Embracing Defeat, By John Dower

1418 WordsSep 22, 20156 Pages
Embracing Defeat John Dower’s Embracing Defeat is a thorough analysis of Japan’s aftermath of defeat, encompassing in great detail the culture and history of Japan following the end of World War II. Dower shows great interest in the impact of a critical unconditional surrender and the transformation of culture, economy, and policy that came with America’s military occupation and its unabashed democratizing agenda. Through the book, Dower “tried to capture a sense of what it meant to start over in a ruined world by recovering the voices of people at all levels of society.” (25) His passion for understanding the state of affairs in a postwar Japan is evident in the amount of rich detail he amassed in his book. Dower book first focuses on the socio-cultural history the first two years after the war, and then the reconstruction, democratic revolution, and political reform the occupation imposed on the nation. Japan during and shortly after World War II is usually viewed through the eyes of the conqueror. However, Dower explores the situation through the eyes of the Japanese, their experiences, responses, and dreams. In doing so, Dower shed’s novel insight in how Japan reconstructed itself through the ashes of defeat. Beginning with a narrative of a Japanese woman first hearing Emperor’s Hirohito nationwide broadcast that the war had ended and Japan had lost, and then immediately collapsing to the ground in anguish, (34) Dower introduces the reader to an experience that
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