John Dower's Cultures of War is 2010 National Book Award finalist




Excerpt from The National Book Foundation 
"Over recent decades, Pulitzer-winning historian John W. Dower has addressed the roots and consequences of war from multiple perspectives. Here he examines the cultures of war revealed by four powerful events—Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, 9-11, and the invasion of Iraq in the name of a war on terror. The list of issues examined and themes explored is wide-ranging: failures of intelligence and imagination, wars of choice and "strategic imbecilities," faith-based secular thinking as well as more overtly holy wars, the targeting of noncombatants, and the almost irresistible logic—and allure—of mass destruction. Dower also sets the U.S. occupations of Japan and Iraq side by side in strikingly original ways. He offers comparative insights into individual and institutional behavior and pathologies that transcend "cultures" in the more traditional sense, and that ultimately go beyond war-making alone."  

The National Book Awards winners will be announced on November 17, 2010. Eligible books were written by an American citizen and published in the United States between December 1, 2009, and November 30, 2010.



John W. Dower
Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, 9-11, Iraq 
W.W. Norton & Co/The New Press

About John Dower 
John W. Dower won the National Book Award in 1999 for Embracing Defeat. He retired from the history faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in June 2010 and is now a professor emeritus at the Institute. In addition to writing many books and articles about Japan and the United States in war and peace, Dower is a pioneer in the production and use of digital media for education. With Professor of Linguistics, Shigeru Miyagawa, Dower is a founder and co-director of the online “Visualizing Cultures” project, established at MIT's School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences in 2002 and dedicated to the presentation of image-driven scholarship on East Asia in the modern world. 


Suggested Links

John Dower's MIT webpage

On the War Path
Story by Peter Dizikes at MIT News 

Video | John Dower presentation on MIT World

National Book Foundation

Washington Post reviews Cultures of War


Photograph of John Dower by Graham G. Ramsay