Our Man in Tokyo by Steve Kemper audiobook

Our Man in Tokyo: An American Ambassador and the Countdown to Pearl Harbor

By Steve Kemper
Read by Dan Woren

HarperAudio, HarperCollins 9780358064749
14.46 Hours 1
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A gripping, behind-the-scenes account of the personalities and contending forces in Tokyo during the volatile decade that led to World War II, as seen through the eyes of the American ambassador who attempted to stop the slide to war. In 1932, Japan was in crisis. Naval officers had assassinated the prime minister and conspiracies flourished. The military had a stranglehold on the government. War with Russia loomed, and propaganda campaigns swept the country, urging schoolchildren to give money to procure planes and tanks.  Into this maelstrom stepped Joseph C. Grew, America’s most experienced and talented diplomat. When Grew was appointed ambassador to Japan, not only was the country in turmoil, its relationship with America was rapidly deteriorating. For the next decade, Grew attempted to warn American leaders about the risks of Japan’s raging nationalism and rising militarism, while also trying to stabilize Tokyo’s increasingly erratic and volatile foreign policy. From domestic terrorism by Japanese extremists to the global rise of Hitler and the fateful attack on Pearl Harbor, the events that unfolded during Grew’s tenure proved to be pivotal for Japan, and for the world. His dispatches from the darkening heart of the Japanese empire would prove prescient—for his time, and for our own.   Drawing on Grew’s diary of his time in Tokyo as well as U.S. embassy correspondence, diplomatic dispatches, and firsthand Japanese accounts, Our Man in Tokyo brings to life a man who risked everything to avert another world war, the country where he staked it all—and the abyss that swallowed it.  Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.

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Summary

Summary

Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

A gripping, behind-the-scenes account of the personalities and contending forces in Tokyo during the volatile decade that led to World War II, as seen through the eyes of the American ambassador who attempted to stop the slide to war.

In 1932, Japan was in crisis. Naval officers had assassinated the prime minister and conspiracies flourished. The military had a stranglehold on the government. War with Russia loomed, and propaganda campaigns swept the country, urging schoolchildren to give money to procure planes and tanks. 

Into this maelstrom stepped Joseph C. Grew, America’s most experienced and talented diplomat. When Grew was appointed ambassador to Japan, not only was the country in turmoil, its relationship with America was rapidly deteriorating. For the next decade, Grew attempted to warn American leaders about the risks of Japan’s raging nationalism and rising militarism, while also trying to stabilize Tokyo’s increasingly erratic and volatile foreign policy. From domestic terrorism by Japanese extremists to the global rise of Hitler and the fateful attack on Pearl Harbor, the events that unfolded during Grew’s tenure proved to be pivotal for Japan, and for the world. His dispatches from the darkening heart of the Japanese empire would prove prescient—for his time, and for our own.  

Drawing on Grew’s diary of his time in Tokyo as well as U.S. embassy correspondence, diplomatic dispatches, and firsthand Japanese accounts, Our Man in Tokyo brings to life a man who risked everything to avert another world war, the country where he staked it all—and the abyss that swallowed it. 

Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Narrator Dan Woren is, as always, matchless. Given a narrative so powerfully built but at times bewilderingly tangled, Woren demonstrates his command both of the central arc of the narrative and of its finer nuances and shadings…Woren captures the unique, on-the-spot perspective of a dedicated ambassador who watched helplessly as, step by step, Japan advanced into war with the United States. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.” AudioFile
“Expertly marshaled from Grew’s diaries and reports, this is a poignant and profound look at diplomacy in action.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Steve Kemper

Author Bio: Steve Kemper

Steve Kemper is a journalist and the author of several books. He has written for Smithsonian, National Geographic, National Geographic Adventure, National Geographic Traveler, Outside, Wall Street Journal, Yankee, National Wildlife, The Ecologist, Plenty, BBC Wildlife, and many other magazines and newspapers..

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 14.46
Audience: Adult
Language: English