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Coming to Terms with War: Traumas, Identities, and the Power of Words

Coming to Terms with War: Traumas, Identities, and the Power of Words Loyola University Maryland Tobie Meyer-Fong. What Remains: Coming to Terms with Civil War in 19th Century China. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2013. 336 pp. $40 (cloth/ebook). Aaron William Moore. Writing War: Soldiers Record the Japanese Empire. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013. 388 pp. $45 (cloth/ebook). It is a fitting and revealing approach to categorize the phenomenon of war as a historical event, an existential experience, and a base for redemptive mythmaking (as envisioned by Paul Cohen in his History in Three Keys). In their works, historians Tobie Meyer-Fong and Aaron William Moore focus on experience and mythmaking in the Taiping Civil War and the Pacific Theater in World War II, respectively. This review essay highlights these two authors' treatment of experience, with a brief look at mythmaking. Both books probe the sensory experience of war and of coming to terms with catastrophic events never before experienced. Meyer-Fong wants to make a "place for individual suffering, loss, religiosity, and emotions" (15). In a brilliantly written passage, Moore, whose analysis is based on wartime diaries of Japanese, Chinese, and American soldiers, notes that "we cannot fully know what it means to be a soldier in the Second World http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review University of Hawai'I Press

Coming to Terms with War: Traumas, Identities, and the Power of Words

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © Research Institute of Korean Studies, Korea University
ISSN
2158-9674
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Abstract

Loyola University Maryland Tobie Meyer-Fong. What Remains: Coming to Terms with Civil War in 19th Century China. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2013. 336 pp. $40 (cloth/ebook). Aaron William Moore. Writing War: Soldiers Record the Japanese Empire. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013. 388 pp. $45 (cloth/ebook). It is a fitting and revealing approach to categorize the phenomenon of war as a historical event, an existential experience, and a base for redemptive mythmaking (as envisioned by Paul Cohen in his History in Three Keys). In their works, historians Tobie Meyer-Fong and Aaron William Moore focus on experience and mythmaking in the Taiping Civil War and the Pacific Theater in World War II, respectively. This review essay highlights these two authors' treatment of experience, with a brief look at mythmaking. Both books probe the sensory experience of war and of coming to terms with catastrophic events never before experienced. Meyer-Fong wants to make a "place for individual suffering, loss, religiosity, and emotions" (15). In a brilliantly written passage, Moore, whose analysis is based on wartime diaries of Japanese, Chinese, and American soldiers, notes that "we cannot fully know what it means to be a soldier in the Second World

Journal

Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture ReviewUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jul 3, 2014

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