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Revolution and Subjectivity in Postwar Japan

After World War II, Japanese intellectuals believed that world history was moving inexorably toward bourgeois democracy and then socialism. But who would be the agents—the active "subjects"—of that revolution in Japan? Intensely debated at the time, this question of active subjectivity influenced popular ideas about nationalism and social change that still affect Japanese political culture today.

In a major contribution to modern Japanese intellectual history, J. Victor Koschmann analyzes the debate over subjectivity. He traces the arguments of intellectuals from various disciplines and political viewpoints, and finds that despite their stress on individual autonomy, they all came to define subjectivity in terms of deterministic historical structures, thus ultimately deferring the possibility of radical change in Japan.

Establishing a basis for historical dialogue about democratic revolution, this book will interest anyone concerned with issues of nationalism, postcolonialism, and the formation of identities.

301 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1996

Asian Studies: East Asia

History: Asian History

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
1: The Politics of Democratic Revolution in Postwar Japan
2: Literature and the Bourgeois Subject
3: Philosophy and the Lacuna in Marxism
4: The Modern Ethos
5: Nationalism
Conclusion: The Subject of Modernity
Notes
Works Cited
Index

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