A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present

September 17, 2009

Author: Andrew Gordon

Edition: Second

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Pages: 400

Price: £22.99

ISBN: 9780195339222

In thorough survey of modern Japanese history from the last days of Tokugawa shogunate to the present day, Andrew Gordon charts Meiji Japan’s rapid rise as a formidable power, the increasingly strained relations with the US, Britain and France in the 1930s, Japan’s role in the Second World War and its subsequent rapid economic growth. The book is strong on Japanese-American relations but rather neglects the relationship with Britain, which for many years was just as or more important. It provides a detailed analysis of the fabric of modern Japanese society. Gordon sees Japanese development as an example of modernisation but, nevertheless, provides plenty of evidence of the influence of a distinctive Japanese spirit.

Who is it for? Most suitable for students taking courses in modern Japanese history, politics and society, and it will be useful, if a little dense in parts, for those studying broader courses in comparative history.

Presentation Clear structure with four chronologically sequential sections and excellent monochrome illustrations.

Would you recommend it? Yes.

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