Embracing Defeat

Japan in the Wake of World War II

John W. Dower (Author, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

 

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the 1999 National Book Award for Nonfiction, finalist for the Lionel Gelber Prize and the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize, Embracing Defeat is John W. Dower's brilliant examination of Japan in the immediate, shattering aftermath of World War II.

Drawing on a vast range of Japanese sources and illustrated with dozens of astonishing documentary photographs, Embracing Defeat is the fullest and most important history of the more than six years of American occupation, which affected every level of Japanese society, often in ways neither side could anticipate. Dower, whom Stephen E. Ambrose has called "America's foremost historian of the Second World War in the Pacific," gives us the rich and turbulent interplay between West and East, the victor and the vanquished, in a way never before attempted, from top-level manipulations concerning the fate of Emperor Hirohito to the hopes and fears of men and women in every walk of life. Already regarded as the benchmark in its field, Embracing Defeat is a work of colossal scholarship and history of the very first order. John W. Dower is the Elting E. Morison Professor of History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for War Without Mercy.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • June 2000
  • ISBN 978-0-393-32027-5
  • 6.1 × 9.3 in / 688 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverEmbracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II

    Hardcover

Awards

Endorsements & Reviews

“Extraordinarily illuminating.... Dower has deftly mixed history from the 'bottom up' and the 'top down' to produce what is surely the most significant work to date on the postwar era in Japan.” — Jacob Heilbrunn, Wall Street Journal

“Masterly.... A penetrating analysis of Japan in the aftermath of defeat.... A profound and moving book, the best history ever written of Japan and its relations to the United States after the Second World War.” — Akira Iriye, Harvard University, Boston Sunday Globe

“Richly detailed and provocative.... For anyone who knows modern Japan, it is an endlessly fascinating explanation of why things work as they do.... A marvelous piece of reporting and analysis.” — T.R. Reid, Washington Post

“With Embracing Defeat, [Dower] confirms his place as this country's leading chronicler of the Pacific war.” — Janice P. Nimura, Chicago Tribune

“[A] superb history of Japan's occupation.... Dower brilliantly captures the louche​, squalid, but extraordinary dynamic mood of the postwar years. His interest is not just in the politics, but also in literature, the movies, and popular songs.” — Ian Buruma, New York Review of Books

“Without question, Dower is America's foremost historian of the Second World War in the Pacific.... A wonderful work of history.... I learned more than I ever would have thought possible.” — Stephen Ambrose

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