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Michael AuslinPacific Cosmopolitans: A Cultural History of U.S.-Japan Relations

Harvard University Press, 2011

by Marshall Poe on May 5, 2011

Michael Auslin

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[Crossposted from New Books in Public Policy] How have the United States and Japan managed to remain such strong allies, despite having fought one another in a savage war less than 70 years ago? In Michael Auslin’s Pacific Cosmopolitans: A Cultural History of U.S.-Japan Relations (Harvard University Press, 2011), the author, an Asia expert at the American Enterprise Institute, explores the history of cultural exchange between the United States and Japan, and how important that exchange has been, and continues to be, from a political perspective.

Auslin, who is also a columnist for, analyses the “enduring cultural exchange” between the two countries, and describes the various stages through which this vital relationship has evolved over the last century and one half.  As Auslin shows, the relationship between the United States and Japan has had a large number of twists and turns, culminating in the current close and mutually beneficial connection between the two nations. In our interview, we talk about baseball, pop culture, gunboat diplomacy, and the first Japanese ever to set foot in America.  Read all about it, and more, in Auslin’s useful new book.

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