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Published by  (August, 1999) Gunther Bischof and Robert L. Dupont, eds.The Pacific War Revisited.  Eisenhower Center for American Studies.  Baton Rouge and London: Louisiana State University Press, 1997.  xiii + 220 pp.  Photographs, notes, bibliography, index.  $25.00 (cloth), ISBN 0-8071-2158-8. Reviewed by Charles C. Kolb <>, National Endowment for the Humanities

 Some “Less Traveled Terrain” of the War in the Pacific, 1941-1945

 [Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this review are those of the author and not of his employer or any other federal agency.] 

Fifty years after the Japanese attack on Anglo-American military installations in the Pacific, a group of leading scholars met to explore some of the “less traveled terrain” (p. xi) of the 1941-1945 War in the Pacific.  The nine papers that comprise this edited volume include eight revised from those presented initially at the annual spring conference held in April 1991 at the Eisenhower Center at the University of New Orleans.  The oral presentations addressed topics that range from high command and strategy to concerns about logistics, prisoners of war, and racism.  Two papers originally delivered at the conference are not included in this corpus but an additional essay, prepared by Ambrose and Villa, is incorporated.  That essay is based upon discussions held at the Pacific War Conference and serves as a summary and analysis of the problem of racism on the part of both the Americans and the Japanese and the strategies employed to defeat Japanese militarism. 

Organizationally, this volume includes an “Introduction” and three arrangements of papers—Part I: Politics, Strategy, and Logistics (four papers); Part II: POWS and Nurses (two presentations); and Part III: Racism and the Bomb (two chapters).  In addition, there is an eight-page “Photo Selection: American Posters and Cartoons of World War II,” Acknowledgments (three pages prepared by the senior editor), a Selected Bibliography (161 items), Notes on [the] Contributors (twelve mini-biographies), and a ten-page double-column Index that conflates proper nouns and topics.  The book contains a total of forty black-and-white images; most chapters have four, while the “Photo Selection” (pp. 101-108) has eight.  The editors and authors have chosen to use footnote references (363 total).  The Selected Bibliography is divided into two major components:  Primary Sources (a total of 39 citations that include seven document collections and 32 memoirs, diaries, and letters), and Secondary Sources (122 entries comprised of 97 books, 23 articles, and two dissertations).  The authors rely heavily upon secondary sources, particularly the writings and opinions of their peer historians or mentors. There are fewer citations to primary archival documents and record groups than this reviewer expected to find.  There are no maps, chronological charts, or tables. 

The senior editor, Gunther Bischof, holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University, serves as associate professor of history at the University of New Orleans, and is associate director of the Eisenhower Center.  The majority of his professional writing concerns the European Theater of Operations during World War II.  Dupont is dean of Metropolitan College at the University of New Orleans, having obtained his B.A. in History from Loyola University and an M.P.A from New Orleans, and is (in 1997) completing a Ph.D. in history at Louisiana State University. 

In this review, I shall outline the precise, salient arguments, and conclusions presented by the contributors, and comment on each chapter before providing an overall assessment of the volume. 

The initial contribution, prepared by D. Clayton James, “Introduction: Rethinking the Pacific War” (pp. 1-14, 27 footnotes), sets the tone of the volume and is a valuable prelude to the other papers.  James is professor emeritus but formerly held the John Biggs Chair in Military History at the Virginia Military Institute, and is well known for his three-volume biography of Douglas MacArthur.  By early 1942, Japan’s defense perimeter had reached its maximum at about 14,200 miles, creating logistical complications in a “war of distances.”  Both the Japanese and the allies were hampered by distance and disease, but the United States was also disadvantaged by a lack of basic geographic information on terrain, environments, and indigenous peoples.  A potential advantage (or disadvantage depending upon one’s viewpoint) was that an Anglo-American agreement resulted in the assumption of the leadership role in the Pacific war by the United States, with the incorporation Australian, New Zealand, British, and Dutch elements.  Hence, there was no “unified command,” rather (as the Australians and New Zealanders saw it), a monolithic American command.  The British naval forces did not reappear in the Pacific until the spring of 1945.  See Bath’s _Tracking the Axis Enemy_ (1998) and Spector’s _The Eagle Against the Sun (1985)_ for additional details regarding these issues. 

James also cogently notes that early writings on the history of the Pacific War were of several genres:  1) combat actions reported by war correspondents, 2) official histories, 3) memoirs by veteran officers, and 4) popular books by journals and military “buffs.”  He comments that professional historians focus upon interviews, oral histories, official reports, and the documentary record.  A more recent trend in military writing about the Pacific War is the emphasis on social, cultural, economic, political, diplomatic, psychological, technological, and intelligence components.  Provocative and critical works by serious, non-official scholars such as Thorne (1978), Iriye (1981), and Dower (1986), emphasize important issues, and there has been a trend toward topical subjects, for example, the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Yalta Conference, and especially the political and military decisions regarding the use of the atomic bomb.   According to James, there are three problems that face contemporary scholarship:  1) the unavailability of Chinese and Manchurian records and documents of the World War II era held currently by the Communist Chinese, 2) the crucial issue of Western and Asian ethnocentrism, and 3) a scarcity of Anglo-American scholars who possess a mastery of Asian-Pacific languages and access to the primary sources. 

Michael Schaller, author of “General Douglas MacArthur and the Politics of the Pacific War” (pp. 17-40, 39 footnotes, four images), holds a doctoral degree from the University of Michigan, is professor of history at the University of Arizona, and specializes in the study of American-East Asian relations.  Schaller presents a refreshing evaluation of General of the Army MacArthur by assessing the political strength that the general had in the United States.  Schaller attributes MacArthur’s wartime appointments, and awards and decorations—including the Medal of Honor—to the general’s “public relations abilities” rather than to his military aptitude.  Schaller argues that MacArthur gained Roosevelt’s support for the allied return to the Philippines in 1944 because of MacArthur’s cunning political maneuvering and that likelihood that the forthcoming presidential election would pit Republican candidate MacArthur versus Democratic incumbent Roosevelt.  The implication is that FDR “bought off” or sidetracked MacArthur’s political ambitions or that the general played a magnificent hand of poker and brought more glory to his military exploits and legend.  Schaller questions MacArthur’s judgment and overconfidence, if not his sanity.  In particular, the general, following his retirement from the U.S. Army, assumed the role of military advisor to the Commonwealth of the Philippines, but was recalled to active duty in the U.S. Army and accepting an illegal gift of $500,000 in gold from President Quezon.  MacArthur’s abilities and motives are questioned in the loss of the Army Air Force planes at Clark Field and the rout of the Philippine troops by the Japanese. 

Salient quotations from a journal kept in 1942-1943 by British Lt. Colonel Gerard Wilkinson, a British liaison, characterize MacArthur (p. 30):  “He is shrewd, selfish, proud, remote, highly strung, and vastly vain; [he has] no humor about himself, no regard for truth and is unaware of these defects  His main ambition would be to end the war as a Pan-American hero in the form of generalissimo of all Pacific theaters  He hates Roosevelt and dislike’s Winston’s [Churchill’s] control of Roosevelt’s strategy.  He is not basically anti-British, just pro-MacArthur.”  Schaller also reminds us of MacArthur’s affair with a Filipina (Isabel Cooper) and evaluates the 26-28 July 1944 meeting between the general and FDR, described as a “lovefest” (p. 36).  In sum, Schaller demonstrates that MacArthur’s stars are quite tarnished.  The essay also suggests implicitly that scholars should take a closer look at MacArthur’s role in Tokyo during the allied occupation and his later decisions in Korea.   This chapter is a condensed version of Schaller’s (1989) book, to which this reviewer directs the reader. 

“The Pacific War and the Fourth Dimension of Strategy” (pp.  41-56, 34 footnotes, four images) is written by Ronald H. Spector, who holds a Ph.D. from Yale University and teaches history at George Washington University.  He served with the Marine Corps in Vietnam and is a major in the Marine Corps Reserve, and was an historian at the U.S. Army center of Military History.  Among his major books is Eagle Against the Sun (1985) which made use of declassified British and American archival material.  Spector deals with the social and psychological dimensions of America’s Pacific war strategy in evaluating the popular perceptions of the Japanese in the post-Pearl Harbor years.  The “fourth dimension” of strategy derives from an article written by Sir Michael Howard (1979). After the “sneak attack” and the collapse of diplomatic negotiations, the American public considered themselves betrayed and regarded the Japanese as a treacherous, fanatic, heinous aggressors, and as “inhuman animals” deserving of extermination. Spector argues persuasively that these stereotyped perceptions of the Japanese, enhanced by propaganda including cartoons, posters, motion picture films, etc., was pervasive in all levels and classes of American society.  This, he contends, would lead ultimately to numerous American atrocities in the Pacific Theater of Operations, including the fact that a relatively few Japanese prisoners of war were taken by the Americans—especially the Marines.  He also concludes that this perception also contributed to a “high risk” naval strategy in the Pacific and an American impatience to win the war quickly and decisively.  After 7 December 1941, the American public was unified and ready to endure real sacrifices in order to defeat—“punish and destroy”—the common enemy.  This “exterminationist”  rhetoric—a term borrowed from John Dower (1986)--had an impact on American strategy, since war planners realized that the American public was unlikely to support a lengthy war with Japan.  Therefore, a psychological dimension was added to operational, logistical, and technological strategies.  Dower (1986) writes more fully about these issues. 

Daniel K. Blewett’s unique contribution, “Fuel and U.S. Naval Operations in the Pacific, 1942” (pp. 57-80, 76 footnotes, four images), undertakes the analysis of a significant problem in logistics in the struggle against Japan.  The author obtained an M.A. in history and a second master’s degree in library science from Indiana University at Bloomington.  He serves as a special collection librarian and a bibliographer at Elizabeth M. Cudahay Memorial Library of Loyola University of Chicago.  The documentation he assembles about the U.S. Navy’s lack of preparedness to undertake a war in the Pacific—let alone a global war—is chilling and irrefutable.  The most significant problem was geographic—the great distances in supplying naval and land-based forces.  However, meager fuel supplies through 1942, the lack of adequate Pacific island bases and the limitations of existing ports (including Pearl Harbor), a serious shortage of oilers (tankers)--especially those that were fast and had large capacities, and the inclement Pacific weather were salient factors as well.  These were exacerbated by a lack of trained personnel during the early war years.  The first year of the conflict was replete with problems of logistics and naval defeats or stalemates, but from 1943 through 1945, the navy enjoyed stronger logistical support.  Blewett cites one admiral as stating that the U.S. Navy was “able to undertake not more than fifty per cent of the desired strategic operations” in 1942 (p. 57).

Early task forces were also limited in terms of numbers and kinds of ships that could be deployed and by wind speed and direction—all related to fuel supplies and transportation.  The adage that “a fleet is as fast as its slowest ship” is applicable—the older generation of tankers were very slow, indeed.  He discusses the battles of the Coral Sea, Midway, and Philippine Sea, noting that Admiral Fletcher’s “carrier vs. carrier”  operations and especially his timing of refueling were, and remain, controversial.  In sum, the supply system, especially the fueling operations, was strained to the breaking point in the Pacific theater but not to the point of collapse.  The role of naval intelligence (Magic and Ultra) is a factor here as well, but these aspects are not discussed adequately in Blewett’s essay.  See Kahn (1996) for details and a comprehensive assessment of the role of codebreaking. 

Kenneth J. Hagan, author of the chapter entitled “American Submarine Warfare in the Pacific, 1941-1945: Guerre de course Triumphant” (pp. 81-108, 36 footnotes, four images) reexamines American submarine warfare tactics and policies.  He holds a doctorate from Claremont Graduate School and taught at Kansas State University before joining the faculty of the U.S. Naval Academy where he was a full professor of history and served as archivist and museum director; he became professor emeritus and now lives in California.  Hagan begins by examining the history of commercial raiding, recalling the U.S. strategy of John Paul Jones during the Revolutionary War and the success of Raphael Semmes of the CSS Alabama during the American Civil War—

Semmes, the “Shark of the Confederacy,” took 68 Union ships.  By examining the policy of unrestricted German U-boat warfare against merchant shipping (guerre de course or commerce raiding) during World War I, Hagan observes correctly that this “barbaric” German activity precipitated America’s entry into that conflict.  He suggests provocatively that a generation later the United States borrowed the concept of unrestricted attacks against merchant shipping as a key economic strategy against the Japanese Empire.  As a result, unrestricted submarine warfare against commercial Japanese shipping accounted for 4.8 million of the 8.1 million tons sunk or destroyed— mines accounted for another 1.3 million tons.  The submarine figures would have been much enhanced if the problems with American torpedo detonation had been resolved earlier—see Hellions of the Deep (Gannon, 1996). 

Hagan contends that Britain and the United States had not learned the lessons of submarine warfare from World War I, initially relegating submarines as scouts for the fleet rather than offensive weapons in their own right.  However, by 1944 unrestricted submarine and air warfare against Japan had taken a heavy toll on warships and merchantmen.  The transit of Japanese oil tankers the East Indies to Japan was identified only then as Japan’s “Achilles heel” and these ships became primary targets for U.S. submarines.  In sum, tactical conservatism in 1942 was replaced by aggressive action by 1944; nonetheless, the U.S.  Navy lost 52 submarines (374 officers and 3,131 men) in the Pacific Theater.  Likewise, naval intelligence and decrypts of the J25 code messages played an important role; see also the late Clay Blair’s (1975) compendium and David Kahn’s _The Codebreakers_ (1996). 

Gregory J. W. Urwin contributes the essay entitled “The Defenders of Wake Island and Their Two Wars, 1941-1945” (pp. 111-137, 56 footnotes, five images).  He obtained his doctorate from the University of Notre Dame, is professor of history at the University of Central Arkansas, and has published widely on American and European military history.  Urwin evaluates the experiences of the 524 military personnel and 1,146 civilian construction contract workers who were captured after resisting the Japanese for sixteen days in December 1941.  Of the 1,593 American prisoners of war, 244 (27 military and 217 civilian)  died by August 1945.  Urwin’s essay chronicles the group’s 44 months in prisoner of war camps, notably in Shanghai.  The battle for the island received extensive attention in the American press and in subsequent wartime propaganda—for example the 1942 motion picture Wake Island was an “updated Custer’s Last Stand” (p. 115).  However, the incarceration of these men received scant attention in the American press.  In sum, the defenders fared relatively well because, Urwin concludes, a majority of the group was imprisoned together so that the unit remained cohesive and disciplined under an admired leader, Colonel Devereaux.  This was in stark contrast to the fate of the defenders of Bataan and Corrigidor.  The 110-km “Death March” of the 60,000 survivors resulted in 10,650 deaths during its course and an additional 17,600 during the next seven weeks.  However, Urwin seems to underplay the differences in defensive time:  16 days from the beginning of the Japanese attack to surrender at Wake versus 120 days for Bataan [9 April 1942] and 147 for Corrigidor [6 May 1942].  In addition, the Wake Island personnel had adequate supplies of food and medicine, never endured a forced march to a prisoner of war camp, and were incarcerated initially in the construction workers’ quarters.  Since the 1991 conference, Professor Urwin has completed a book-length treatment--_Facing Fearful Odds: The Siege of Wake Island_ (1997) that updates and enhances this essay. 

Kathleen Warnes, the only woman to contribute to this book, wrote the chapter entitled “Nurses under Fire: Healing and Heroism in the South Pacific” (pp. 138-160, 50 footnotes, four images).  She holds an M.A. in history from Marquette University and in 1997 was working on her doctorate.  Using oral histories and archives, Warnes assesses the experiences of military nurses during the Pacific war, beginning with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the conquest of the Philippines.  She considers the naval hospital ship Solace and especially the attack on Cavite, the fall of Bataan, and the subsequent Japanese occupation of the Philippines.  Some military nurses were evacuated by PBY or by submarine, but the 53 army and navy nurses and 29 Filipino nurses were permitted to care for sick and wounded prisoners of war for the duration of hostilities at the Santo Tomas and Los Banos camps.  Warnes chronicles the years of captivity in Japanese prisoner of war camps, the effect of the allied struggles in New Guinea and the return to the Philippines.  She notes that during the war, 29 percent of American graduating nurses joined the military nursing services, and she comments that the nurses aided significantly the survival of wounded personnel.  The data illustrates that the lives of 97 of every 100 wounded military men were saved—a testament to the nurses’ heroism and skills, exemplified by the story of Sophia Kwiatkowski and the work of other individual nurses that Warnes cites in her essay.  The H-NET Discussion list, H-MINERVA (Women in War and Women in the Military) has recently had a discussion “thread” about American women military personnel, particularly nurses, who endured capture by the Japanese.  None of these captives were apparently sexually abused or molested. 

Herman S. Wolk, senior historian at the Air Force History Support Office, Headquarters USAF, is the author of several books on strategic bombing, Air Force history, and Douglas MacArthur.  His contribution, “General Arnold, the Atomic Bomb, and the Surrender of Japan” (pp. 163-178, 22 footnotes, four images), reveals the near obsession of General Henry H. (“Hap”)  Arnold, commander of the United States Army Air Forces, with the VLR (Very Long Range) strategic bombing offensive against the Japanese homeland from 1944-1945.  Wolk considers issues such as the problems with the Wright aircraft engines, strategic planning, the concept for Operation Matterhorn (bombing Japan from bases in that would be established on the Chinese mainland), and the development airbases in the Marianas.  The replacement of General Wolfe with General LeMay in order to hasten victory deserves further examination.  However, the change from high altitude daylight bombing to low level night attacks with incendiaries was a crucial step.  Wolk likens the 9-10 March 1945 raid on Tokyo as a “Pearl Harbor in reverse” (p.  171) in that more Japanese perished in that single attack than would die because of the atomic bomb attacks at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  There is, of course, an unmentioned parallel to the firebombing of Dresden, Germany in February 1945.  Neither the citizens of Tokyo or Dresden were prepared for the incendiary attack and the resultant firestorm.  Arnold contended that B-29 Superfortress missions could have forced Japan’s surrender without the use of the atomic bomb or a land invasion, e.g., Operation Olympic (the allied invasion of Kyushu).  Wolk says nothing about Operation Coronet (the invasion of the Tokyo Plain) which was the second half of the larger Operation Downfall. 

Included as a major item on the general’s agenda was his crusade to create an air force as an independent service equal in stature to the army and navy in the postwar era.  This campaign was conditioned by Arnold’s own role since 1939 in initiating and advocating the B-29 development program.  Arnold stated that the United States was never able to launch the full power of the B-29 incendiary attacks (adding Operation Matterhorn to the strikes from the Marianas).  A controversy remains because the use of the atomic bomb “had stolen the thunder of the conventional B-29 attacks” (p. 178), thereby making less clear the contribution of strategic conventional bombing to ending the war.  However, the reader may recall that the August 1944 strategic bombing of the Rumanian oil refining complex at Ploiesti did not succeed, nor had the February 1944 allied air forces concerted efforts against the German aircraft industry:

Augsburg, Bernberg, Brunswick, Leipzig, Stuttgart, Regensburg, and Schweinfurt.  The incendiary attack on Dresden represented a change in strategy.  This reviewer wonders if the European “lesson” that had been learned at Dresden was then applied to Japan?  No contributors assess this possibility. 

Stephen E. Ambrose and Brian Loring Villa prepared the final essay, “Racism, the Atomic Bomb, and the Transformation of Japanese-American Relations” (pp. 179-198, 23 footnotes, four images).  A very well known historian, Ambrose holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and is currently professor emeritus of history at the University of New Orleans, where he had founded the Eisenhower Center and has become its emeritus director.  He is the editor of Eisenhower’s wartime papers (five volumes) and a prolific author on various subjects in American history and, particularly, World War II.  Villa has a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University, taught at West Point, and is professor of history at the University of Ottawa where is specializes in World War II American military and diplomatic history.  Their contribution, developed from discussions at the conference, holds that the use of the atomic bomb contributed significantly to the breakdown of racism and the hatred that was integral to both the American and Japanese perceptions of the “enemy.”  The policies of unrestricted submarine warfare against merchant shipping and the bombing of civilian populations are also reviewed.  Their provocative essay contends that this lead to a reconciliation of Americans and Japanese—“a remarkably quick breakdown of racial hatred”—that occurred more quickly than that of Americans and Germans (p. 181).  Ambrose and Villa argue that the use of the atomic bomb “gave the Japanese a way to surrender without shame” and satisfied “the America people’s rage for revenge.” 

In addition, almost as a separate exposition or sidebar to the main thrust of the essay, they refute convincingly Gar Alperovitz’s contention (_Atomic Diplomacy_, 1994) that there were more appropriate and humane alternatives to the use of the atomic bomb.  Alperovitz’s “fundamental disregard of the evidence” (p. 185) is exemplified in the assumption that rational men would surrender with honor.  Ambrose and Villa argue to the contrary that the Japanese were prepared to fight to the death rather than surrender and that the Japanese attempted to negotiate an armistice (rather than surrender) through Moscow later in the war.  Political and moral factors in using the atomic bomb are reviewed; the “pro-use” group included, for example, Eisenhower, MacArthur, Stimson, Grew, and Truman.  The “quick” surrender with honor and the postwar reconstruction were, they conclude, facilitated by the use of nuclear weapons.  Ambrose and Villa conclude by stating that “the most brutal act of all in that most racist war of all had the surprising effect of bringing both sides to their senses” (p. 198).  Revisionist historian Alperovitz (1995) has also written a more popular and controversial volume, _The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb_, which can be balanced with approaches explicated by Walker (1997), among others.  Indeed, as Walker demonstrates, there were a multitude of reasons for and against the use of atomic bombs and a lot of gray in between.  Skates’s The Invasion of Japan (1994), gives us a better picture of the projected allied and Japanese casualties (KIA/WIA/MIA) that might have occurred in Operation Downfall—Olympic (southern Kyushu) in later 1945 and Coronet (Tokyo Plain) in 1946. 

It has been estimated that about 80% of the literature of World War II produced by English-speaking scholars concern the European-Mediterranean Theater of Operations, in the main, because Americans and Europeans did not and still do read or understand the native languages spoken in the Far East and Indo-Pacific region.  The lack of training in Chinese, Japanese, and other so-called “Oriental” languages has and will continue to hamper original scholarship in the archival sources that have and will become available.  Admiral Halsey is reputed to have stated that the Atlantic as a “swimming hole” in comparison to the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, the same might be said of the quantity of research that awaits the prepared scholar. 

In Tracking the Axis Enemy (Bath 1998) the point is also made that the allies in the Pacific lacked a unified command and the logistical problems were exacerbated by the struggle between MacArthur, and Nimitz and Halsey for men, materiel, fuel, and transportation, let alone strategy and tactics.  Nonetheless, the defeat of Nazi Germany was the first priority of the American political and military strategy, so that a majority of manpower and material went to the European-Mediterranean Theater of Operations.  Your reviewer wishes that the editors and authors would have made more use of American and British intelligence data that was available even at the time of the conference; Spector did so in his writing in 1975.  Likewise, archival materials from American and British Archives continue to be declassified, including Japanese-language materials from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.  Much of this material has also been microfilmed, just as have a majority of the postwar occupation materials in the Prange Collection at the University of Maryland.  Gordon W. Prange, who was the Chief Historian attached to MacArthur’s staff during the years of occupation, obtained an archive of about 1.7 million items including books, pamphlets, magazines, newspapers and newsletters, photographs, maps, posters, and unpublished materials plus approximately 600,000 censorship documents.  This material is a “goldmine” for competent scholars. 

Also, as noted in my introductory remarks, the authors of these contributions rely heavily upon secondary and synthesized source materials rather than primary documents and archival record groups.  This is not to say that these essays are superficial, but the chapters have a distinct American flavor since the writers all received their training as historians in the United States.  No British, Australian, New Zealander, or Canadian contributor is to be found, and there is no evidence that British or former Commonwealth nation documents were used in preparing these essays.  Likewise, apparently no Japanese documents were used and it unclear even if Japanese scholars were invited to the 1991 conference.  The revision of the papers seems to have not been a first priority of the authors and editors since six years passed before the papers were published.  Examples of the use of declassified archival materials from foreign and domestic repositories in writing about World War II include the writings of Maria Emilia Paz (1997) and Friedrich Schuller (1998), and, to a lesser extent, Alan Harris Bath (1998). 

Nonetheless, the essays in this volume demonstrate that the Pacific war offers scholars a viable and fascinating range of research topics, general and traditional as well as specialized and narrowly focussed, as these contributions demonstrate.  Walter LaFeber’s _The Clash: U.S.-Japanese Relations Throughout History_ (1997) helps to place the essays in Bischof and Dupont’s volume in a more fulsome context.  _The Pacific War Revisited_ provides us with a glimpse of the kinds and varieties of research that may be undertaken. 

Lastly, we come full circle to the three problems that James contends face contemporary scholarship:  1) the unavailability of Chinese and Manchurian archival materials of the World War II era held currently by the Communist Chinese, 2) the significant issue of Western and Asian ethnocentrism, and 3) a scarcity of Anglo-American scholars who possess a mastery of Asian-Pacific languages and access to the primary sources.   We may not yet be able to address James’s initial concern, but we have made some headway in the second—although no Japanese scholar apparently participated in the 1991 conference or contributed a paper.  Was this exclusion inadvertent or an unintended form of ethnocentrism?   For example, commentary from Professor Akira Iriye or another major Japanese scholar of World War II would be valuable addition to this volume.  The third problem seems to have at least indirectly contributed to the lack of the use of foreign archival materials in the essays that appear in The Pacific War Revisited.  In conclusion, the nine contributions by young and experienced historians make superb reading and give us a flavor of the kinds of research issues that are found in “less traveled terrain.” 

References Cited

Alperovitz, Gar.  _Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam: The Use of the Atomic Bomb and the American Confrontation with Soviet Power_, 2nd ed.  London and Boulder, Col.: Pluto Press, 1994. 

Alperovitz, Gar with Sanho Tree.  _The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb_.  New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, 1995. 

Bath, Alan Harris.  _Tracking the Axis Enemy: The Triumph of Anglo-American Naval Intelligence_.  Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998.  H-NET review: HYPERLINK 

Blair, Clay Jr.  _Silent Victory: The U.S. Submarine War Against Japan_.  Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1975. 

Dower, John W.  _War without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War_.  New York: Pantheon, 1986. 

Gannon, Robert.  _Hellions of the Deep: The Development of American Torpedoes in World War II_.  University Park:Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995. 

Iriye, Akira.  _Power and Culture: The Japanese-American War, 1941-1945_.  Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1981. 

Howard, Michael.  “The Forgotten Dimensions of Strategy”.Foreign Affairs 62:975-986, 1979. 

Kahn, David.  _The Codebreakers: The Comprehensive History of Secret Communication from Ancient Times to the Internet_.  New York: Scribners, 1995. 

LaFeber, Walter.  _The Clash: U.S.-Japanese Relations throughout History_.  New York: W. W. Norton, 1995.  H-NET review: HYPERLINK


Paz, Maria Emilia.  _Strategy, Security, and Spies: Mexico and the U.S. as Allies in World War II_.  University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997.  H-NET Review: HYPERLINK 

Schaller, Michael.  _Douglas MacArthur: The Far Eastern General_.  Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1989. 

Schuller, Friedrich E.  _Mexico Between Hitler and Roosevelt:Mexican Foreign Relations in the Age of Lazaro Cardenas.

Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1998.  H-NET Review:  HYPERLINK 

Skates, John Ray.  _The Invasion of Japan: Alternative to the Bomb_.  Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1994. 

Spector, Ronald H.  _The Eagle Against the Sun: The American War with Japan_.  New York: Random House, 1975. 

Thorne, Christopher.  _Allies of a Kind: The United States, Britain, and the War Against Japan, 1941-1945_.  London: Hamish Hamilton, 1978. 

Thorne.  _The Issue of War: States, Societies, and the Far Eastern Conflict of 1941-1945_.  London: Hamish Hamilton, 1985. 

Urwin, Gregory J. W.  _Facing Fearful Odds: The Siege of Wake Island_.  Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1995. 

Walker, J. Samuel.  _Prompt and Utter Destruction: President Truman and the Use of Atomic Bombs Against Japan_.  Chapel Hill:University of North Carolina Press, 1997. 

Werrell, Kenneth P.  _Blankets of Fire: U.S. Bombers over Japan during World War II_.  Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996. 

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