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North Castle Books

Bamboozled!: How America Loses the Intellectual Game with Japan and Its Implications for Our Future in Asia
Authored by: Ivan P. Hall

Click here to access the author's interview about this book on JapanReview.net.
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-7656-1005-8 Paper ISBN: 978-0-7656-1006-5
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USD: $89.95 USD: $35.95
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Available to all countries
Information: 352pp. Index.
Publication Date: June 2002.  


Description: As the relative influence of the United States in Asia declines with the end of the Cold War, America must look more to brains than military might in achieving our objectives in the region. But after repeatedly allowing Japan -- our closest ally in Asia -- to mislead us intellectually and psychologically, how well are we prepared to deal with less friendly emerging powers like China and India?

Based on three decades of on-the-spot observation and participation in Japan, Ivan Hall's provocative work draws the reader into a world of intellectual manipulation and gullibility, false images, emotional blackmail, financial bequilement, and fatuous expectations. It illuminates the many ways that American ideological hubris and Japanese pleading for special treatment combine to deprive our trans-Pacific dialogue of the honesty, openness, and plain common sense of our trans-Atlantic intellectural ties with Europe.

Selected Contents:

Prologue: In the Shadow of 11 September
Introduction: The Old Deal-Why Our Muddled Thinking Matters
I. Illusion: "On a Cloth Untrue"
Japanese Mentalities, American Misreadings
1. Economic Mirage-The Asian Crisis and "Change"
2. Anti-Americanism-"Sayonara" as the Ultimate Blackmail
3. New Old Right-Reactionaries in "Neoconservative" Garb
4. Limping Liberalism-Civil Courage Derided as "Leftist Lite"
5. Pan Asianism-Behind the Bromides of "East-West Bridging"
6. Samurai Ethic-Premature Prognoses of "Individualism"
II. Collusion: "With a Twisted Cue"
7. Special Pleading-Our Rhetorical Trouncings on Trade
8. Ostracism-Sidelinin the Heterodox
9. Yen-The Pavlovian Trot for Japan's Academic Largesse
10. Dollars-The Long Retreat of American Philanthropy
11. Organization-The Mutual Understanding Industry
12. People-Of Buffers, Barnacles, and Gatekeepers
III. Self Delusion: "And Elliptical Billiard Balls"
13. Gullible's Travels-Our Four Faulty Vision Things
14. Rollercoaster-The Prewar Matrix of Plus-Minus Images
15. Macarthur Maxim-Democratic Missionizing through the 1950s
16. Reischauer Rubric-Cultural Sensitizing from the 1960s
17. Number-Oneism-Economic Giantizing in the 1970s
18. Brief Awakening-Revisionist Turnaround in the 1980s
19. Dumbing Down-PC and other Intellectual Follies of the 1990s
Conclusion: The Punishment Fits the Crime

Comment(s): "Ivan Hall is the grand master of the Japanese-American relationship. ... His analysis of the deceits on both sides is based on a lifetime of scholarship, superb linguistic ability, and service to both the U.S. government and as a teacher in leading Japanese universities. This book is indispensable to any understanding of how Japan and the U.S. interact in the world today." -- Chalmers Johnson, President, Japan Policy Research Institute

"Written with rare wit and panache, this book is an intellectual box of chocolates for serious Japan watchers. Drawing on more than thirty years of experience as a diplomat and scholar, Ivan Hall expertly rips into the Tokyo-based propaganda system that for decades has controlled what America thinks it knows about Japanese economics and politics. Speared too are the system's many dupes and collaborators in American think-tanks and universities." -- Eamonn Fingleton, author of In Praise of Hard Industries: Why Manufacturing, Not the Information Economy, Is the Key to Future Prosperity

"In this sweeping survey of U.S.-Japan cultural and intellectual exchange, Ivan Hall draws on decades of first-hand experience to expose the myopia, naivete, and ignorance that dominates much American thinking about Japan. This book provides a powerful critique of U.S. cultural triumphalism. As such, it should be required reading for all Americans who wish to engage intellectually not only with Japan, but with any foreign, especially non-Western, culture." -- Glen S. Fukushima, President & CEO, Cadence Design Systems, Japan

"Armed with almost half a century of experience as a Foreign Service official, academic, and journalist, Ivan P. Hall analyzes the persistent American failure to intellectually come to terms with Japan. With genuine concern and laser-like precision, he cuts through the subtle Orientalism, political correctness, and disingenuousness that account for America's misguided thinking on how to effectively deal with the world's second largest economy. Responsible policymakers and researchers interested in the future of U.S.-Japan relations cannot afford to overlook this book." -- Brian J. McVeigh, author of Nationalisms of Postimperial Japan: The Management and Mysticism of Identity and Japanese Higher Education as Myth

"Ivan Hall is a clear and powerful writer who deserves a wide audience. He is rare among Western analysts of Japan in having lived and taught for years within Japan's academic system. His loyal students know his affection for them and for Japanese culture. His explanation of America's willful difficulties in thinking clearly about Japan is surprisingly timely. It illuminates not just U.S.-Asian misunderstandings but also the larger challenge of comprehending a world that does not share America's assumptions about the future." -- James Fallows, The Atlantic Monthly

"Ivan Hall has written a well-timed book on America's inability to see straight when it looks across the Pacific. And in explaining how we have been bamboozled by the Japanese -- and bamboozled ourselves -- Hall draws disturbing conclusions as to the future of the U.S. in the region as a whole. In arguing that Americans are ill-equipped to engage the emerging Asia, he is right at the edge of the conversation. As the truth of America's failed vision becomes evident in coming years, Bamboozled will stand among the first books to have identified and described the problem clearly. We've got Asia wrong -- and have for a long time. Ivan Hall's new book is an important step in a better direction." -- Patrick Smith, Foreign Affairs columnist and author of Japan: A Reinterpretation

Review(s): " Bamboozled! offers stimulating analysis. ...a provocative call to cut through "the cobwebs of the mind" involving Japan. In the post-September 11 era, a consistent, well-reasoned, and sometimes hard-edged U.S. foreign policy matters more than ever. In the case of Japan, Hall says tough love is the best approach." -- Business Week

"Another book destined to arouse passions. ... [Hall] has opened the door to rethinking the dangers of suppressing tough-minded analyses for fear of offending the sensitivities of others, which are magnified by the American addiction to cultural relativism." -- Foreign Affairs

"Hall's book is worth reading. ... he carries his well-informed arguments with vigor, breadth of intellect, and some delightful turns of phrase." -- The Asahi Shimbun

"Ivan Hall's latest book should prove controversial for a number of reasons, chief of which is his contention that Japan conyinues to outwit and outflank the United States on trade and other important economic matters. In showing how some key American commentators have sold their souls for a mess of Japanese pottage, Bamboozled is to be welcomed as, in the long run, such invididious intellectual prostitution does not serve the interests of ither country." -- Daily Yomiuri

"...this polemic offers a provocative and challenging perspective at odds with mainstream views. Recommended...for those interested in US-Japan relations. All levels and collections." -- Choice

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