Winner of the Bancroft Prize
When Commodore Matthew Perry sailed into Tokyo harbor in July 1853, opening Japan to the West, a century and a half of economic, cultural, and occasionally violent clashes between Americans and Japanese began. Walter LaFeber has written the first book to tell the entire story behind the disagreements, tensions, and skirmishes between Japan—a compact, homogenous, closely knit society terrified of disorder—and America—a sprawling, open-ended society that fears economic depression and continually seeks an international marketplace. Using both American and Japanese sources, LaFeber provides the history behind the vicissitudes of rearming Japan, the present-day tensions in U.S.-Japan trade talks, Japan's continuing importance in financing America's huge deficit, and both nations' drive to develop China—a shadow that has darkened American-Japanese relations from the beginning.
"Broad and deeply researched…The Clash is beautifully written, with clear arguments and no irrelevancies." — Gaddis Smith, Boston Globe
"[LaFeber] succeeds brilliantly…[W]ell-researched, meticulously sourced and highly readable." — Don Oberdorfer, Washington Post
"[This] work will easily become the best history of U.S.-Japanese relations in any language." — Akira Iriye, professor of history, Harvard University
Winner — Bancroft Prize, 1998