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tv   Book Discussion on The Conquering Tide  CSPAN  January 2, 2016 8:00am-9:01am EST

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reagan, he killed reagan. everything he has accomplished, we will never get out of here. until somebody saw the way he is able to talk and the way i saw every day americans the that appendix cited about something we thought everyone knew about lincoln and murder and how many people were shot the night he was hit at ford's theater. until i saw that it give me an opening. ..
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>> went to thank you very much. i'm a retired colonel in the airport and bringing american history like this to life especially with the things going on in the world today is extraordinary and i think you are a great patriot. thank you very much. >> thank you very much for saying that. [applause]. >> thank you very much for coming and i will signed all of your books, if you want. >> i know several of you have bought them prior to coming in, but we have more for sale if you want to get brooks assigned by brian, head out. thank you.
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it can come up here. thank you all, very much. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> is there a nonfiction author or book you would like to see featured on the tv? send us an e-mail, book tv at tweaked us at book tv or post a comment on our wall. >> this holiday weekend continues now and book tv.
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over the next two days book tv visits oakland california to learn about the city's literary culture and cover a party report:-- political commentary bob beckel's new book and carl rove joins us on our weekly author interview program, afterwards, which is followed by our coverage of a release party for his book, the triumph of the william mckinley and also this week in the "new york times" scott shane reports on the first unit-- united states citizen killed by a drone strike. and tomorrow we are live on in depth with pulitzer prize winning reporter david burness who sits there with the tv to talk about his many books and to answer your questions. for a complete description, visit book forty-eight hours of television for serious readers.
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military historian ian toll is back on book tv and he looks at allied events in the pacific from 1942 to 1944. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> okay. our author has landed. [laughter] so, welcome and thank you for
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coming out on a weekday night. i'm dana kelly and we support-- thank you for supporting independent bookstore. make sure your phones are on silent or turned off and if you haven't had a chance to pick up his latest books, they are available at all the registers and about an hour after the presentation you will have a chance to pick up copies. once you pay for your books, bring them back at our guest will fight at the table next to me. this is the year of world war ii i think i have done maybe two or three events this year with stories that either no one knew about world war ii or part of world war ii where we are filling in people-- thinks people have not talked much about. tonight's the war on the pacific and if you have read our guests other books, you know there's a lot of detail in here that she probably did not know and you will know tonight and also from reading his book. there is a lot of great reviews of this book and i will pick the
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one by evan thomas. he says in part, in the conquering tied ian toll takes his place as one of the great storytellers abort and equally vivid and commanding describing landed on a carrier at night, making grand strategy at washington and brawling in a bar in australia. our guest is ian toll, brighter and independent scholar and author of three works of american military history of which this is his third, "six firgates: the epic history of the founding of the u.s. navy". and the concluding volume, why in the western pacific 9044 to 1945 to be 12-- published in 2018. pacific crucible receive the kalat-- california book award. welcome to the war on the pacific and we could not think
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you-- think of a better guide to take you there. here is ian toll. [applause]. >> thank you very much, dana, for that generous introduction and as he said i have published three books now. it has been 13 years i been doing this full-time. a little louder? is that okay? so, it's been about four year intervals between these books, which is seems like a very long time and the contracts as originally written not to take you too far into the weeds of my book contracts, committed me to producing these things more at a rate of about three years, so i have had a real problem with that and i have been i think like douglas adams who is author of the hitchhiker guide to the galaxy books who said, i love deadlines, i love the wishy sound they make as they go by.
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writing is a little bit like being a bear in hibernation for long winter and you come staggering out in the spring and looking in the sun and it's a real pleasure after that long hibernation to find there are so many people who have been eagerly awaiting what you have been working on. eight jesuit professor at georgetown who taught me quite a bit about 19th century american history, made a provocative point once in a lecture. he said: why is it that our history has been so bloody? heat-- it's because all throughout history you have had men who look at war as an adventure and they wanted to go out and have fun and four, too many of them, is fun or has been fun i think we historian
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sometimes try to be a little too clever and the answers right there in front of our nose. anytime you watch a group of young boys outplay, you make it that sense that this is why our history has been so bloody. there is something to the old nursery rhyme that girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice and boys are made of snips and snails and puppy dog tails and are not about to wander into the nature versus richer, but i believe if women around the world would be a lot less bloodshed. so, yes be careful, i think, when writing about history of war. to avoid the temptation to glorify war for its own sake and i have always tried to keep, for me, this deep understanding that war whatever else it is is inherently tragic though sometimes necessary.
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we honor the extraordinary courage and valor and sacrifice of those who fight for a cause or for a country. but, we never forget that war is to be avoided and one reason to study at is to remind ourselves how terrible it is. i live across the bridge in san francisco. now, many of you have probably seen the exhibit, which is on the other side of the bridge on one of the walkways to the test in area and one of this is a replica of the beams that hold the prim-- bridge up under four-point and this to together paris-- beam had been taken to berkeley at the school of engineering and engineers used an enormous machine to poke
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4 million pounds of pressure on this beam and it caused it to kind of buckle, but it had held up in the point is that the engineers have great confidence that not bridge will stand up to anything that could possibly happen to it, which, of course. is a great relief anyone living there. the only-- my only fear is that hollywood will continue to destroy that bridge every single year with another movie and i don't know what it is about the southern californians and their fixations on destroying thegolden gate bridge and all of these big-budget films. it may just be that they are jealous they don't have anything this beautiful or as useful as the colgate fridge. they have the hollywood sign that never seems to get destroyed in any of the films, but the point about this lattice beam is what war does to
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societies, systems of government, communities and individuals is what the engineers to to that lattice beam. you put great stress on it and the engineers has a puppet-- purpose. they are getting information back about that being that you can't get without putting under great stress. well, war puts society systems of government under great stress and gives us information we could get-- nokia by studying societies system of government in peacetime fascist military state of axis axis in world war ii believed democracy, if you put enough stress on them would break and in a sense world war ii was fun on a proposition and instead, what we found that it was democracies that stood up under the strain and it was the axis authoritarian military model that broke. world war ii was a struggle between competing visions of how to organize a society.
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i spent a lot of time in the first two books and i will spend quite a bit more my third book painted edges of the issues of media, press, propaganda and how the war was presented to civilian populations of the various countries. this is a subject that is important and has received surprisingly little attention in the literature of world war ii. why another history of the pacific war backs there's a certain amount of fatigue which i have detected and i share with the enormous pile of books that have been published and continue to come out every year. world war ii, is it a sense of a published. if you look at the number of the books published about certainly the war in europe, but also the war in the pacific, the sheer number of them is rather impressive. every aspect of the pacific campaign has received a good deal of attention, so it certainly is mature literature.
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i think what has happened in the case of the pacific war was that there has been a tendency to slice the subject into smaller and smaller pieces and then to focus deeply on those individual pieces, so what you have is relentless specialization and what that results in overtime is a literature, which is very rich , but also very piece meal and this has a larger problem. it's treated somewhat as a subgenre, perhaps even kind of a ghetto, for medically sealed off from other important aspects of history. it has been neglected in the halls of academia and there are various reasons for that, perhaps there is a staggeringly -- lingering view to study is to horrify and i
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remember my first book, which was basically a friendly review, but a reviewer says that occasionally strays out of his lane, which is naval history into these other areas of politics and diplomacy and even economics. were, i agree that i do straight out of my lane and i continue to do that and i will in the future. i think this day in your lane mentality has been a problem in military history. even more so naval history, so as a subgenre of a subgenre, much of it written by scholars who are one way or another affiliated. the pacific war has larger dimensions, which deserve our attention. politics of the war, diplomacy to manage issue and managing a local coalition, foreign-policy, social history, present propaganda, the organization of the economy for war production, the planning of the postwar future, all of these are
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important subjects that are usually completely omitted in military history of this conflict. the question of how and when and how aggressively to fight the pacific war was very controversial. the allies made europe their bases of their global strategy and yet in the logic of europe was unassailable. virtually everyone agreed with the single run-on perception of douglas macarthur. but, europe-- [inaudible] >> given the allies were going to develop the lion share of their effort to defeating nazi germany, regarding nazi germany is the prime enemy, what exactly was the minority effort to be made in the pacific? there's an anonymous difference between 10% and 30%, isn't there? and does the concept of europe
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first menu by purely a defensive war on holding action in the pacific, pending the final defeat of germany or would it be permissible under this overall scheme to begin within early counteroffensive in the pacific? and that is what eventually was done. these were issues that were at the heart of the relationship between great britain and the united states. the primary alleys and played into the future of western colonialism in asia, specifically the british empire and it was an ideological struggle, the pacific war between pan asian vision and very effective, at least early on, propaganda looking to toward asia it had been freed of the white interloper and propaganda,
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censorship, press and media coverage as i have said, i think , is immensely important subject in place or a clean the more military considerations. i favor a style of history, which is a particular style and i don't think it's the only way to write history, but what i like to do is to tell the story first, bring a story sensibility to this work, but do it in a way that combines a certain scholarly rigor with the storytelling approach. ever since i first realized, a 13-year old boy living in tokyo, that i had a real of session with history i have sought out authors who have been able to develop narratives that will pull you through without feeling like you have to give a lot of work. i was a 13-year old boy and you really need to keep the pages going because you're not going
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to sustain the kind of attention that you need to push through dense and unreadable history. history that treat the subject with nuance or recognize the complexity and adopt a certain scholarly rigor, but at the same time tell a great story, those types of histories, i think, are as rare and whenever i find them , regardless of what the subject, i enjoy them a great deal. i think the scholars approach of stating a thesis of marshaling evidence in support of developing an argument has real power and has often the deepest insights, new insights that we have in history are turned up by that kind of approach. gordon wood, brown university, great scholar of the early american republic and the american revolution has observed that for lack of a better term
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popular historians depend on the work of academic historians while the reverse is not necessarily true. comparing these two approaches directly is like asking what's more useful tool, a hammer or a wrench. well, you need more information. what is the job you're trying to do, and it's best that the narrative style actually a call pushes the mark clinical approach, which is that it brings us closer to the way that history was actually lived by the people who were there and therefore, brings us to a richer, fuller and more satisfying way of understanding why decisions were made and history whatever else it is is a genre of literature and always has been. back to ancient times, plutarch, salas, a more recently edward
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gibbon and henry adams to churchill, they were storytellers. theodore roosevelt was a storyteller among all the other things he was once said the thing-- the single most of what trait for the history and was imagination. that's a provocative thing to say. we who write nonfiction are supposed to stick to the facts and not let our imagination off the leash, but i think he has a point, putting yourself in the shoes, looking through the eyes of people who would been a different era takes a feed of imagination. there have been great stories written about war, recently unbroken has been read, i would hazard to guess by at least 10 million americans and may be closer to. a real blockbuster of a book and a good book, but it's rare to find narratives that focus on a single individual or story like that that will convey the vast
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sweep of a terrible war to tell the story of the entire conflict and to do it in a way that pulls the reader through the narrative. of my purpose is to assimilate into my narrative many different distinct, contrasting points of view. the high command and the view from the decks and the foxholes and the cockpits, the japanese and the american point of view. the home front in the battle fronts. we have had good narratives addressing the pacific world-- war and i can claim this is the first history of the entire pacific war to be published in at least 25 years and the first volume history to be published since samuel worsens series, which was published in the 1940s and 50s.
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pacific war was by vast margin the largest naval war ever waged and it was in all likelihood the largest that will ever be waged a. in the pacific, a notion so large that you could fit all of the worlds combined landmasses into it. it was the only instance in which a opposing fleets of aircraft carriers met in battle. there were five such battles in the war and provided the most complete demonstration of the means by which submarines could destroy an army supply lines and lead to a fundamental revolution enabled doctrines putting it into the gun battleship and establishing carrier aviation and submarines as the principal means of waging war at sea. has been a tendency, which i think of our military to treat warfare on land as the main plot while relegating naval history for the status of a sub john rough. in the case of the pacific war, i think that approach has died
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real damage, one only need clients any map of the pacific to grasps that the war against japan was principally a naval campaign and an air campaign in which the destruction of the japanese fleet was the basic strategic problem. marines might seize pacific islands and combat as they did, but only after delivered to the beaches and-- and is supported by heavy ship to shore bombardment. concrete islands in the pacific was never a girl in itself and when an island was not needed it was bypassed, it's jackie piece -- japanese occupiers left deliver-- karen levine. [inaudible]
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>> to prepare for the next westwards thrust. any big historical narrative dealing with war in my view should have naval campaign and the spine and spirit. the pacific war was on amphibious war, the largest most technologically complexed and bloodiest amphibious war in history. amphibious were striking an enemy on land by way of c is the most difficult, most precarious, most risky type of any major military operation prior to the second world war the largest most relevant precedent campaign which had been a debacle and very nearly destroyed the career winston churchill gave reason-- little reason for confidence for amphibious operation to succeed it must have overwhelming advantages. he must control the sea the
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island. you must control the air above. you must deliver troops to the beaches rapidly so they can build up a critical mass of numbers quickly. the, then most troops on that beach will have to be supplied and constantly-- constant support by sea and by air. amphibious warfare by furniture are the closest most intimate cooperation between the different services, between army, navy, marines, between the different departments or arms within the services and for that reason it exposed and exacerbated all of the latent interservice rivalries and antagonisms, which exist in every country among military institutions. prior to world war ii the united states really was not, military was not well prepared to function in integrated high command.
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the army, navy had interacted very little in peacetime considering there was no department of defense until after the war. there was a war department, which handled the army affairs and there was a navy department. each headed by a civilian cabinet secretary who work on weikel and reported record to the president's. there was no thing as the joint chiefs of staff. that committee was convened as a ad hoc response to the need for some sort of organization immediately after paul harmer, particularly to meet with the british when they came over for the first world-- wartime summit in washington and the joint chiefs of staff never had any statutory authority during world war. never had an official chairman. the service chiefs, george marshall for the army and earnest cable for the navy did not have any means of rectified
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or resolving their disputes. there was no mechanism. they either hashed it out and-- direct negotiations or took the dispute to president roosevelt and for many reasons they do not want to do that, so they were forced to work together. consider the technological changes that had happened in the course of these officers careers between 1900 and 1905, senior generals and 19-- had entered the service academies. this was before the wright brothers had got off the ground. there was no aviation when they started their careers. radios it is in the sea. submarines were primitive contraptions that usually killed the crew and did no damage to the ship's upon attack. ships were powered by coral and had to make the-- [inaudible]
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>> the technological change that occurred over the course of these individuals career really makes your head spin. that, i think, makes it all-- certainly arouses all the more admiration of the quality of american military leadership in the war. that pacific war, as i have said, was exposed all sorts of friction between the allied coalition. big decisions about the pacific war toward the scenes of the allied relationships between the british government, american government and pitted the americans against the british common army against the navy's air force against the army and against the navy aviation arms and pitted general douglas
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macarthur against everyone who do not share his view and he should immediately receive airplay and-- airplanes regardless of what was happening elsewhere. there was in 1942a salamone like decision to the fight that pacific between army and navy and for that reason you had to feeders, macarthur who is a complicated person and whose * i think has fallen further sense his career than any other major figure of that era. ..
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this is something that is often forgotten. certainly in world war ii history. fdr himself like to repeat a joke that has circulated in washington about the marines on guadalcanal, one marine told another if you would like to -- the original version is if you want to get a job, i won't said that, if you want to kill a japanese soldier, walk up the hill and shout to hell with hirohito and one of the japanese soldiers will pop up and you shoot him. the marines that i will try that so he walked up the hill, to hell with hirohito. nothing louder.
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to hell with hirohito. the japanese soldier popped his head up and says to hell with fdr so the marines lindsey wright love for his shoulder, walks down the hill and his buddy says what happened? i didn't hear a shot and the marine says i know we are supposed to win this war but i am damned if i will shoot another republican. i repeated that joke at the naval observatory, the official residence of the vice president. the previous administration, and i realize the punch line left my mouth that vice president cheney had recently shot another republican in a hunting accident and my first thought was i in salted my host and that is not
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polite, they tend to -- drier considerations of military strategy >> host: 44 during the presidential campaign fdr traveled to all who to meet with macarthur and nimitz and other senior commanders in the pacific and they confronted a whole series of decisions about how to fight but the immediate decision was do we liberate all of the philippines, the big northern ireland which is the location of manila. mccarter wanted to do that.
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they had been promised a liberation. the navy preferred to take a more direct course toward japan and continue the logic, by passing positions, mccarter won that argument and political historians and biographers tended forcefully emphasize political dimension of that decision. minutes were not kept, he meetings between macarthur and nimitz and fdr but when we look at staff studies and communications between military commanders before and after this conference. what we find is this alternative to the operation causeway, ernest king's favorite alternative to liberating the philippines, but the more they look did that alternative the worse it looked and the japanese
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army's rampage through the continent of china that occurred in the same period of time and increase the risk, which was not as sexy as it sounds. i think macarthur won that argument on the merits and this is the point i make in my third volume. since we are on macarthur, closed with a few remarks on japan. when macarthur was recalled to the united states he went before the senate and was asked in the course of his questioning what he thought about the future of japan. and he said that measured by the standards of modern civilization japan would be like a boy of 12. that is a put down when you call another country it 12-year-old
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boy. to japanese years it came up bit differently. the relationship between an older brother randy and her brother is a very important concept in the confucian ideals at the heart of japanese culture and in a sense macarthur, who was held in adulation by the japanese in that period was offering on behalf of the united states to play the role of an older brother which is tantamount to offering of familial bond, you would offer guidance, the younger brother should be obedient and the older brother has an obligation to the younger brother. in the confucian context, this may be another way of thinking about macarthur's peculiar genius, that was tantamount to a model and it was used by two generations of japanese leaders
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to think of their relationship with the united states. a prominent postwar japanese novelist said shortly after macarthur's remark i thought japan was an old country that now anita king to walks always happy a famous american pointed out is only 12 years old. among the words americans have bestowed upon japan this one has elated me the most anti pointed out that under criminal law in japan as well as in the united states no one under the age of 14 has the ability to take on criminal responsibilities so the japanese war criminals were akin to boys who accidentally killed their friends while playing at war. all of this is a long winded way of coming to my point which is when i was a 12-year-old boy i live in the heart of tokyo. my father was in the banking
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industry, and spent the formative years between 11 through 14 living in the heart of that city and tokyo then and still now is remarkable for a number of reasons, it has virtually no violent crime at all. this was a society in which a person snacking in which the victim was not armed might lead the evening news in the late 70s, an extraordinary see, all the kids had the run of the city. and had an extraordinary degree heat of freedom in a city of 20 million halfway round the world. for me in that period tokyo was my city. and when i walk around my neighborhood, no one looked at the back of my hand. it will always be my home.
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the freedom i am ashamed to say, there was a certain amount of hooliganism but no criminal responsibility can be attached to the behavior of a boy that age. what do we think of the second world war? we didn't think much about it at all, kids don't think about history. the war had ended 35 years earlier and to a 12-year-old that is an alternative, might as well be three centuries. but we did have an awareness. we did watch movies like 4 out for a tour and bridge over the river kwai and we would meet older americans, veterans, people from the world war ii generation who would express
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better sentiments about the japanese which was an eye opener and in school we were taught a little bit about the war. 1979, 1980, japanese, middle-aged and older had vivid recollections of the war though very few ever talked about it. every now and then we got a glimpse. the fireworks in the neighborhood, run bio war veteran, he didn't like to sell fireworks, he didn't fight his war for japan will lead to selling munitions to the sons of the occupiers. you can understand his point of view. we didn't appreciate the racially profiled in that way. we would take the correct amount of money, drop it on the counter and run down the street and come to the door and shake our fist. my brother using some of those same fireworks burned a tree down in a public park which is here and almost got the entire
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family deported. my father made a call to someone, a foreign minister to smooth that over. we learned some of the history in school and we were particularly i remember clearly very interested in the subject of our pows and the way the japanese treated our pows, hard to rectify stories of that kind of cruelty with the impression we had of the japanese which they were of very sweet, kind, pacifist people. the consensus explanation for how that occurred, the japanese didn't believe in surrender and therefore they thought any soldier of any other nation that surrendered lost his honor and therefore had given up any rights to be treated with any sort of respect. that is a terrible explanation
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but that is what we were told. that was a big misunderstanding. there was the issue of the atomic bombs and like kids here and americans three generations since the second world war we have been treated to this myth that there were only two options, either in evading or dropping a bomb on the japanese city without any warning at all. that is not true. those were not the only options leif there were other options as well. first big historical narrative i read was the rising sun which came out in the mid 70s which all the parents were reading. i picked it up and surprised myself by zooming through it in a week and the description of
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the firebombing of tokyo in may of 1945 was seared into my mind in a way that is vivid to recall even now. this was the description of utter devastation across the heart of the city including the neighborhood we lived in affecting places that i knew intimately and personally. that was the first big historical narrative and began a lifelong fascination with the pacific war that has eventually lead to this book. i want to finish by saying i think the current situation in japan, the way the japanese remember or choose not to remember the second world war is not a matter of great concern, and the wartime generation passed on these issues in asia would begin to recede in
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importance and surprisingly deplorably i think the opposite seems to be happening. these issues particularly between china and japan, the two koreas and japan are very much at the heart of relations between major powers of east asia and appeared to be an important consideration for the future which affect of course american security in the region. the chinese government is duplicitous in complaining about crimes the place 75 years ago, when you consider there's human-rights record of today, their behavior in tibet and many other issues but the danger chinese people including chinese-americans feel toward japan because of the history of that war is real and it is justified. what so many people have forgotten is japanese forces
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behaved very well in the russell japanese war. in the first sign a japanese war, the boxer rebellion, japanese forces had been disciplined, treated prisoners according to the highest standards, red cross standards, protected civilians, they performed military honors when russian prisoners had died. the mortality rate among russian prisoners was extremely low. these events happen 35 years before the second world war, period short enough that you have young officers in the service in the second war, something extraordinary happened to change the culture and vast community japanese, many scholars and political leaders why that happened and there are different explanations in the heart of a mystery so i have
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suggested to many japanese that the better way to go about talking about these issues is to say these things that happened happened within a 15 year period between 1930, and 1945. we are not proud, we are indeed ashamed of the behavior of our forces, but we don't think that an ancient civilization, 2700 years old deserves to be judged based on a 15 year period. i may have gone over time so i am going to close quickly by reading the last paragraph of my book, to hammer home the point, the theme i plan to develop more in the third volume which is the japanese people were victims of the japanese regime as well. direct defiance of authority was
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impossible, spies were everywhere. the state security service was quick to arrest anyone suspected of holding left wing or -- children were encouraged to inform on their parents and teachers, libraries were compelled to produce lists and titles loaned to every patron and police combed the those lists for clues of who might harbor foreign sympathies or unacceptably liberal tendencies. the regime committed an atmosphere of omnipresent parent oy ab. traders and infiltrators were said to be everywhere. during those years everything happened behind heavy doors, out of our site, wrote the author after the war. what became clear was unclear then. day after day we trembled in fear struck dumb with astonishment, incomprehensible developments, down marriage and overworked, driven like a herd of beasts, instructed how to act and what to think prior to any sound basis for rational
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judgment, for and was tortured in prison at the first divergence from enforced enormous, japanese people were powerless to alter the doomed course chosen by their leaders having long since surrendered one of rights and freedoms they once possessed, they were fated to share in 1945. happy to take any questions. [applause] >> during that temporary insanity. i tend to think this is too romantic but there must have been one person to dominate over that period. >> the japanese do things as a group and grouping is a powerful force in japanese society.
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during the war our propaganda to personify somebody in japan, we could not decide if it should be the prime minister and boy minister or hirohito, the emperor, wasn't quite mussolini or hitler. a militarist click concentrated in the army or factions within the army but also drawing japanese in from other walks of life. it would be hard to put it into one individual. >> bombing nagasaki and hiroshima, going into the burning of tokyo say a few words about those options, what with
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the other options? >> we had a complete blockade of the japanese islands, cutting off the seaborne supply lines to their central resource areas, putting them into a situation which their economy, civilian economy could not function at all. germany had been defeated. the declaration coming south of berlin, regardless of surrender, and simply saying there's a photograph, even if it hadn't changed the japanese calculus, would have achieved something else and shifted the responsibility to the japanese regime for what then happened
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later. a lot of this i am exploring in my research, up will be addressed in the next book and another myth that has come don't was is the american people and american leadership was unanimous, even in senior ranks of military services and there were bitter critics in this decision so there were a variety of decisions. i do agree that if the decision came down to invade the japanese home islands or use the bomb you can make a case in my view for using the bomb against the japanese based on a utilitarian type of moral reasoning, the greatest good for the greatest
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number essentially. but this notion that we either were to invasive and kill 20 million japanese civilians, perhaps lose 500,000 of our own or drop the bomb without warning on a japanese city, those were not the only two options and i will argue that point in the book to come. >> when you fink of world war ii and you look at the treatment of the united states, german and japanese, the enemy concept, do you think that -- the decisionmaking process? >> a peculiar bitterness of that war was certainly at the heart
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of the bombing of cities but we had firebombed german cities as well and i think it is conceivable we could have used the bomb against germany, i don't find persuasive the idea that we wouldn't have used the bomb against germany and used against the japanese because they are asians. but this whole notion is fascinating, dehumanization of the enemy. perhaps is necessary taking and the 18-year-old kid from a farm in iowa, putting a rifle in his hand and telling him to go fight a battle as awful as okinawa or iwo jima. that young man doesn't naturally come to do what he has to do. hatred can be compelling force
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perhaps unnecessary force, dehumanization of the enemy as opposite is, necessary future of the pacific war, and in some cases our leaders let our troops down in that respect. >> these are obviously -- where do you begin? how do you pull your research together? >> i try to begin with an outline and try to organize the research into chapter by chapter, section by section, even paragraph by paragraph out line. that has to be an iterative process because as you do the research the outline changes.
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but i try to capture the research in a way that will allow me to put my hands on it right when i needed it and that middle part, not just research but organizing the research before you begin to write. perhaps the most important part of the process. i am sorry if that is vague but this could be a very long conversation. >> you didn't mention anything about kamikaze. my father was a world war ii naval aviator in the pacific theater, first-generation german by birth. now i forgot what i was going to say. kamikaze. i remember stories of how a lot
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of these distinguished flying crosses, the people didn't live, they diet. so they didn't usually speak. i would always hear stories filtered from my mother. the kamikazes were significant. date didn't have the radar at the time and it would be like the alarms, the devastation of our fleet, in any of your books have you gone into interesting insights in terms of japanese mind, do your books at that component about understanding? >> the japanese resorted to
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suicide tactics after the fall of cyan in 1944. right after the period that is covered in this volume was when the japanese first began considering this use of human beings as guided missiles essentials leap on a massive scale, began just after this. i will get deep into that subject in the third volume. in general the japanese warrior code exulted to agree degrees an hour warrior code death in combat. for many japanese warriors in this final phase of the war it was clear that japan had been defeated at least in military strategic sense. many warriors of many different ranks seemed to become preoccupied with how i am going to die.
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is necessary for me to die. the last thing i am going to do, if i can't save my country, can't win this war but i will die well. certainly cultural factors are very much at work. i think one could imagine a situation where young american men committed themselves to suicide attacks on that kind of scale but it would take a foreign invader coming on to our solutionil . to go in knowing you are going to die is an extra step lose yours your imagination which large numbers of american men would make that decision to give their lives knowingly, but it would have to be at the last with an invader coming on to our
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soil. >> what do you think of the idea that the decision to commit to total war, it firebombing civilian populations was actually an allied decision more than the axis of the japanese? >> the british suffered under that punishment from the air in 1940 and subsequent to that. they had a point of view that germans are going to get the same kind of treatment back from us. richard rhodes's book and the atomic bomb shows in terms of moral reasoning behind this, there was step-by-step, you're going to get the munitions plans. the workers live in the adjacent neighborhoods. some are ready to miss the aircraft plant and maybe kill
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some of the workers and perhaps we should just take out all those neighborhoods to the point where you had these decisions to white entire cities off the map. horrifying but has to be understood in the peculiar context of this most terrible war in history. >> there has been speculation that roosevelt for the end of this period said we are going to unconditional surrender and some speculation about a european war. the think it had impact? ..


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