Book Report (War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War)

1886 Words Nov 24th, 2012 8 Pages
Maria Lendor Book Report (War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War)

Throughout the course of history it is apparent that racism is present in most societies. During times of war people of a certain race may choose to segregate themselves in order to become the leading power in their society. In his book, War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War published in New York by Pantheon books and copyrighted in 1986, John W. Dower presents arguments for both the United States and Japan which constitute similarities in the belief of a superior race as well as illustrates contradictions on how each side viewed the war.
The book begins with “Part I: Enemies” which is made up of the first 3 chapters. Part I starts off
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Part II is very interesting during chapter 6 when Dower presents studies conducted by psychologists and other scientists that suggest that the Japanese are mentally inferior to Americans. “By 1944, a considerable number of social and behavioral scientists had thus turned their attention to Japan…they agreed that…immaturity was a critical concept in understanding Japanese behavior.”(Page 131) In the last chapter of Part II dower alludes to the history of racism in America. The Chapter is called “Yellow, Red, and Black Men” which refers to the different groups that the United States oppressed because of the color of their skin. In this chapter Dower relates the racial topic from chapter 6 to the different races oppressed by the United States. In Part II dower uses the hypocrisy of the United States to point out that the United States is not as “perfect” as they make themselves appear.
Dower changes things in Part III by implementing the idea that Japanese racism differentiates from that of American racism in that it does not necessarily have to do with Race. Chapter 8 explains that Japanese racism has more to do with genetics. The Japanese believed themselves to be “historically purer then other peoples genetically and morally,” and these attributes they associated with the

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