Edwin O. Reischauer and the American Discovery of Japan ハードカバー – 2010/4/1
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In 1961, President Kennedy named Edwin O. Reischauer the U.S. Ambassador to Japan. Already deeply intimate with the country, Reischauer hoped to establish a more equal partnership with Japan, which had long been maligned in the American imagination. Reischauer pushed his fellow citizens to abandon caricature and stereotype and recognize Japan as a peace-loving democracy. Though his efforts were often condemned for being "too soft," the immensity of his influence (and the truth of his arguments) can be felt today.
Having worked as Reischauer's special assistant in Tokyo, George R. Packard writes the definitiveand firstbiography of this rare, charismatic talent. Reischauer reset the balance between two powerful nations. During World War II, he analyzed intelligence and trained American codebreakers in Japanese. He helped steer Japan toward democracy and then wrote its definitive English-language history.
Reischauer's scholarship supplied the foundations for future East Asian disciplines, and his prescient research foretold America's missteps with China and involvement in Vietnam. At the time of his death in 1990, Reischauer warned the U.S. against adopting an attitude toward Asia that was too narrow and self-centered. India, Pakistan, and North Korea are now nuclear powers, and Reischauer's political brilliance has become more necessary and trenchant than ever.
Insightful.--Jeff Kingston "Japan Times "
A lively account, written with panache, that excels in describing Reischauer's foreign policy ideas and his conflicted views of the Vietnam War.--Tom Havens "Journal of Asian Studies "
This reliable, intimate story of one of the great American citizens of the twentieth century is a joy to read.--Harvard Square Library Review
This full-length biography does a commendable job of delving further into this outstanding Japan hand's time and career.... Lucidly written.... Recommended.--Choice
So this book has great stories to tell: the emergence of East Asia as a global powerhouse, the emergence of E.Asian studies as crucial and controversial academic field in the West, and Prof. Reischauer's central role during the key decades of transformation.
The power of anti-Communism as a political force in the US after World War II makes a recurring sub-plot to the main narrative. Reischauer continually got in trouble for advocating serious negotiation with mainland China and for his opposition to a war in Vietnam.
The author worked for Reischauer and is well-versed on all the political and academic controversies of the time. The result is a fascinating book about a key moment in contemporary world history, and a key player at the heart of a major shift in American foreign policy.