Restrained Response: American Novels of the Cold War and Korea, 1945-1962

By Arne Axelsson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 2 After V-J Day: The Far Eastern Arena

The diversity of geographical and cultural setting in American post- war military novels is another indication of the extraordinary richness and complexity of the period and of the possibility to attain a better perspective through a study of this kind of literature. Europe had turned out to be a most productive background for occupation narratives, and it was soon demonstrated that, in this context, the Pacific no more than the Atlantic offered any barrier to American literary creativity. As a setting, Japan and its one-time empire had both advantages and drawbacks compared with the European scene. On the negative side was the fact that, despite its political importance and the "Asia First" movement in Pentagon and State Department circles, the Pacific area was not so immediately interesting as Europe to the average American. The occupation army in Japan at one time comprised over 400,000 men but still more Americans experienced war and occupation in the European Theater of Operations. Although the people in Japan were just as uprooted, starving, and disillusioned as the war victims of Europe, inflation was as bad, and the black market as thriving, the Japanese scene could match neither the variation of situations and conflicts nor the gallery of different people and peoples. Another difference was that the chaos of Europe never spread to occupied Japan, where order was maintained under a firm rule, and people--occupiers and occupied alike-were kept in place. The very firmness of that rule-critics of the official occupation policy were often harassed, sometimes evicted, and the press was

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Restrained Response: American Novels of the Cold War and Korea, 1945-1962
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction xi
  • A Note on Notation xix
  • Part One Postwar Reorientation 1945-1953 1
  • Chapter 1 Occupational Hazards: The European Scene 3
  • Chapter 2 After V-J Day: The Far Eastern Arena 23
  • Chapter 3 Thunder in the Background: Home-Front Repercussions 41
  • Part Two The Korean Corpus 1950-1953 59
  • Chapter 4 Caught in Korea 61
  • Chapter 5 Sea and Air War 79
  • Chapter 6 Ground Fighting 91
  • Part Three Chilling Prospects 1954-1962 111
  • Chapter 7 Brink and Abyss 113
  • Chapter 8 The Machine in the Military 131
  • Chapter 9 Post-Korean Poise 143
  • Conclusion 163
  • Appendix: Summaries and Sources 181
  • Index 215
  • About the Author 223
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