From Foot Soldier to Finance Minister: Takahashi Korekiyo, Japan's Keynes (review)

From Foot Soldier to Finance Minister: Takahashi Korekiyo, Japan's Keynes (review) Review Section From Foot Soldier to Finance Minister: Takahashi Korekiyo, Japan's Keynes. By Richard J. Smethurst. Harvard University Asia Center, Cambridge, Mass., 2007. xiv, 377 pages. $45.00. Reviewed by Mark Metzler University of Texas at Austin The classic form of the political biography has become rare in Englishlanguage studies of Japanese history, and Richard Smethurst has brought us a fine one of a very engaging personality. This long-awaited study lets Takahashi Korekiyo take his place in the historiography where he belongs, as the most influential economic policymaker of twentieth-century Japan. As such, and as a "Keynesian before Keynes," Takahashi also deserves a significant place in the global history of the century. Historians outside Japan have routinely misunderstood Japan's great interwar depression as having been no depression at all. In significant part, this is because the depression started early and finished early; the early recovery was thanks above all to the famous "Takahashi financial policy" inaugurated in December 1931.1 It is for this success that Takahashi is best remembered, but it is less at the center of Smethurst's interest than is Takahashi the man and his times. The narrative begins with a fascinating account of Takahashi's early life, much http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Japanese Studies Society for Japanese Studies

From Foot Soldier to Finance Minister: Takahashi Korekiyo, Japan's Keynes (review)

The Journal of Japanese Studies, Volume 35 (1) – Jan 15, 2009

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Publisher
Society for Japanese Studies
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Society for Japanese Studies
ISSN
1549-4721
Publisher site
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Abstract

Review Section From Foot Soldier to Finance Minister: Takahashi Korekiyo, Japan's Keynes. By Richard J. Smethurst. Harvard University Asia Center, Cambridge, Mass., 2007. xiv, 377 pages. $45.00. Reviewed by Mark Metzler University of Texas at Austin The classic form of the political biography has become rare in Englishlanguage studies of Japanese history, and Richard Smethurst has brought us a fine one of a very engaging personality. This long-awaited study lets Takahashi Korekiyo take his place in the historiography where he belongs, as the most influential economic policymaker of twentieth-century Japan. As such, and as a "Keynesian before Keynes," Takahashi also deserves a significant place in the global history of the century. Historians outside Japan have routinely misunderstood Japan's great interwar depression as having been no depression at all. In significant part, this is because the depression started early and finished early; the early recovery was thanks above all to the famous "Takahashi financial policy" inaugurated in December 1931.1 It is for this success that Takahashi is best remembered, but it is less at the center of Smethurst's interest than is Takahashi the man and his times. The narrative begins with a fascinating account of Takahashi's early life, much

Journal

The Journal of Japanese StudiesSociety for Japanese Studies

Published: Jan 15, 2009

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