Agony of Choice

Agony of Choice : Matsuoka Yosuke and the Rise and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1880-1946

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Agony of Choice, the life of Japanese statesman and diplomat Matsuoka Yosuke, offers a vivid narrative of twentieth-century Japanese diplomatic history. Matsuoka was an American-educated Japanese foreign minister who became a vocal advocate of Japanese expansionism in echo of the America he so admired. His promotion of alliances and relationships with countries such as Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, however, not only led Japan to war with the United States but also led to Matsuoka's involvement with and eventual indictment for atrocities committed during the war. Through extensive archival research and fascinating personal interviews, David Lu explores Matsuoka's pivotal role in the drama of Japan's withdrawal from the League of Nations, empire-building in Asia, and the development of interwar Japanese politics.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 328 pages
  • 166 x 243 x 28mm | 612g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • Abridged
  • 0739104586
  • 9780739104583

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Early Life in Yamaguchi Chapter 2 The First American Experience Chapter 3 Diplomat in China, Russia, and America Chapter 4 From Tokyo to Versailles Chapter 5 Railway Politics in Manchuria Chapter 6 Revolutionary China, SMR, and Japanese Politics Chapter 7 Seiyukai Politics and Shanghai Assignment Chapter 8 Withdrawal from the League of Nations Chapter 9 Political Party Dissolution Movement Chapter 10 Manchukuo, Guandong Army, and the SMR Chapter 11 Becoming Master of Kasumigaseki Chapter 12 Alliance with Germany Chapter 13 China and Southeast Asia Chapter 14 European Tour and Neutrality Pact with USSR Chapter 15 Approaches to the United States Chapter 16 The Later Years Chapter 17 Reflections and Assessment
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Review quote

As a richly textured study of a pivotal figure . . . it belongs in the library of all serious students of modern Japanese history and diplomacy. As a product of the best of 'old school' sensibilities and training, it is a real gem and should be required reading for graduate and undergraduate seminars on modern Japanese history, historiography, and diplomacy. * The Journal of Japanese Studies * . . . a standard work on the colorful Japanese leader . . . a rounded and engaging narrative. * H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online *
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About David J. Lu

David J. Lu is Emeritus Professor of History and Japanese Studies at Bucknell University. He is the author of a number of works on Japan including Japan: A Documentary History (1997).
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