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War and State Terrorism

The United States, Japan, and the Asia-Pacific in the Long Twentieth Century

Edited by Mark Selden and Alvin Y. So - Contributions by Utsumi Aiko; Bruce Cumings; Richard Falk; Ben Kiernan; Diana Lary; Peter Dale Scott; Brian Daizen Victoria; Lawrence S. Wittner and Marilyn B. Young

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If the past hundred years will be remembered as a century of war, Asia is surely central to that story. Tracing the course of conflicts throughout the region, this groundbreaking volume is the first to explore systematically the nexus of war and state terrorism. Challenging states' definitions of terrorism, which routinely exclude their own behavior, the book focuses especially on the nature of Japanese and American wars and crimes of war. The authors also assess significant acts of terror instigated by other Asian nations including China, Cambodia, and Indonesia.

Offering a rare comparative perspective, the authors consider how state terror leads to massive civilian casualties, crimes of war, and crimes against humanity. In counterbalance, they discuss anti-war and anti-nuclear movements and international efforts to protect human rights, and the interwoven issues of responsibility, impunity, and memory. Interdisciplinary and deeply informed by global perspectives, this volume will resonate with readers searching for a deeper understanding of an epoch that has been dominated by war and terror.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 304Size: 6 x 9
978-0-7425-2390-6 • Hardback • December 2003 • $124.00 • (£80.00)
978-0-7425-2391-3 • Paperback • November 2003 • $40.00 • (£24.95)
978-1-4175-0350-6 • eBook • October 2004 • $39.99 • (£24.95)
Mark Selden is professor of sociology and history at Binghamton University and professorial associate in the East Asia Program at Cornell University. Alvin Y. So is professor in the Division of Social Science at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
Chapter 1 Introduction: War and State Terrorism
Chapter 2 The United States and Japan in Twentieth-Century Asian Wars
Chapter 3 State Terror versus Humanitarian Law
Chapter 4 American Air Power and Nuclear Strategy in Northeast Asia since 1945
Chapter 5 When God(s) and Buddhas Go to War
Chapter 6 Japanese Racism, War, and the POW Experience
Chapter 7 The Waters Covered the Earth: China's War-Induced Natural Disasters
Chapter 8 Drugs and Oil: The Deep Politics of U.S. Asian Wars
Chapter 9 War, Genocide, and Resistance in East Timor, 1975-99: Comparative Reflections on Cambodia
Chapter 10 Resisting State Terror: The Anti-Vietnam War Movement
Chapter 11 Resisting Nuclear Terror: Japanese and American Antinuclear Movements since 1945
These perceptive and deeply informed essays should be studied carefully by those who hope to comprehend the past and play a constructive part in shaping a better future.
Noam Chomsky, MIT


An important book both because it restores the centrality of Asian wars in twentieth-century history and because it examines critical aspects of modern combat—the deliberate targeting of civilians, the utilization of ever-more lethal methods of human slaughter, the role of state terror—that concern us today.
Michael Klare, Hampshire College


With the term "terrorism" recently being used in contexts that have become frighteningly more arbitrary and irresponsible, this volume appears as both timely and essential to understanding a post-911 worldview. War and State Terrorism includes perspectives that are often thought-provoking and always well documented through historical fact. With a number of notable scholars of Asian affairs contributing to this work edited by Mark Selden-himself one of the most renowned experts in his field-the volume contains contributions that provide the reader with some very interesting background to the major conflicts of the twentieth century.
Mark Wisniewski, University of British Columbia, Vancouver; Pacific Affairs, Volume 77, No. 4 - Winter 2004/2005


essential reading for those interested in how war affects not only the individuals caught at its centre, but also those at its periphery.
Mark Wisniewski, University of British Columbia, Vancouver; Pacific Affairs, Volume 77, No. 4 - Winter 2004/2005


This provocative examination of state terrorism asks readers to reconsider their assumptions about who are the 'bad guys' and to question why so many outrages are committed against innocent civilians with impunity.
The Japan Times


This is a book to read—and assign—now. The smart, graphically detailed set of case studies uses new documentation and fresh historical analysis to question the assumption that it is wayward individuals and 'rogue regimes' that wield terror.
Cynthia Enloe, author of Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women's Lives


This timely volume will interest all who seek to apply the "lessons of history," as they are often called, to contemporary events.
Bill Sewell; H-Us-Japan


War and State Terrorism provides an excellent overview of the historical cases that characterize a rarely explored concept of state terrorism in the Asian context. I cannot over praise the density of case presentation in each article. The comparative nature of the volume is definitely valuable, providing readers detailed illustrations of wars and international conflicts that took place in Asia throughout the twentieth century. This is a must-read for academic audiences and any humanitarian actors concerned about the possibility of reckless destructive crusades by great powers.
Contemporary Sociology


The first book systematically to explore issues ofstate terrorism.

Offers a rare Asian comparative perspective on war.

Deeply informed by global perspectives.

Brings together the work of historians, sociologists, political scientists, and international law specialists.

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