Description : Remembering Hiroshima, the city obliterated by the world's first nuclear attack, has been a complicated and intensely politicized process, as we learn from Lisa Yoneyama's sensitive investigation of the "dialectics of memory." She explores unconventional texts and dimensions of culture involved in constituting Hiroshima memories—including history textbook controversies, discourses on the city's tourism and urban renewal projects, campaigns to preserve atomic ruins, survivors' testimonial practices, ethnic Koreans' narratives on Japanese colonialism, and the feminized discourse on peace—in order to illuminate the politics of knowledge about the past and present. In the way battles over memories have been expressed as material struggles over the cityscape itself, we see that not all share the dominant remembering of Hiroshima's disaster, with its particular sense of pastness, nostalgia, and modernity. The politics of remembering, in Yoneyama's analysis, is constituted by multiple and contradictory senses of time, space, and positionality, elements that have been profoundly conditioned by late capitalism and intensifying awareness of post-Cold War and postcolonial realities. Hiroshima Traces, besides clarifying the discourse surrounding this unforgotten catastrophe, reflects on questions that accompany any attempts to recover marginalized or silenced experiences. At a time when historical memories around the globe appear simultaneously threatening and in danger of obliteration, Yoneyama asks how acts of remembrance can serve the cause of knowledge without being co-opted and deprived of their unsettling, self-critical qualities.
Description : When President Harry Truman authorized the use of atomic weapons against Japan, he did so to end a bloody war that would have been bloodier still had the planned invasion of Japan proved necessary. Revisionists claim that Truman's real interest was a power play with the Soviet Union and that the Japanese would have surrendered even earlier had the retention of their imperial system been assured. Truman wanted the war to continue, they insist, in order to show off America's powerful new weapon. This anthology exposes revisionist fallacies about Truman's motives, the cost of an invasion, and the question of Japan's surrender. Essays by prominent military and diplomatic historians reveal the hollowness of revisionist claims, exposing the degree to which these agenda-driven scholars have manipulated the historical record to support their contentions. They show that, although some Japanese businessmen and minor officials indicated a willingness to negotiate peace, no one in a governmental decision-making capacity even suggested surrender. And although casualty estimates for an invasion vary considerably, the more authoritative approximations point to the very bloodbath that Truman sought to avoid. Volume editor Robert Maddox first examines the writings of revisionist Gar Alperovitz to expose the unscholarly methods Alperovitz employed to support his claims, then distinguished Japanese historian Sadao Asada reveals how difficult it was for his country's peace faction to prevail even after the bombs had been dropped. Other contributors point to continuing Japanese military buildups, analyze the revisionists' low casualty estimates for an invasion, reveal manipulations of the Strategic Bombing Survey of 1946, and show how even the exhibit commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the bombing at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum hewed to the revisionist line. And a close reading of Tsuyoshi Hasegawa's acclaimed Racing the Enemy exposes many grave discrepancies between that recent revisionist text and its sources. The use of atomic bombs against Japan remains one of the most controversial issues in American history. Gathered in a single volume for the first time, these insightful readings take a major step toward settling that controversy by showing how insubstantial Hiroshima revisionism really is--and that sometimes history cannot proceed without decisive action, however regrettable.
Description : An original and compelling new analysis of Hiroshima's place within the global development of Holocaust and World War II memory.
Description : Many on the left lament an apathy or amnesia toward recent acts of war. Particularly during the George W. Bush administration's invasion of Iraq, opposition to war seemed to lack the heat and potency of the 1960s and 1970s, giving the impression that passionate dissent was all but dead. Through an analysis of three politically engaged works of art, Rosalyn Deutsche argues against this melancholic attitude, confirming the power of contemporary art to criticize subjectivity as well as war. Deutsche selects three videos centered on the deployment of the atomic bomb: Krzysztof Wodiczko's Hiroshima Projection (1999), made after the first Gulf War; Silvia Kolbowski's After Hiroshima mon amour (2005-2008); and Leslie Thornton's Let Me Count the Ways (2004-2008), which followed the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Each of these works confronts the ethical task of addressing historical disaster, and each explores the intersection of past and present wars. These artworks profoundly contribute to the discourse of war resistance, illuminating the complex dynamics of viewing and interpretation. Deutsche employs feminist and psychoanalytic approaches in her study, questioning both the role of totalizing images in the production of warlike subjects and the fantasies that perpetuate, especially among the left, traditional notions of political dissent. She ultimately reveals the passive collusion between leftist critique and dominant discourse in which personal dimensions of war are denied.
Description : Over the past fifteen years Northeast Asia has witnessed growing intraregional exchanges and interactions, especially in the realms of culture and economy. Still, the region cannot escape from the burden of history. This book examines the formation of historical memory in four Northeast Asian societies (China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan) and the United States focusing on the period from the beginning of the Sino-Japanese war in 1931 until the formal conclusion of the Pacific War with the San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951. The contributors analyse the recent efforts of Korean, Japanese, and Chinese scholars to write a ‘common history’ of Northeast Asia and question the underlying motivations for their efforts and subsequent achievements. In doing so, they contend that the greatest obstacle to reconciliation in Northeast Asia lies in the existence of divided, and often conflicting, historical memories. The book argues that a more fruitful approach lies in understanding how historical memory has evolved in each country and been incorporated into respective master narratives. Through uncovering the existence of different master narratives, it is hoped, citizens will develop a more self-critical, self-reflective approach to their own history and that such an introspective effort has the potential to lay the foundation for greater self- and mutual understanding and eventual historical reconciliation in the region. This book will be essential reading for students and scholars of Asian history, Asian education and international relations in East Asia.
Description : The A to Z of U.S. Diplomacy from World War I through World War II relates the events of this crucial period in U.S. history through a chronology, an introductory essay, and over 600 cross-referenced dictionary entries on key persons, places, events, institutions, and organizations.
Description : South Africa's 'Border War' provides a timely study of the 'war of words' waged by retired South African Defence Force (SADF) generals and other veterans against critics and detractors. The book explores the impact of the 'Border War' on South African culture and society during apartheid and in the new dispensation and discusses the lasting legacy or 'afterlife' of the war in great detail. It also offers an appraisal of the secondary literature of the 'Border War', supplemented by archival research, interviews and an analysis of articles, newspaper reports, reviews and blogs. Adopting a genuinely multidisciplinary approach that borrows from the study of history, literature, visual culture, memory, politics and international relations, South Africa's 'Border War' is an important volume for anyone interested in the study of war and memory or the modern history of South Africa.
Description : In this concise account of why America used atomic bombs against Japan in 1945, J. Samuel Walker analyzes the reasons behind President Truman's most controversial decision. Delineating what was known and not known by American leaders at the time, Walker evaluates the roles of U.S.-Soviet relations and of American domestic politics. In this new edition, Walker takes into account recent scholarship on the topic, including new information on the Japanese decision to surrender. He has also revised the book to place more emphasis on the effect of the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in convincing the emperor and his advisers to quit the war. Rising above an often polemical debate, Walker presents an accessible synthesis of previous work and an important, original contribution to our understanding of the events that ushered in the atomic age. J. Samuel Walker, historian of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, has published six other books on the history of American foreign policy and the history of nuclear energy.