(David Evans and Mark Peattie)
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In 1852, Matthew Perry sailed into Tokyo Bay and forced Japan to admit American traders. The consequences included civil war, an Imperial government, a covetous interest in the outside world--and a navy, which 89 years after Perry's visit decimated the U.S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor and destroyed its Far Eastern Air Force in the Philippines.
How Japan evolved from a serene hermit to one of the world's most aggressive nations is the subject of this magnificent book. The authors use Japanese-language documents, scores of maps and drawings, and an elegant prose style to explain the metamorphosis. Military aviation buffs will be especially interested in the chapter--almost a book in itself--about aircraft carriers and the Japanese Navy Air Force, which bore the brunt of aerial operations in the Pacific War.