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Troubled Apologies Among Japan, Korea, and the United States

Alexis Dudden

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Paper, 184 pages, 30 illus.
ISBN: 978-0-231-14177-2
$27.00 / £18.50

June, 2008
Cloth, 184 pages, 30 illus.
ISBN: 978-0-231-14176-5
$55.00 / £38.00

"Dudden engagingly explores how the nexus of politics, war memory, and apology shapes contemporary trilateral relations between Korea, Japan, and the United States." — Jeff Kingston, Japan Times

"Richly and eloquently written. . . . Recommended." — Choice

"A significant contribution on the issue of historical apologies . . . This book should be required reading." — Matthew Penney, Pacific Affairs

"Rich with insights . . . for specialists, for twentieth-century historians, and for general readers interested in a deeper understanding of the politics of history." — Sarah Kovner, Journal of World HistoryUniversity of Florida

"Dudden traces the intricacies and ironies of history in Northeast Asia in a compelling narrative that indicts many governments and political figures in the process, providing essential reading for anyone wishing to learn more about these complex issues." — Elizabeth S. Dahl, ID: International Dialogue

"What does it mean for a country to apologize for sins committed in the past? Who gets to decide whether sufficient apology has been offered? This important work of international history addresses what such apologies mean and for whom. Alexis Dudden explores the subject with great care and specificity, and her analysis of multiple issues is splendid. I know of no other book like it." — Marilyn B. Young, New York University, author of The Vietnam Wars, 1945-1990

"Alexis Dudden makes a powerful case for the ways in which the practices of 'emptying' history allow states and peoples to elide the complexities of the past and evade its often inconvenient truths. Dudden carefully explores the cultural politics that shape these elisions and the contradictions that emerge from them. Her convincing argument elucidates the sources of unease, as well as the fictions necessary to sustain the national narratives that have so profoundly shaped the twentieth-century histories of Japan, South Korea, and the United States." — Mark P. Bradley, Northwestern University, author of Imagining Vietnam and America: The Making of Postcolonial Vietnam

"With a deceptively plain touch, Alexis Dudden offers a fascinating, uniquely accessible, cogent account of the turn of the century milieu that continues to entrench the relations among Japan, Korea, and United States within the complex struggles over their torturous pasts. Conversant in the extensive scholarship on historical memory, Troubled Apologies Among Japan, Korea, and the United States is an important study of transnational history that should be read by anyone concerned with the current diplomatic politics of East Asia and beyond." — Lisa Yoneyama, University of California, San Diego, author of Hiroshima Traces: Time, Space, and the Dialectics of Memory

"Issues of apology and historical responsibility have become topics of impassioned political controversy in East Asia. Alexis Dudden’s insightful and immensely readable study takes the reader beyond the conventional cycle of blame and counter-blame, offering brilliant new insights into the memory politics of the region. Above all, by highlighting the key role of the United States in regional ‘history wars,’ Dudden provides a new framework of interpretation which reshapes the parameters of the debate. This is a must-read book for anyone interested in questions of historical justice in East Asia and worldwide." — Tessa Morris-Suzuki, Australian National University, author of Exodus to North Korea: Shadows from Japan's Cold War

"Troubled Apologies is a passionately argued and beautifully written account of Korea's ties to Japan and the United States. The book is especially important for episodes that have largely been forgotten in the United States but still burn in the collective memories of the Korean people. This book is a must-read for anyone trying to understand contemporary Asian history and Korea's role in the global community." — Tim Shorrock, author of Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing

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About the Author

Alexis Dudden is professor of history at the University of Connecticut. She has written extensively on Japan's international relations and is also author of Japan's Colonization of Korea: Discourse and Power.

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