General, minister of war, prime minister, and unrepentant ultranationalist, Hideki Tojo (1884--1948) was the most powerful leader in the Japanese government during World War II. From October 1941 to July 1944 he held unquestioned control, advocating and setting in motion the attack on Pearl Harbor as well as pushing forward the Japanese offensives in China, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific. The author examines Tojo's life against the backdrop of increasing Japanese militarism--Civil war, political assassinations, and coup d'etats--and uses exclusive interviews with Tojo's wife to illuminate the spartan, single-minded, incorruptible personality of the man who chose war rather than succumb to U.S.--induced economic strangulation. From the initial victories, through the later severe defeats and Tojo's resignation, to his thwarted suicide attempt, trial as a war criminal, and execution, no other book offers such a clear and compelling portrait.
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(180mm x 138mm x 22mm)
Da Capo Press Inc
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
Courtney Browne, a Briton, spent a dozen years in Japan as an Occupation soldier and civilian. Reflected in his combination personal biography of Hideki Tojo and military/political history of Japan from the 1850's into the MacArthur era is the same dichotomy that produced the phenomenon of GI's fighting the Pacific war - and then bringing home Japanese brides. Fascinated by Japanese xenophobia, the samurai tradition and the superSpartan quality of military training, the imperial protocol, and an awkward political system wherein the army had the constitutional right to bring down the government, Browne tempers even condemnation of wartime atrocities with a reference to "irreconcilable differences in attitude between (Japanese soldiers) and the western enemy they fought." Tojo, in youth a "spoiled brat," Browne sizes up as a victim of "mental myopia": the man was ever guided by the opinion he formed in 1922 that America lacked spiritual strength. The strongest feelings evoked by this book are relief that Japan. has taken her place as a modern nation, and hope that the graces of her ancient culture will prevail over the schemes of militarists in her national consciousness. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Courtney Browne
In addition to having served as a British major in India, Burma, and China during World War II, Courtney Browne (1915--1994) had a deep knowledge of, and many personal encounters with, Japan. He was a member of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force; a witness to the War Crimes Trials; one of the few foreigners to win the confidence of Tojo's wife; and a resident of Japan for a decade.