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War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the…
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War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War (original 1986; edição 1987)

por John W. Dower

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6521126,515 (4.13)4
Describes the "Race" war fought in the Pacific during W.W. II and examines the propaganda which contributed to a war without mercy.
Título:War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War
Autores:John W. Dower
Informação:Pantheon (1987), Paperback, 416 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Etiquetas:non-fiction, school books, history, WWII, racism, Sophomore Seminar: WWII, Professor Roy Wortman, adult fiction

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War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War por John W. Dower (1986)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 11 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
It was really good but as one would also expect, really sad. ( )
  barajash29 | Jan 22, 2020 |
A powerful case for the argument that racism played as big a role in the Pacific theater as it did in the European, but Dower devotes more of his resources to detailing American racism, leaving the Japanese sections more vaguely sketched out (we never get the perspective of the men on the ground as we do with the Americans). This may be because he's got to overcome the preconceptions of his primary readership (i.e., most Americans think of WWII as "the good war"), but it makes his argument seem a bit lopsided. ( )
  9inchsnails | Mar 7, 2016 |
A history that points out that both the U.S. and Japan used racism and propaganda to serve their political needs during WW II. ( )
  Waltersgn | Sep 16, 2015 |
This book relates the emotional and psychological environment of the Pacific war between the Allies and Japan. What it shows is that Japan and the US were/are the same: racist, using many of the same symbols, images and stories. However, the devil is in the details. Because Japan's metaphor of the Enemy was the demon, who could be benevolent or malevolent, there was a flexibility in defeat that allowed the former antagonists to form a new alliance in the face of a new demon: Communism. Recommended. ( )
  KirkLowery | Mar 4, 2014 |
When thinking of "The Greatest Generation," as the veterans of WWII have been cast of late in the popular media (largely due to Tom Brocaw's prize-winning book by this title), I too wax a bit nostalgic. I think of the watercolor portrait of my Uncle Art in his Naval uniform and remember the pictures my mother showed me as a child of him going off to war. Like the war babies described by Tuttle in his Daddy's Gone to War, she watched him leave and worried about him while he was in combat. When he came back, there were the tensions over being re-united with loved ones which Tuttle captures so well. In one episode which has entered family legend, he unceremoniously placed the plaster bust of General Douglas MacArthur in the fireplace of my grandparents' home. He was a navy man, my mother explained, and the navy hated MacArthur. Ironically, Art survived combat in the Pacific to die 30 years later of lung cancer. As the last of this generation passes, we are all reminded that these veterans did sacrifice a great deal to preserve American liberty. As we wage a war on terrorism today, we have something of a kinship with that generation in that America had indeed been attacked. Peal Harbor and the World Trade Center stand as markers in the public memory. Can history serve as a guide in this new war?

When thinking of the veterans of WWII I am also haunted by the image one of my staff members painted for me at the time of the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center of a veteran of the Pacific Theater who had recently passed. He told me how much he admired this dear old man because he "hated everything that was not American, especially the Japanese." In fact, he had kept a huge Japanese flag in a chest in his bedroom for 50 years after the war. The flag, as I was told by this reverent admirer, was soaked in the blood of "Japs" he had killed fighting in the Pacific. The much loved veteran had even showed him the flag once, and explained how he had cut the "Japs'" throats and soaked the flag in their blood. The most amazing thing about the story to me then, as it is now, was that the person relating the story was of middle eastern descent. One wonders how soon it will be before he will fall victim to the same racial biases in our current war on terrorism as the Japanese felt in the wake of Pearl Harbor. But that was a long time ago, and we have come a long way since then ... or have we? Good old fashioned race hatred is as American as apple pie.

To the racist wars against Native Americans portrayed by Francis Jennings in The Invasion of America and Richard Drinnon in Facing Westward, John Dower has added the racial warfare of the American War in the Pacific against the Japanese. Unlike the dynamic of the white American conflict with the American native populations, Dower's conflict is fueled by racial hatreds on both sides. The Americans characterized their yellow enemies at times as animalistic and racially inferior, at times characterizing them as superman and at other times infantilizing them. The Japanese for their part drew upon traditions of xenophobia and hatred for outsiders to cast the Americans as devils and racial enemies of the Yamato Race. On both sides, the racial hatreds lead to intelligence failures and to atrocities in a "war without mercy." Less than four years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States was dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Though the firebombing of Dresden was certainly atrocious, we reserved the atomic bomb for our race enemies.

Dower certainly does us a service by cataloging these mutual racially-inspired hatreds. Unfortunately, like David Stannard's American Holocaust, which drew upon Jennings and added further considerations of Christian moralism, this work tends to be repetitive and can be a rather depressing read (as Alvin Coox of San Diego State pointed out in his review for the AHR). In terms reminiscent both of both the German war against the Jews (see Robert Proctor's Racial Hygiene) and that on the Eastern Front against the Bolshevist Reds (on the Eastern Front see O. Bartov's Hitler's Army), the exterrninationist violence is more than merely a bland reminder of man's inhumanity to man. It is a testimony to the ways in which pre-existing racial prejudices were transformed in WWII into exterminationist rage in many quarters.

If history serves as any kind of guide to the challenges that lay ahead, we have a great deal to be concerned about as troops mobilize again headed for the Persian Gulf. Arab Americans will likely be the target of racial hatreds at home if major conflict occurs over Iraqi possession of NBC arms. A war waged under UN auspices holds out the possibility of avoiding a war without mercy ...
1 vote mdobe | Jul 24, 2011 |
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Describes the "Race" war fought in the Pacific during W.W. II and examines the propaganda which contributed to a war without mercy.

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