Now in paperback, this monumental history has been hailed by the New York Times as "one of the most important books ever written about World War II ...Show synopsisNow in paperback, this monumental history has been hailed by the New York Times as "one of the most important books ever written about World War II in the Pacific". 20 pages of illustrations.Hide synopsis
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The book War without Mercy reminds us that stereotypes about other groups are always floating around in the collective unconscious and can be revived to apply to whatever group is now considered the enemy, with vicious results. The author traces these stereotypes on both sides of the Pacific war and shows how they influenced the hatred and killings by and for all involved. The book is an excellent addition to descriptions of the war that only focus on the military aspects of the conflict, and shows how they influenced those military aspects.
In the left wing during the Cold War there was an attempt to recant the American triumphalism following the Cold War and the apparent Conservative political victory represented by Ronald Reagan's Presidency. Dowery's book is a part of that. For instance, Dowery suggests that both the Alamo and Custer's Last Stand are American equivalents to mass Japanese suicide attacks in the Pacific. At Saipan 30,000 Japanese soldiers and as many as 20,000 Japanese civilians died rather than surrender. (There is evidence, Dowery admits, that thousands of the civilians were murdered by their own soldiers). It seems that Dowery attempts throughout to build a case that no one nation was responsible for the merciless war in the Pacific, that all parties acted on their racist ideas, all parties regularly exceeded the rules of war and of human mercy. But in reality, brutal and merciless war happened everywhere there were Japanese and the truth is this did not happen everywhere American soldiers fought.
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