A History of Japan: From Stone Age to Superpower

TitleA History of Japan: From Stone Age to Superpower
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsHenshall, Kenneth
Number of Pages240
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan

Despite its current business slump, Japan remains an economic powerhouse and, potentially, a major political force in world affairs. Thus, it is useful if ordinary Americans, as well as specialists, obtain an understanding and appreciation of Japanese culture and history. Henshall, professor of Japanese studies at the University of Waikato, New Zealand, has provided a short but reasonably thorough survey of Japanese history, beginning with the first human settlement of the islands. There are no major surprises here, and Henshall handles controversial issues with an evenhanded approach, declining to advocate a particular position. Still, he offers some useful insights into the Japanese "national character," and he convincingly asserts that the supposed assimilation of Western values is overstated by some historians. This informative and easily digestible work is ideal for general readers who wish to learn more about this important and fascinating nation. --Jay Freeman, Booklist


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