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World War II in the Pacific: An Encyclopedia (Military History of the United States) ebook

World War II in the Pacific: An Encyclopedia (Military History of the United States) Ebook

 By Stanley Sandler

 Language: English

 Publish Year : 2000

 

Download World War II in the Pacific: An Encyclopedia (Military History of the United States)

 

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Busy reference librarians know there is a renewed interest in World War II history these days. Even our popular culture is paying attention to the generation who came of age between the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941, and Japan's formal surrender aboard the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945. Therefore, it is fitting to view this source, part of the publisher's Military History of the United States Series, as both historical and contemporary in nature--historical because it deals with our past and contemporary because it presents a subject that has freshly grabbed our national attention.

In his thought-provoking introduction, Sandler, who also edited Garland's The Korean War: An Encyclopedia (1995), makes the case that the war in the Pacific cannot be understood without examining the unique and often conflicting cultural perspectives brought to the conflict by the Americans and Japanese. He explains, for example, how Japanese military behavior was influenced heavily by adherence to the medieval code of Bushido. Likewise, he discusses the American military's use of weaponry such as napalm flamethrowers in terms of its members' racial attitude toward Asians. His overall aim is to provide comprehensive coverage of events in the Pacific from the late 1930s to the Japanese surrender. Included are articles on military campaigns, weaponry, diplomacy, politics, and the social effects of the war. The role of major figures in the war is discussed throughout the volume, but this is not primarily a biographical source.

A major strength of the encyclopedia is that the articles are not limited to battles, generals, and places. These are adequately covered (e.g., Burma Road; Coral Sea, Battle of; LeMay, Curtis; MacArthur, Douglas; Palau), but along with them we are presented with articles on topics as disparate as African American troops; Film treatment of the Pacific War; Journalistic coverage of the Pacific War; Psychological warfare; and Stereotypes, Japanese and American.

Entries end with further readings and see also references. The publishers omitted several features that are standard with this type of reference work. There is no general bibliography. The list of contributors gives names only, with no identifying information (e.g., professional affiliation, job title), which does not help the reader gauge the credibility of the work. Also omitted is a comprehensive listing of entries, either alphabetical or by theme. Fortunately, there is an exhaustive 40-page index, and this provides easy quick reference to information in the articles. The text is not supplemented by illustrations, but a separate section of several dozen black-and-white captioned photos has been inserted.

Two other recent reference titles focus on the Pacific theater: The Pacific War Encyclopedia (Facts On File, 1998) and the third volume of The New Grolier Encyclopedia of World War II (1995). World War II in the Pacific is more scholarly and will provide academic and larger public libraries with solid reference coverage of the war. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

A useful and affordable source for undergraduates and beginning graduate students looking for quick analysis and information on the pacific war. Recommended for all academic and public libraries.
Choice, April 2001

 

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