Cultures of War by John W. Dower
Pearl Harbor / Hiroshima / 9-11 / Iraq

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The Pulitzer Prize-winning historian returns with a groundbreaking comparative study of the dynamics and pathologies of war in modern times.

Immediately after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the U.S. media proclaimed September 11 a "day of infamy" comparable to Pearl Harbor. Cultures of War takes this analogy as a point of departure for a vivid comparative analysis of the war with Japan, the war on terror, and the war with Iraq. This pathbreaking inquiry addresses institutional failures of intelligence and imagination, the "strategic imbecility" of Japan's and America's wars of choice in 1941 and 2003, terror bombing and the targeting of civilians since World War II, "Ground Zero 1945" and "Ground Zero 2001," and the driving forces behind Pan-Asian and Pan-Islam movements. A final section compares occupied Japan and occupied Iraq in thoroughly original ways.

Including more than one hundred stunning illustrations, Cultures of War promises to be one of the most important books of this decade, a conceptual breakthrough in the ways we think about "culture" in general and "war" in particular.

About John W. Dower

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John W. Dower is the author of Embracing Defeat, winner of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize; War without Mercy, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Cultures of War. He is professor emeritus of history at MIT. In addition to authoring many books and articles about Japan and the United States in war and peace, he is a founder and codirector of the online "Visualizing Cultures" project established at MIT in 2002 and dedicated to the presentation of image-driven scholarship on East Asia in the modern world. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
Published September 17, 2010 by W. W. Norton & Company. 596 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Pulitzer Prize– and National Book Award–winning historian Dower (Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II, 1999, etc.) draws astute ironies between Pearl Harbor and 9/11 in terms of the overweening arrogance of military superpowers.

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Los Angeles Times

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The writer connects wars old and new in this study of the reasons countries go to war and how they make mistakes that can haunt them for years.

Oct 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor...

London Review of Books

In October 2002, he wrote another piece in the New York Times, this time a rejoinder to those ‘realists’ among the hawks who claimed that our success in making Japan into a democracy after the Second World War could, and should, be a model and a precedent for a ‘liberated’ Iraq after the pre-empt...

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Bookmarks Magazine

Turning to an even larger canvas, Dower now examines the cultures of war revealed by four powerful events—Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, 9-11, and the invasion of Iraq in the name of a war on terror.

Sep 06 2010 | Read Full Review of Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor...

The New Yorker

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Oct 25 2010 | Read Full Review of Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor...

Los Angeles Review of Books

ON SEPTEMBER 12, 2001, newspapers the United States adorned their front pages with the tall, boldface type reserved for epochal events — wars beginning, wars ending, a man on the moon.

Aug 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor...

The Nation

In the meantime, the US Air Force is almost guaranteed to be the Iraqi Air Force, and US Air Force personnel will undoubtedly remain at Balad Air Base in significant numbers, "withdrawal" or no.

Sep 14 2010 | Read Full Review of Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor...

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