by JF

This rather huge book, published in 1972, provides a comprehensive history of Japan during the final days of World War II, and in the aftermath under the American occupation. In attaining an exhaustive amount of detail, it probably makes for some rather tedious reading to all but the most ardent Japanophile, as it covers many esoteric day-to-day activities and thought processes of Japan’s leading political and military figures of the day. Midway through the book, Bergamini backtracks and outlines a great deal of Japan’s medieval history, tracing down and back to World War II.

For somebody doing research for the first time into the history of Japan, this is the book for you. Bergamini’s very thorough, rather unaffected writing style doesn’t make for very stimulating reading, but as a reference tool on Japan it would be quite useful. Just don’t expect too many surprises: This is mainstream, conventional history fodder, however useful it is.

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