Book Review War Without Mercy:
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The author opens the book during the period following the Japanese attack on Peal Harbor. Preceding the start of the war, Japan saw itself as a superior nation, portraying other nations — specifically, the United States — in ways that would garner public distrust and contentment toward the west.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, American citizens viewed the Japanese with anger and trepidation, due in no small part to widespread portrayal of the Asian country with an array of negative connotations.
Fear and hatred were the main factors driving these perceptions, as each country attempted to sway public opinion and influence how its citizens viewed the enemy. The United States was well aware of the anti-American sentiments of Japan and its allies, and the strategy of de-humanization, in no small part, was meant to counteract similar behavior displayed by the Japanese.
Additionally, the American populace was concerned with the fear Japan sought to instill in neighboring countries. Seeking to keep its citizens from a similar mindset, the American media set out to depict the Japanese as less civilized and technologically advanced than the other major world powers.
But Pearl Harbor changed all that, causing a radical shift in American thinking and elevating Japan to a nation that, if not feared, should at the very least not be dismissed out of hand. The main catalyst for this shift in thinking came before the Pearl Harbor attacks, as the Japanese wrested Singapore from British occupation in There was a general view by the allied nations that the Japanese were inexperienced soldiers who were not capable of flying advanced aircraft or engaging in innovative warfare.
Their ability to construct formidable battleships was also called into question. These and other premature assumptions were disproven when, in April ofthe Japanese captured and executed three United States airmen from a downed B who had participated in a raid on Tokyo.
An infamous cartoon further aided the response of the American public to such atrocities in the wake of these attacks. The author then shifts his focus and provides a view of the west from the perspective of the Japanese.
One of the most profound ideals Dower covers is the way in which Japan viewed itself. Japan had even positioned itself to become one of the leading nations in eastern Asia, despite its call to neighboring countries to band together for a more unified region.
Both Japan and the United States had embraced the idea of executing enemy soldiers. His narrative is meant to be a pragmatic review of the harrowing impact such propaganda had on American and Japanese citizens. And as a result, readers are provided with a more thorough understanding not only of the war, but also of the many ways in which the nations involved in the Pacific conflict served to perpetuate it.
Copyright Super Summary.Aug 13, · War Without Mercy Homework Help Questions. What is the main point of the book War Without Mercy? War Without Mercy by John W. Dower takes . Review of John Dower’s War Without Mercy. For John Dower in War Without Mercy racism played a prominent role in shaping the perceptions and attitudes that both the Japanese and Americans had of each other during the war and that these perceptions often shaped the policies and actions that both sides took against each other.
During World. Dower, John W. War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War. Pantheon Books, New York, In this seminal work on the Pacific war John Dower, Professor of History at the Michigan Institute of Technology and Pulitzer Prize winning author, discusses the effect had in the Allied war with Japan.
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle AwardAn American Book Award FinalistNow in paperback, War Without Mercy has been hailed by The New York Times as "one of the most original and important books to be written about the war between Japan and the United States." In this monumental history, Professor John Dower reveals a hidden, 4/5(6).
By Hal M. Friedman Henry Ford Community College. Military historians say that military history is written from the perspective of the victor.
Japan’s naval defeat in the Pacific War. Overall, War Without Mercy is a thoroughly documented work and breaks much ground in the study of the propaganda of the war in the Pacific. It is to be hoped that in the future many of the World War II Japanese writings about the West cited by Dower will be available in English translation.