to put it in bluntly simplistic terms, this book is not going to draw the same audience as [b:Embracing Defeat|273197|Embracing Defeat Japan in the Wake of World War II|John W. Dower|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1347308463s/273197.jpg|92383]. the first is a unified, coherent book-length piece of readable scholarship with a subversive title. this work, on the contrary, is a collation of Dower's essays, starting with a criticism of the racism evident in America's prosecution of the Pacific War and ending with an overtly political op-ed piece against the Iraq War. naturally, the American public, chastised on two levels (the idea of 'the Greatest Generation' as well as the widespread public support for IW2), is not going to rush to read this book. and GR statistics prove it-- 20 ratings vs. the 1000+ for EMBRACING DEFEAT. almost zero scholarly attention compared to the National Book Award for Dower's masterpiece.
still, in sympathy for the superb achievement of DEFEAT, I'll tilt toward the 4 over the 3. (with the shorter length; footnotes subtracted noted) it's not easy to write a full length historical account. it's difficult, in many ways, to be an academic. a lifetime's achivement might be a half-dozen books, and we'll respect the academic behind the mixed-quality of this work with an overall 4, and reiterate the strong 5 for EMBRACING DEFEAT.
book consists of scholarship on America's engagement with Japan; with Dower's growing up in the country (age 0 - 15) the source of considerable Japan-culture sympathies.