These are flush times for good Japan textbooks. In the Winter 2001 issue of Education About Asia (Volume 6 Number 3), I reviewed paperback editions of William G. Beasley’s The Japanese Experience (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1999) and Conrad Schirokauer, A Brief History of Japanese Civilization (Fort Worth, Harcourt, Brace College Publishers, 1993), and found both comprehensive and authoritative. Half-read on my desk lie two very promising works: Andrew Gordon, A Modern History of Japan from Tokugawa Times to the Present (New York, Oxford University, 2003), and Elise K. Tipton, Modern Japan: A Social and Political History (London, Routledge). While the competition is thus keen, James McClain’s book is sure to be a winner.
Japan A Modern History