In this highly original and now classic text, Ian Buruma explores and compares how Germany and Japan have attempted to come to terms with their violent pasts, and investigates the painful realities of living with guilt, and with its denial. As Buruma travels through both countries, he encounters people whose honesty in confronting their past is strikingly brave, and others who astonish by the ingenuity of their evasions of responsibility. In Auschwitz, Berlin, Hiroshima and Tokyo he explores the contradictory attitudes of scholars, politicians and survivors towards World War II and visits the contrasting monuments that commemorate the atrocities of the war. Buruma allows these opposing voices to reveal how an obsession with the past, especially distorted versions of it, continually causes us to question who should indeed pay the wages of guilt.
In an era of globalization and identity politics, this book explores how Holocaust imagery and vocabulary have been appropriated and applied to other genocides. The author examines how the Holocaust has impacted on other ethnic and social groups, asking whether the Holocaust as a symbol is a useful or destructive means of reading non-Jewish history. This volume: explains the rise of the Holocaust as a gradual process, charting how its importance as a symbol has evolved, providing a theoretical framework to understand how and why non-Jewish groups choose to invoke ‘holocausts’ to apply to other events explores the Holocaust in relation to colonialism and indigenous genocide, with case studies on America, Australia and New Zealand analyzes the Holocaust in relation to war and genocide, with case studies on the Armenian genocide, the Rape of Nanking, Serbia and the Rwandan genocide examines how the Holocaust has been used to promote animal rights. Demonstrating both the opportunities and pitfalls the Holocaust provides to non-Jewish groups who seek to represent their collective histories, this book fills a much needed gap on the use of the Holocaust in contemporary identity politics and will be of interest to students and researchers of politics, the Holocaust and genocide.
A pacy, fresh and surprising portrait of Japan and the Japanese - from David Pilling, award-winning writer and Asia Editor of the Financial Times Despite years of stagnation, Japan remains one of the world's largest economies and a country which exerts a remarkable cultural fascination. David Pilling's new book is an entertaining, deeply knowledgeable and surprising analysis of a group of islands which have shown great resilience, both in the face of financial distress and when confronted with the overwhelming disaster of the 2011 earthquake. The resulting tsunami, which killed some 19,000 people, and nuclear catastrophe highlighted both the deeply impressive practical resilience of ordinary Japanese and a political culture of extraordinary carelessness and arrogance. Pilling describes the emergency and its aftermath, but then writes far more broadly about many aspects of Japan which are little known to outsiders and which do so much to explain these contradictory responses to the earthquake. Bending Adversity is a superb work of reportage and the essential book even for those who already feel they know the country well.
The fierce, bloody battles of Bataan and Corregidor in the Philippines are legendary in the annals of World War II. Those who survived faced the horrors of life as prisoners of the Japanese. In Conduct Under Fire, John A. Glusman chronicles these events through the eyes of his father, Murray, and three fellow navy doctors captured on Corregidor in May 1942. Here are the dramatic stories of the fall of Bataan, the siege of “the Rock,” and the daily struggles to tend the sick, wounded, and dying during some of the heaviest bombardments of World War II. Here also is the desperate war doctors and corpsmen waged against disease and starvation amid an enemy that viewed surrender as a disgrace. To survive, the POWs functioned as a family. But the ties that bind couldn’t protect them from a ruthless counteroffensive waged by American submarines or from the B-29 raids that burned Japan’s major cities to the ground. Based on extensive interviews with American, British, Australian, and Japanese veterans, as well as diaries, letters, and war crimes testimony, this is a harrowing account of a brutal clash of cultures, of a race war that escalated into total war. Like Flags of Our Fathers and Ghost Soldiers, Conduct Under Fire is a story of bravery on the battlefield and ingenuity behind barbed wire, one that reveals the long shadow the war cast on the lives of those who fought it.
Biography & Autobiography by Istvan Hargittai Professor of Chemistry and Head of the George A Olah Ph.D. School of Chemistry and Engineering Budapest University of Technology and Economics
Author: Istvan Hargittai Professor of Chemistry and Head of the George A Olah Ph.D. School of Chemistry and Engineering Budapest University of Technology and Economics
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Category: Biography & Autobiography
If science has the equivalent of a Bloomsbury group, it is the five men born at the turn of the twentieth century in Budapest: Theodore von Karman, Leo Szilard, Eugene Wigner, John von Neumann, and Edward Teller. From Hungary to Germany to the United States, they remained friends and continued to work together and influence each other throughout their lives. As a result, their work was integral to some of the most important scientific and political developments of the twentieth century. They were an extraordinary group of talents: Wigner won a Nobel Prize in theoretical physics; Szilard was the first to see that a chain reaction based on neutrons was possible, initiated the Manhattan Project, but left physics to try to restrict nuclear arms; von Neumann could solve difficult problems in his head and developed the modern computer for more complex problems; von Karman became the first director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, providing the scientific basis for the U.S. Air Force; and Teller was the father of the hydrogen bomb, whose name is now synonymous with the controversial "Star Wars" initiative of the 1980s. Each was fiercely opinionated, politically active, and fought against all forms of totalitarianism. Istvan Hargittai, as a young Hungarian physical chemist, was able to get to know some of these great men in their later years, and the depth of information and human interest in The Martians of Science is the result of his personal relationships with the subjects, their families, and their contemporaries.
The collective memories of Nazism that developed in postwar Germany have helped define a new paradigm of memory politics. From Europe to South Africa and from Latin America to Iraq the German case has been studied to learn how to overcome internal division and regain international recognition. In Pursuit of German Memory: History, Television, and Politics after Auschwitz examines three arenas of German memory politics?professional historiography, national politics, and national public television?that have played a key role in the reinvention of the Nazi past in the past sixty years. Wulf Kansteiner shows that the interpretations of the past proposed by historians, politicians, and television makers reflect political and generational divisions and an extraordinary concern for Germany's perception abroad. At the same time, each of these theaters of memory has developed different dynamics and formats of historical reflection. Kansteiner's interrelated essays offer a comparative analysis of the German scene that reveals a complex and contradictory social geography of collective memory. In Pursuit of German Memory underscores the truth that, while all memory may be local, German memories of Nazism are highly mediated and part of a global exchange of images and story fragments. Wulf Kansteiner is an assistant professor of history and director of graduate studies at the State University of New York at Binghampton.
This volume brings together a distinguished group of international scholars to discuss the major debates in the study of early twentieth-century Europe. Brings together contributions from a distinguished group of international scholars. Provides an overview of current thinking on the period. Traces the great political, social and economic upheavals of the time. Illuminates perennial themes, as well as new areas of enquiry. Takes a pan-European approach, highlighting similarities and differences across nations and regions.
America's slave past is being analyzed as never before, yet it remains one of the most contentious issues in U.S. memory. In recent years, the culture wars over the way that slavery is remembered and taught have reached a new crescendo. From the argument about the display of the Confederate flag over the state house in Columbia, South Carolina, to the dispute over Thomas Jefferson's relationship with his slave Sally Hemings and the ongoing debates about reparations, the questions grow ever more urgent and more difficult. Edited by noted historians James Oliver Horton and Lois E. Horton, this collection explores current controversies and offers a bracing analysis of how people remember their past and how the lessons they draw influence American politics and culture today. Bringing together some of the nation's most respected historians, including Ira Berlin, David W. Blight, and Gary B. Nash, this is a major contribution to the unsettling but crucial debate about the significance of slavery and its meaning for racial reconciliation.
Frei chronicles the denazification process in Adenauer's 1950s Germany. The stopping of punishment for Nazi crimes formed the crux of a policitcs of the past which, to a large degree, revoked the consequences of the previous political expurgation.