And why do we so readily remember the civilian bombings of Britain but not those of Dresden, Hamburg, and Tokyo? Marianna Torgovnick argues that we have lived, since the end of World War II, under the power of a war complex—a set of repressed ideas and impulses that stems from our unresolved attitudes toward the technological acceleration of mass death. This complex has led to gaps and hesitations in public discourse about atrocities committed during the war itself.
And it remains an enduring wartime consciousness, one most recently animated on September Showing how different events from World War II became prominent in American cultural memory while others went forgotten or remain hidden in plain sight, The War Complex moves deftly from war films and historical works to television specials and popular magazines to define the image and influence of World War II in our time.
Torgovnick also explores the trial of Adolf Eichmann, the emotional legacy of the Holocaust, and the treatment of World War II's missing history by writers such as W. Sebald to reveal the unease we feel at our dependence on those who hold the power of total war. Thinking anew, then, about how we account for war to each other and ourselves, Torgovnick ultimately, and movingly, shows how these anxieties and fears have prepared us to think about September 11 and our current war in Iraq. D-Day 2.
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The War Complex
Related Searches. Chicago Dreaming: Midwesterners and the City, During the late nineteenth century, Chicago's population grew at an astonishing rate, with an estimated During the late nineteenth century, Chicago's population grew at an astonishing rate, with an estimated growth of , people between and A movement was on foot, however, which in the end swept away the weak machinery of representative government and launched Japan on its biggest gamble for empire.
Who were the men behind this drive? To follow the rise of military-fascist dictatorship in Japan it is necessary to understand the unique position which the armed forces occupy in the government and in, the minds and hearts of the people. Before the rise of modem Japan, the nobles and their fighting men samurai formed the ruling class. After the old system of warrior clans was abolished and universal conscription was introduced. The honor of bearing arms, which had always been regarded as a mark of the superior man, was extended to the entire nation.
The mingling of emperor worship with the glorification of war, plus continued victories over half a century, have given the army and navy a popular prestige that will be hard to destroy. An unusual feature of the Japanese government which the militarists have used in their rise to power is the make-up of the cabinet.
The posts of war and navy minister can be held only by a general and an admiral on the active list. So the army or the navy can prevent the formation of any cabinet that is not acceptable to them merely by refusing to fill these positions.
Another dangerous feature is the division of control over civil and military affairs. The emperor is nominal commander in chief of the armed forces, and on military matters he receives advice only from high-ranking officers. The ministers of war and the navy have direct access to the emperor and do not have to approach him through the prime minister. The modern Japanese army admired and imitated the German. Its officers regard themselves as heirs of the old samurai.
The majority of them are poor, proud of their service, and fanatically devoted to the emperor. Dangerously ignorant of the world outside Japan, they dislike foreigners and regard prosperous Japanese businessmen and politicians who have absorbed Western culture with a mixture of envy and suspicion. By there was serious discontent in the armed forces.
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The world-wide depression hit Japan hard, causing much privation among the poor farmers from whose ranks the army was largely recruited. There were many failures of small businesses and serious unemployment among industrial and white-collar workers. Army officers were alarmed at the spread of Western political ideas, especially communism. Their faith in the government was shaken by the evidence of bribery, graft, and corruption in the chief political parties, and by deals between politicians and big business to the disadvantage of the mass of the people.
Like the Nazis, the Japanese military fascists claimed to be friends of the common man. To pull Japan out of the depths of the depression a vigorous program of social, economic, and political reform was needed. But the big landowners and industrialists were not prepared to accept changes which threatened their interests.
The worst of these superpatriots worked with the army fanatics to organize numerous assassinations, after The victims were leading statesmen, bankers, industrialists, and even generals and admirals who advocated a moderate policy. Discontent and revolutionary unrest were seething within the army like a volcano preparing to erupt.
On September 18, the top blew off in Manchuria. Commanders of troops guarding the South Manchurian Railway faked a piece of railway sabotage as an excuse to occupy the chief Manchurian cities. This was done without the consent of the cabinet then in office, which resigned as a result.
In a government headed by Admiral Saito approved the seizure of Manchuria by formally recognizing Manchukuo, a dummy empire set up by the army. The militarists followed up their gains by the occupation of a large slice of north China in , forcing the Chinese government to sign a humiliating truce. In February , Japan quit the League of Nations, burning its most important bridge with the outside world. In February , after two years of deceptive quiet, the army volcano erupted again, this time in a mutiny almost within the shadow of the imperial palace.
Only about 1, troops, led by their captains and lieutenants, were involved. But there is good reason to suspect that some of the highest ranking generals were in sympathy with the mutineers. The fascist-minded young officers were not in rebellion against their military superiors, but against the government. They had prepared a long death list of prominent men whose principles and actions they disapproved.
Actually they succeeded in assassinating only three high officials.
The chief result was greater power for the supreme command. The outbreak of a large-scale war, in China rallied the people to the support of the militarists. All opposition to the war was suppressed.
The army took over the conduct of affairs in China, allowing the politicians little or no say. The state, which had always exercised strong controls over industry, trade, education, religion, and the press, tightened its grip. On September 27, , Japan concluded a military alliance with Germany and Italy. By the beginning of , for all practical purposes the army and the state were one.
Conclusion: Writing/Reading World War II After 9/11 | SpringerLink
Even big business, since an uneasy partner in the wartime economy, could no longer offer effective opposition to the fascists in uniform. On the other hand, a powerful army and navy tuned to a high pitch of enthusiasm and efficiency are a strong temptation to a war-minded government in time of crisis.
Japan had the best army, navy, and air force in the Far East. In addition to trained manpower and modern weapons, Japan had in the mandated islands a string of naval and air bases ideally located for an advance to the south. From to the Chinese war had cost Japan many billions of dollars and at least a million casualties. In return for this heavy investment, the Japanese expected great gains. Economic resources were at a low ebb; this was the chief weakness.
Nonetheless, in the fall of Japan was at the peak of its military and naval strength. France and Holland were in no position to come to the rescue of their Eastern possessions. They knew that they must strike soon, or give up forever their dream of conquest.
Certain events of the years between and Pearl Harbor had convinced even the arrogant descendants of the gods that the United States was not going to be pushed around much longer. Questionnaire: Why Study History? Corey Prize Raymond J. Cunningham Prize John H. Klein Prize Waldo G. Marraro Prize George L. Mosse Prize John E. Palmegiano Prize James A. Schmitt Grant J. Beveridge Award Recipients Albert J. Corey Prize Recipients Raymond J. Cunningham Prize Recipients John H. Fagg Prize Recipients John K. Franklin Jameson Award Recipients J. Marraro Prize Recipients George L.