Aftermath of War: Americans and the Remaking of Japan, 1945-1952

By Howard B. Schonberger | Go to book overview

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The first research for this book began by accident nearly twenty years ago. I had recently finished my graduate work at the University of Wisconsin under the direction of William Appleman Williams. My revised dissertation on the late nineteenth-century linkage of American farmers, food processors, and transportation interests in expanding markets for exports and constructing an informal overseas empire had been accepted for publication. I was absorbed in teaching at Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia, doing organizing against the Vietnam War, and gaining insight into the civil rights struggle of black Americans. Then one afternoon my colleague in the Department of History, Lawrence S. Wittner, reminded me of my scholarly calling. He invited me to join him in an exploratory research trip to the newly opened MacArthur Archives in nearby Norfolk.

The most interesting materials in the MacArthur collection I found covered the years the general spent as head of the Occupation of Japan. I plunged into my new work with naive gusto. I had no idea of the many frustrating delays and lengthy detours that lay ahead for me on the research path from these first visits to the MacArthur collection to the completion of this book. But what kept me going were the many friends I made along the way. It was they, more than anything else, who sustained my original fascination with the U.S.- Japanese connection.

John W. Dower deserves special thanks. He set for me the highest standard of excellence in the wide net he casts for his own research, the analytical incisiveness of his writing, and his commitment to E. H. Norman's vision of history as an essential feature of a community which is genuinely civilized.

-ix-

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