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The fate of prisoners of war (POWs) is now established within the mainstream of historical enquiry. As well as a growing literature on the subject, modules dedicated to studying the history of POWs are now a common feature on university history courses. The two books under review focus on British servicemen captured during the Second World War.
Embracing Defeat is a richly researched, beautifully illustrated and elegantly written account of the period of the US-led occupation of Japan from 1945–52, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the US National Book Award, among others. Throughout the book John Dower’s writing is elegant, informative and easy to follow.
Historians of the British Indian army, with little exception, have argued that Indian soldiers, or Sipahis, were incapable of acting on their own: they were led into anti-British political activities by ‘outsiders’ (1), they were loyal because ‘others’ told them to be loyal (2), and they could not be disloyal to the British as the sol
People must eat, even during wartime, preferably three times a day, civilians and soldiers, and of course children.
It is interesting that well into the 21st century two books written by Turkish authors belonging to the historiography of the Armenian Genocide should be so vastly different in argument.
Japanese Society at War deepens our understanding of the impact of the Russo-Japanese War on Japanese society.
The First World War is Russia’s ‘forgotten war’. After the Bolshevik seizure of power in October 1917, the memory of the war was subsumed into the history of the revolutionary process.
s the deft pun in the title reminds us, one of the ways in which nations were both imagined and institutionalised in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was through the conscripting of young men into the army. The ways in which they were called up, selected, trained and led, and the arrangements made for their families left behind deeply affected the nature of nationhood.