Academic journal article Journal of Global South Studies

How Journalists Shaped American Foreign Policy: A Case Study of Japan's Military Seizure of Korea

Academic journal article Journal of Global South Studies

How Journalists Shaped American Foreign Policy: A Case Study of Japan's Military Seizure of Korea

Article excerpt

Metraux, Daniel A. How Journalists Shaped American Foreign Policy: A Case Study of Japan's Military Seizure of Korea. Lewiston, NY: Edward Mellen Press, 2017.

It is often said that history is written by the winners. In Daniel Metraux's How Journalists Shaped American Foreign Policy: A Case Study of Japans Military Seizure of Korea, the author presents history as understood from the perspective of seven influential journalists to demonstrate the variety of interpretation each journalist chose regarding the Japanese occupation of Korea from 1895 to 1910. Metraux, an accomplished Asian studies scholar at Mary Baldwin University, warns readers of falling prey to the Rashomon effect, or the danger of understanding only one side of a story. Metraux examined the reporting of seven different journalists, each of whom had a different take on what motivated the Japanese, the situation of the Korean people, and the execution of the occupation. He argues that the reports that circulated in the Western world, especially those available to US president William McKinley, influenced public opinion to adopt a very pro-Japanese stance without understanding the harsh repressions imposed on the Korean people.

The book is organized into two introductory chapters that present a brief history of Japanese militarism and imperialism that is juxtaposed with a description of American attitudes toward Japan and Korea at the time of the Russo-Japanese War. The introduction is followed by individual examinations of each of the seven journalists and their coverage of the conflict. He orders the chapters on a spectrum from subjectivity to objectivity by first presenting the histories of these journalists in foreign journalism, their experiences with East Asia at the turn of the twentieth century, and, finally, a critique of the material they presented. Metreaux begins with war correspondent George Kennan and his praise of the Japanese efforts, then moves to accounts from Frederick Palmer, Jack London, Frederick McKenzie, William Jennings Bryan, and William E. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.