killed and wounded. World War II is described as "four years of some of the most savage fighting ever experienced between two peoples" which ended with "atomic furies" (p. 169). The policies of the U.S.-led occupation are described positively, but the complex and positive role of cultural exchange in "renormalizing relations" is also described as leading to a U.S. characterization of "the good war" and Japan's characterization of its postwar years as "the good recovery" (p. 169). Auslin informs his readers that his first draft was composed in the summer of 2005. That such an encyclopedic account could have been written in such a brief period is difficult to comprehend. Reading the impressively detailed but relevant descriptions of the three groups of actors-- cosmopolitans, nationalists, and internationalists in Japan and the United States--who influenced cultural exchanges and were also influenced by governments for their own purposes is nothing short of encountering a definitive text on Japan-U.S. cultural ties throughout recorded history. In a relatively short life to date, Michael Auslin has been an associate professor of history at Yale University where he founded its Project on Japan-U.S. Relations, which he directed from 2004 to 2007, and is now
The Journal of Japanese Studies – Society for Japanese Studies
Published: Jul 14, 2012
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