's struggle to start over in a shattered land in the immediate aftermath of the Pacific War, when the defeated country was occupied by the U.S.-led Allied powers.

Turning to an even larger canvas, Dower now examines the cultures of war revealed by four powerful eventsùPearl Harbor, Hiroshima, 9-11, and the invasion of Iraq in the name of a war on terror. The list of issues examined and themes explored is wide-ranging: failures of intelligence and imagination, wars of choice and "strategic imbecilities," faith-based secular thinking as well as more overtly holy wars, the targeting of noncombatants, and the almost irresistible logicùand allureùof mass destruction. Dower's new work also sets the U.S. occupations of Japan and Iraq side by side in strikingly original ways.

One of the most important books of this decade, Cultures of War offers comparative insights into individual and institutional behavior and pathologies that transcend "cultures" in the more traditional sense, and that ultimately go beyond war-making alone.

Baker
& Taylor

Presents a comparative analysis of September 11 and the subsequent War on Terror with Pearl Harbor and World War II, addressing institutional failures of intelligence and imagination and the driving forces behind Pan-Asian and Pan-Islam movements.

Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton : New Press, 2010
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780393061505
Branch Call Number: 355.0097 DOWER

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RLSewall
Nov 14, 2017

A grade A snoozer.

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