By John W. Dower
Finalist for the 2010 nationwide e-book Award in Nonfiction and the Los Angeles Times publication Prize: “A thought-provoking . . . booklet in regards to the means occasions echo―and mis-echo―down the corridors of history.”―Financial Times
Over fresh a long time, John W. Dower, one in every of America’s preeminent historians, has addressed the roots and results of conflict from a number of views. In War with no Mercy (1986), winner of the nationwide ebook Critics Circle Award, he defined and analyzed the brutality that attended international struggle II within the Pacific, as obvious from either the japanese and the yankee aspects. Embracing Defeat (1999), winner of various honors together with the Pulitzer Prize and the nationwide publication Award, handled Japan’s fight to begin over in a shattered land within the speedy aftermath of the Pacific battle, whilst the defeated kingdom was once occupied by way of the U.S.-led Allied powers.
Turning to a good higher canvas, Dower now examines the cultures of warfare published through 4 strong events―Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, Sept. 11, and the invasion of Iraq within the identify of a conflict on terror. The checklist of matters tested and subject matters explored is wide-ranging: mess ups of intelligence and mind's eye, wars of selection and “strategic imbecilities,” faith-based secular pondering in addition to extra brazenly holy wars, the concentrating on of noncombatants, and the virtually impossible to resist logic―and allure―of mass destruction. Dower’s new paintings additionally units the U.S. occupations of Japan and Iraq aspect via part in strikingly unique ways.
some of the most vital books of this decade, Cultures of War deals comparative insights into person and institutional habit and pathologies that go beyond “cultures” within the extra conventional experience, and that finally transcend war-making by myself. 122 black-and-white illustrations
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Extra resources for Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor / Hiroshima / 9-11 / Iraq
Hence, in early January of 2002, 3 weeks sooner than Bush brought the “axis of evil” idea in his first nation of the Union tackle, the Pentagon published long excerpts from a labeled Nuclear Posture overview that posited attainable use of nuclear guns in “immediate, strength, or unforeseen contingencies” concerning North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, and China (particularly in a “military war of words over the prestige of Taiwan”). The overview referred to as for giving critical attention as to if the U.S. should still “develop a completely new [nuclear] capability—one that isn't a amendment of an latest weapon. ” It counseled venture “new missions” similar to utilizing nuclear guns to penetrate and smash “hard and deeply-buried goals” (HDBTs) like underground bunkers, command facilities, and organic and chemical guns amenities. And it frankly saw that to take care of the nuclear stockpile and improve new functions, carrying on with to stick to a moratorium on nuclear trying out (observed due to the fact that 1992) “may now not be attainable for the indefinite destiny. ”197 The “Space Pearl Harbor” approach discovered notable expression in October 2003, whilst the administration’s ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq made the centrality of satellites, drones, etc in U. S. high-tech struggle transparent even to most of the people. in this party, the Air strength house Command issued a twenty-five-year “strategic grasp plan” bristling with expressions that made prior projections appear virtually constrained by way of comparability: “ownership” of the hot “high floor” of area; “full spectrum house command”; optimum power to “control house and make sure area Superiority”; commitment to the venture of deterring adversaries by means of carrying on with “to pursue deadly or nonlethal results akin to using deception, disruption, denial, degradation, and destruction of house capabilities”; etc. This grasp plan coincided with a second within the Iraq conflict whilst early overconfidence a few speedy “shock and awe” victory used to be giving method to premonitions of an extended and brutal slog; and the militancy of the language used to be so provocative that it needed to be tempered in next released plans. 198 just like the CULT of secrecy and the labyrinth of bureaucratic proliferation, the Pearl-Harbor-as-godsend attitude can develop into a capture. This, partially, is helping clarify the failure of the Bush administration’s battle on terror, which amounted to a mix of acute paranoia at the one hand and, nonetheless, self assurance that owning the main refined guns of mass destruction that you can think of might make certain luck in deterring or defeating all enemies, actual or imagined. Pearl Harbor, during this experience, grew to become a code, image, or synecdoche for giant battle. this can be the outlook normal army heritage written within the Seventies refers to as “the technique of annihilation,” which grew to become “characteristically the yankee means in struggle” lengthy earlier than global battle II. it's the attitude that made Rumsfeld’s instant reaction to 11th of September (“go massive—sweep all of it up—Things comparable and not”) appear completely ordinary.