Thursday, March 24, 2011

Irony not found

Been reading John W. Dower's Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II. Fascinating stuff. The shifty-eyed Nips (h/t Batman: the 1943 Serial) were sure put through (and put themselves through) some changes during the American occupation.

But what I want to mention is the back cover "advance praise" of the book from one Stephen Ambrose: "Without question, Dower is America's foremost historian of the Second World War in the Pacific. I steal from him shamelessly in my lectures; I do make sure to give him credit when I steal from his material in my books . . ."

Embracing Defeat came out in 1999, before the Ambrose plagiarism scandal broke, so of course I had to check to see if Ambrose actually had stolen from Dower. Apparently not. Rats. Hell, if I were Dower I'd be a little miffed.

Update: Page 220 of ED: "As of early 1945, there was no plan to induce a democratic revolution in the defeated nation. The old Japan hands who still controlled postsurrender planning anticipated a mild reform agenda at best." Hmmm, reminds me of something . . .

Update II: Can one be more than "a little" miffed? "I was hugely miffed." "Miffed beyond endurance." "So miffed I could scream." Nope.

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