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From: jim Dingeman <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: THE PACIFIC Date: March 12, 2010 9:58:40 PM EST To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> I have watched four of the episodes of THE PACIFIC. I will not spoil it for those who have not seen it yet. It does take one of the finest memoirs of the Pacific War ,WITH THE OLD BREED , I would go so far the American experience of the war itself, and does do it justice and respect given all the limitations of it being Hollywood and all that. The series will spark tremendous interest in the subject and lay the seeds for future historians of World War Two as did BAND OF BROTHERS. It is a great jump off point for many who have never been bathed themselves in the subject matter like many of us...and that is good in my mind. It is clear that the directors immersed themselves in the photographs and art of the Pacific War..including the haunting paintings of Thomas Lea. I note that a comment by Tom Hanks with Douglas Brinkley for the TIME piece has sparked a fierce reaction from some in our body politic... Here is his comment on MORNING JOEand some of the reaction http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/jjmnolte/2010/03/12/tom-hanks-war-on-terror-war-in-pacific-driven-by-racism-and-terror/ http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/the_big_picture/2010/03/the-pacifics-tom-hanks-the-right-wings-new-boogie-man.html and Victor Hanson into the fray http://pajamasmedia.com/victordavishanson/is-tom-hanks-unhinged/ and Don Imus http://newsbusters.org/blogs/anthony-kang/2010/03/12/don-imus-s-take-tehran-tom-hanks-another-panty-wearing-liberal-dickwee and the Wall Street Journal http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tom-hanks-why-did-he-merit-times-cover-2010-03-12 and the New York Post http://kylesmithonline.com/?p=5656 I enjoy and will continue to savor the great works of Victor Hanson. I have enjoyed him since his first book many years ago and the first time I heard him at Yale many moons ago.But,I must diasagree with the assessments that race did not play a factor in our reaction to Japan. Victor Hanson should know better. Anybody familiar with the highly volatile debates inside the United States over Asian and in this case Japanese immigration. Hanson ignores completely the politics of the Immigration Act of 1924, or Johnson-Reed Act. Here is a contemporary analysis of this acthttp://pds.lib.harvard.edu/pds/view/4907177?n=1&s=4It is common knowledge that such works as Madison Grant's book of 1916, The Passing of the Great Race,influenced this debate. That book argued for the supremacy of the Nordic race. Grant argued that The Nordics are, all over the world, a race of soldiers, sailors, adventurers, and explorers, but above all, of rulers, organizers, and aristocrats in sharp contrast to the essentially peasant character of the Alpines. Chivalry and knighthood, and their still surviving but greatly impaired counterparts, are peculiarly Nordic traits, and feudalism, class distinctions, and race pride among Europeans are traceable for the most part to the north.These ideas of the time and their influence on the Immigration Act of 1924 cannot be washed away and Hanson simply glosses over this. The idea that race and racism from both sides did not play a role in the Pacific War is simply ridiculous and ahistorical. While I feel John Dower tends to minimize in WAR WITHOUT MERCY the racism of Imperial Japan( on that I would agree with Hanson) to then jump and downplay racism from the United States or other Europeans powers in the war is equally absurd.A series like this happens in the midst of two wars abroad and a global war on millienarian Islam at the same time. We all know these conflicts are subject to much debate and soul searching. Hence, it is inevitable that if Hanks makes a analogy to today, that will spark debate and furor. But again, to deny that we have not a tad bit of American exceptionalism/hubris/myopia in what has happened since 911 is also ahistorical. Check the series out. Jim Dingeman ----- For subscription help, go to: http://www.h-net.org/lists/help/ To change your subscription settings, go to http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=h-war -----