Ways of Forgetting, Ways of Remembering

Ways of Forgetting, Ways of Remembering Japan in the Modern World

John W. Dower2014
“A series of astute academic essays on the forging of postwar Japan” from the winner of the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and Bancroft Prize (Kirkus Reviews). Remembering and reconstructing the past inevitably involves forgetting—and nowhere more so than in the complex relationship between the United States and Japan since the end of World War II. In this provocative and probing series of essays, John W. Dower—one of our leading historians of postwar Japan and author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Embracing Defeat—explores the uses and abuses to which this history has been subjected and, with deliberation and insight, affirms the urgent need for scholars to ask the questions that are not being asked. Using E. H. Norman, the unjustly neglected historian of prewar Japan, as a starting point, Ways of Forgetting, Ways of Remembering sets out both to challenge historiographical orthodoxy and reveal the configurations of power inherent in scholarly and popular discourse in Japan and America. It is a profound look at American and Japanese perceptions—past and present—of key moments in their shared history. An incisive investigation of the problems of public history and its role in a modern democracy, these essays are essential reading for anyone interested in postwar US-Japan relations, as well as the broader discipline of history. “A set of serious, cautionary reflections from a superb historian.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Sign up to use


Photo of Michael Camilleri
Michael Camilleri@pyrmont
3 stars
Jun 10, 2021