Odd Arne Westad

Road to Pearl Harbor

China’s War with Japan, 1937–1945: The Struggle for Survival

By

Allen Lane/The Penguin Press 458pp £25 order from our bookshop

States are forged by war and modern China is no exception. Between 1894 and 1953 the country had less than a decade of peace, and war laid waste to significant parts of the country. But out of these sixty years of strife came a state so cohesive and powerful that it has been able to shift its economy from capitalism to socialism and back again without losing power. The state also learned how to terrorise its own population and get away with it. This is what wars teach states, except in cases when a well-educated and politicised citizenry demands that other lessons be learned.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Her favourite design included a body in the shape of a horse, with a steam engine inside ... The passenger would t… ,
    • Sign up to our email newsletter below! Get free articles, highlights from the archive, and chances to win theatre… ,
    • RT : Founded in 1979, is a trusted independent source for reviews of new books across a variety of genres. A… ,
    • RT : Here we are - "Shelf Indulgence" by Ed Potten, a wonderful read, well worth your time: @Lit_Review,
    • 'Like going to a party hoping to get away as quickly as politeness allowed and at 4am finding myself still engrosse… ,
    • 'Neville never shed his sense of being the junior, and perhaps least-deserving Chamberlain.' From the archive, Mic… ,
    • 'The erecting and immediate destruction of a series of straw men rather detracts from what is for the most part an… ,