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Japan Prepares for Total War: The Search for Economic Security, 1919-1941 (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs) [Paperback]

Michael Barnhart

Price: 14.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; Reprint edition (8 July 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801495296
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801495298
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 2 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,007,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Explains how Japan attempted to find economic security in preparation for World War II and looks at the impact of U. S. economic pressure on Japan's foreign policy and domestic economy.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good book for one with some background 5 Jan 2003
By W. D ONEIL - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This volume tells a very important part of the story of the Japanese Army and its part in dragging the nation into a catastrophic war. It is well and clearly written and generally quite strong in its sources. It is not the first book one should read about interwar Japan and its march to war, since it really does not present a rounded view of Japanese politics and the army as an institution. But for someone who understands the general background, it is fascinating and useful.
One caution: in common with many books written by specialists in Japanese history, it presents a very distorted picture of the mindset and actions of the Roosevelt administration. The central problem is an implicit assumption that Japan was the central concern when in fact its importance to FDR and his lieutenants lay in its relationship to the problem of Hitler. Deprived of this context, the actions of the administration are truly inexplicable.
Will O'Neil
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must to Read to Understand Japanese Attack of US 21 Jun 2013
By NavyTim - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For anyone who wants to go beyond the standard ignorant common place comment that the US was drawn into WWII by Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor should read this book. The whole idea that people can still believe over 50 years later that Japan would attack the US, which is so often reported as minding its own business, for no provocation really is very telling about Ameican's willingness to buy into totally illogical propaganda. I had realized before reading this book that poor American diplomacy had caused a war that neither Japan or the United States wanted. This book points the blame at exactly who within the US govt was responsible. Other than Stanley Hornbeck who was a minor official at State Dept the ones who drove Japan into attacking the US was Secretary of the Treasury Morgenthau and Secretary of the Interior Ickes. It really is sad that US foreign relations were not being driven by the State Dept which had experts who knew what they were doing and instead Morgenthau and Ickes got millions of people killed. Sec of State Cordell Hull and FDR tried to reign in the amateurs but failed. This book also makes it clear that Japan wanted to gain access to resources from East Indies though diplomatic means but Morgenthau, Ickes and Hornbeck forced their hand because those Americans did not understand Japan. The author also makes it clear that Japan was split by factions and were not unified as to the correct action. The military faction eliminated the moderates directly because of US action. The author goes into the importance of Autarky which was so important because of the threat of western imperialism to Japan and the emergence of total war with WWI. Japan was just doing what America and European powers had done for centuries and continued to do. The Amau Doctrine was Japan's Monroe Doctrine that was applied to Asia but yet somehow was not ok for Japan but the Monroe Dcotrine was ok for the US. This is an excellent book and a must read for those who want to understand the real causes of WWII in the Pacifc instead of the widely held propaganda.
4.0 out of 5 stars A must read to understand Japan's march to war. 19 Mar 2014
By L. Freeman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well researched detailed argument. The author explains Japan's seArch for autarky. Starts withe the aftermath of world war 1 and goes to pearl harbor.
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating history. 3 Jan 2014
By John A. Barrett - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent analysis of political and military environment that lead Japan to start an unwinable war. Shows how blinders formed by history and prejudice can lead men and nations to take irrational actions with devastating consequences.
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