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Ruptured Histories

Ruptured Histories

War, Memory, and the Post–Cold War in Asia

Edited by Sheila Miyoshi Jager and Rana Mitter

ISBN 9780674024717

Publication date: 04/30/2007

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What has the end of the Cold War meant for East Asia, and for how its people understand their recent history? These thought-provoking essays explore a vigorously contested area in public culture, the wars of the modern era.

All the major East Asian states have undergone a profound reassessment of their experiences from World War II to Vietnam. New and at times aggressive forms of nationalism in Japan, China, South Korea, Vietnam, and Taiwan have affected American security policy in the Pacific and posed a challenge to the post-communist world order. Japan has met fervent opposition to its premiers’ visits to the Yasukuni shrine honoring the wartime dead. China has reclaimed a forgotten war history, such as the positive contributions of Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists. South Korea has embraced an interpretation of the Korean War that is hostile to the United States and sympathetic to its North Korean adversaries.

This volume not only illuminates regional and global changes in East Asia today, but also underscores the need for rethinking the Cold War language that continues to inform U.S.–East Asian relations.

Praise

  • This original and imaginative book uses the study of twentieth-century Pacific wars to clarify the subtle yet radical changes sweeping through East Asia with the ending of the Cold War. Penned by some of the best known and most respected voices in the field, these essays are a reminder that within ruptured histories, familiar themes endure: expanding American military power in the Asian Pacific; resurgent nationalisms; and the continuing dominance of war memories in cherished national myths.

    —Philip West, University of Montana

Authors

  • Sheila Miyoshi Jager is the author of Brothers at War: The Unending Conflict in Korea and Narratives of Nation-Building in Korea: The Genealogy of Patriotism. A specialist on modern East Asian and Korean history and politics, she has written for the New York Times, Politico, and the Boston Globe. She is Professor of East Asian Studies at Oberlin College.
  • Rana Mitter is the author of several books, including A Bitter Revolution: China’s Struggle with the Modern World and Forgotten Ally: China’s World War II, 1937–1945, named a Book of the Year in The Economist and Financial Times. He has commented on Asia for the BBC, NPR, CNN, the New York Times, the History Channel, and the World Economic Forum at Davos. S.T. Lee Professor of US-Asia Relations at Harvard Kennedy School, he is also a Fellow of the British Academy and an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

Book Details

  • 400 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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