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Asian Shadows: The Hidden History of World War II in the Pacific
(L) General Douglas MacArthur signs the formal surrender on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, September 2, 1945 (US Navy/Released) (R) Chinese communist guerrilla leader Mao Tse-Tung, November 12, 1944. (Fox Photos/Getty Images)
(L) General Douglas MacArthur (US Navy/Released), (R) Mao Tse-Tung (Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Asian Shadows: The Hidden History of World War II in the Pacific January 18th Event

In the wake of the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II, much of the discussion of the conflict in the Pacific theater has centered on the actions of Japan and the United States, from the attack on Pearl Harbor to the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That focus leaves out key aspects of a much larger story: the struggle for empire and mastery that shaped the fate of Asia from the beginning of the twentieth century through the Korean War, and beyond.

On Wednesday, January 18, six distinguished historians presented a fresh look at this “hidden history” of the wars of twentieth century East Asia, offering new perspectives on contemporary conflicts in the region. Co-moderated by Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Arthur Herman and Hudson Institute Senior Vice President Lewis Libby, the presentations of these internationally renowned scholars challenged widely-held misconceptions and false perspectives on both the Second World War and the Korean War, and provide a better context for understanding the changing relationship between the United States and its Pacific Rim allies.

View Dr. Paine’s slides.

View Dr. Kawashima’s slides.

View Dr. Sheng’s slides.

View Dr. Yang’s slides.


Sarah Paine Speaker

William S. Sims Professor of Strategy and Policy, U.S. Naval War College

Shin Kawashima Speaker

Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo

Junichiro Shoji Speaker

Director of the Center for Military History, National Institute for Defense Studies, Japan

Michael Sheng Speaker

Professor, Department of History, University of Akron

Edward J. Drea Speaker

Former Chief of the Research and Analysis Division, U.S. Army Center of Military History

Daqing Yang Speaker

Associate Professor of History and International Affairs, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University


Arthur Herman Moderator

Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute and author, Douglas MacArthur: American Warrior

Lewis Libby Moderator

Senior Vice President, Hudson Institute

Hudson Experts

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