A Modern History of Japan

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

3.78 (586 ratings by Goodreads)
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A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present, Third Edition, paints a richly nuanced and strikingly original portrait of the last two centuries of Japanese history. It takes students from the days of the shogunate--the feudal overlordship of the Tokugawa family--through the modernizing revolution launched by midlevel samurai in the late nineteenth century; the adoption of Western hairstyles, clothing, and military organization; and the nation's first experiments with mass democracy after World War I. Author Andrew Gordon offers the finest synthesis to date of Japan's passage through militarism, World War II, the American occupation, and the subsequent economic rollercoaster. New to the Third Edition * The previous edition's final chapter has been extensively revised for the third edition. Retitled "Japan's 'Lost Decades," it now covers the timespan from 1989 through 2008.
* An entirely new final chapter examines Japan's tumultuous recent history in a global context. Beginning with the financial crisis of 2008, it takes readers up to the traumatic events of 3/11/11, and through the aftermath of this disaster. The chapter includes a color insert with maps and photographs that document the cataclysm.
* More "voices" of ordinary people integrated into the narrative
* Increased coverage of cultural history topics, such as anime and manga
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Product details

  • Paperback | 417 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 10.16mm | 566.99g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 3rd ed.
  • Figures; Maps; Tables, black and white; Line drawings, black and white; Illustrations, color; Illustrations, black and white
  • 0199930155
  • 9780199930159
  • 92,995

Review quote

"Gordon is able to tell a story of modern Japan without reducing the history to stereotypes or platitudes, and leaving enough room for other tellings of Japan's history. It is not dogmatic or locked down. This is the best survey on Modern Japanese history available."--Lori Watt, Washington University in St. Louis

"A Modern History of Japan is the best textbook available for courses on Modern Japan and Imperial Japan. As a leading scholar on Japanese labor history, Gordon provides insightful details from the perspective of ordinary Japanese, particularly the hardships, opportunities and resistance from workers and other non-elites during Japan's industrial revolution and beyond."--George Kallander, Syracuse University

"Beautifully written and argued by one of the eminent minds and stylists in the field. Gordon convincingly situates Japan on the stage of international history as a nation whose past must be understood to comprehend the history of the modern world."--Noell Wilson, University of Mississippi

"A Modern History of Japan remains the best text for an introductory course on modern Japanese history. It has the perfect combination of top-rate scholarship, readability, and length. The new final chapter is just as well-written and engaging as the rest of the book. And it greatly adds to the strength of the book to bring the history as closely up to the present as possible, as well as to point to what may lie ahead in the future."--Sean Kim, University of Massachusetts, Boston
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About Andrew Gordon

Andrew Gordon is the Lee and Juliet Folger Fund Professor of History and Director of the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University.
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Rating details

586 ratings
3.78 out of 5 stars
5 20% (120)
4 45% (264)
3 28% (165)
2 5% (28)
1 2% (9)
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