America’s Violent Century

John Dower is one the most preeminent historians of World War II’s Pacific theater and the aftermath of the conflict in Asia. His book War Without Mercy (1986) described the racial component of the U.S. campaign against Japan. In Embracing Defeat (1999), he examined the post-war U.S. occupation of Japan. He has long taken a critical look at U.S. foreign policy, subjecting the vaunted...
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Strange News from Another Star

NORTH KOREA IS NOT the information black hole it’s so often made out to be. It’s more like Alpha Centauri, a star several light years from Earth. We can remotely acquire a wealth of information about this distant location, even though there’s always a frustrating time lag. It’s not the speed of light, but the speed of processing defectors that prevents us from getting information about...
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The Other Vietnam Syndrome

THE VIETNAM WAR, for most Americans, has always been a tragedy with only two characters: the courageous but callow GI and the wily and ultimately victorious Vietnamese Communist. Everyone else, from the hapless South Vietnamese allies to the sinister Soviet and Chinese supporters of Ho Chi Minh, have been just bit players. This boiled-down confrontation has shaped a nearly continuous stream of US...
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The Real North Korea

Any book that purports to tell the story of the “real North Korea” runs the risk of serious overhype. North Korea, after all, is perhaps the least understood, least accessible, and least research-friendly country in the world. It has been called an “intelligence black hole.” Journalists rarely visit, and when they do they can’t just interview anyone they please. Historians rarely visit,...
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The Secret History of Yugoslavia

In the 6th century, in the Byzantine capital of Constantinople, the historian Procopius penned an account of the misdeeds of the emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora. The Secret History is a compelling account of the court intrigues of a treacherous emperor in a crumbling empire. That Justinian enjoyed a high reputation, the result of the military victories of his brilliant general...
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Guarding the Empire from Four Miles Up

They are unpopular all over the world, with one exception. According to a new Pew Research Center poll, the only country where a majority of citizens support drone strikes is the country that uses the new technology most regularly: the United States. Only 28 percent of U.S. citizens oppose drone strikes, compared to 62 percent who approve of their use. Once again, they prove the exception to the...
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