Japan's War: The Great Pacific Conflict, 1853 to 1952

Edwin Palmer Hoyt, Author McGraw-Hill Companies $19.95 (514p) ISBN 978-0-07-030612-7
Hoyt traces the Pacific War back to its 19th century roots, clarifying the connection between Bushido, emperor worship, and Japan's emergence as a totalitarian military state obsessed with expansion. What renders the book unusual is that events are described in large part from the Japanese point of view. Hoyt discusses wartime propaganda and news management, as well as the Japanese conception of Allied atrocities, and reveals how deeply offended the Japanese were by the disrespect to their war dead by American soldiers on the battlefield, and above all by the Allied bombing of civilians of the home islands. In effective counterbalance, Hoyt provides a detailed reminder of the way the Japanese treated Allied prisoners of war. In a final section he takes pains to dispel what he calls the one great myth of the Pacific War, that the atomic bomb caused the surrender of Japan, arguing that the Japanese considered the Bomb merely another weaponan awesome one, to be sure, but not nearly as destructive or morale-threatening as the B-29 firebombings. Photos. 25,000 first printing; $25,000 ad/promo; Military Book Club selection. (April 7)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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