Breaking Open Japan: Commodore Perry, Lord Abe, and American Imperialism in 1853

Harper Collins, 2.7.2013 - 416 sivua

On July 14, 1853, the four warships of America's East Asia Squadron made for Kurihama, 30 miles south of the Japanese capital, then called Edo. It had come to pry open Japan after her two and a half centuries of isolation and nearly a decade of intense planning by Matthew Perry, the squadron commander. The spoils of the recent Mexican Spanish–American War had whetted a powerful American appetite for using her soaring wealth and power for commercial and political advantage.

Perry's cloaking of imperial impulse in humanitarian purpose was fully matched by Japanese self–deception. High among the country's articles of faith was certainty of its protection by heavenly power. A distinguished Japanese scholar argued in 1811 that "Japanese differ completely from and are superior to the peoples of...all other countries of the world."

So began one of history's greatest political and cultural clashes.

In Breaking Open Japan, George Feifer makes this drama new and relevant for today. At its heart were two formidable men: Perry and Lord Masahiro Abe, the political mastermind and real authority behind the Emperor and the Shogun. Feifer gives us a fascinating account of "sealed off" Japan and shows that Perry's aggressive handling of his mission had far reaching consequences for Japan – and the United States – well into the twentieth if not twenty–first century.


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LibraryThing Review

Käyttäjän arvio  - setnahkt - LibraryThing

Thought-provoking, although the thoughts are not necessarily pleasant. At first I thought this was yet another blame-America-for-everything book, because author George Fiefer does, at one point ... Lue koko arvostelu

Breaking open Japan: Commodore Perry, Lord Abe, and American imperialism in 1853

Käyttäjän arvio  - Not Available - Book Verdict

For veteran scholarly journalist Feifer (The Battle of Okinawa ), when Americans "opened" Japan by force in the 1850s, they opened a Pandora's box, creating a resentful attitude that eventually led to ... Lue koko arvostelu


The Black Ships
The Opening and the Closing
The Initial Panic
The Military Odds and Perils of Visiting
The Commanding Commodore
The Cracks in the DoubleBolted Doors
The First Ultimatum
The Fateful Landing
The Heart of the Matter
The Tortured Reckoning
The China Crush and Russian Spur
The Nonsolution
The Departure of the Principals
The Pandoras Box
The Legacy

The Ephemeral Respite
The Land of Constant Courtesy
The Mouse in the Eagles Talons

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George Feifer is the author of many successful books, including Tennozan: The Battle of Okinawa, a New York Times Notable Book; Moscow Farewell, a Book of the Month Club Main Selection; and The Girl from Petrovka, the basis of a Hollywood film. He's written for a wide variety of publications, including the New Republic, the New York Times Magazine, Harper's, and the Saturday Evening Post. He lives in Roxbury, Connecticut.

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