John W. Dower
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John W. Dower (born 21 June 1938 in Providence, Rhode Island ) is an American author and historian. His 1999 book Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II won the U.S. National Book Award for Nonfiction, the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction, the Bancroft Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Mark Lynton History Prize, and the John K. Fairbank Prize of the American Historical Association.
Dower earned a bachelor's degree in American Studies from Amherst College in 1959, and a Ph.D. in History and Far Eastern Languages from Harvard University in 1972, where he studied under Albert M. Craig. He expanded his doctoral dissertation, a biography of former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshida Shigeru, into the book Empire and Aftermath. His other books include a selection of writings by E. Herbert Norman and a study of mutual images during World War II entitled War Without Mercy.
Dower was the executive producer of the Academy Award-nominated documentary Hellfire: A Journey from Hiroshima, and was a member of the Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars, sitting on the editorial board of its journal with Noam Chomsky, and Herbert Bix. He has taught at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the University of California, San Diego, and is a Ford International Professor of History, Emeritus, at MIT.
Visualizing Cultures 
"Visualizing Cultures", a course that Dower has taught at MIT since 2003 with Shigeru Miyagawa, discusses how images shape American and Japanese societies. In April 2006, the OpenCourseWare website of "Visualizing Cultures" was announced on the main page of the MIT website, causing a stir among some Chinese students at MIT that found the material offensive. The material included woodblock prints produced in Japan as propaganda during the Chinese-Japanese War of 1894–1895 that portrayed Japanese soldiers beheading "violent Chinese soldiers." The Japanese-born Miyagawa received death threats.  In response, the authors temporarily removed the course from OpenCourseWare and released a statement, as did the MIT Administration. After a week, the course authors agreed to include additional context in controversial sections, and put the course back online. 
Awards and honors 
2000 L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II
2000 Bancroft Prize, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II
Selected works 
- The Bombed: Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japanese Memory, Diplomatic History 19, no. 2 (Spring 1995)
- Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II (1999; W. W. Norton) — winner of the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize
- Empire and Aftermath: Yoshida Shigeru and the Japanese experience, 1878-1954 (1988; Harvard University Press; ISBN 0-674-25126-1)
- Japan in War and Peace: Selected Essays (1995; New Press; ISBN 1-56584-279-0)
- Origins of the Modern Japanese State: Selected Writings of E.H. Norman (1975; Pantheon; ISBN 0-394-70927-6)
- War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War (1986; Pantheon; ISBN 0-394-75172-8)
- Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, 9-11, Iraq (New York: Norton : New Press, 2010 ISBN 978-0-393-06150-5).
- Ways of Forgetting: Japan in the Modern World (The New Press, 2011)
- "Dower's CV" 9 April 2010
- "National Book Awards – 1999". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
(With acceptance speech by Dower.)
- "General Nonfiction". Past winners & finalists by category. The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project winners". Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. Retrieved 2011-03-16.
- John King Fairbank Prize
- Faculty website
- New York Times Magazine interview
- Amherst College Honorary Doctorate announcement
- Visualizing Cultures: Website created by Dower
- On the "Visualizing Cultures" Controversy and Its Implications, by MIT CSSA
- Reflections on the "Visualizing Cultures" Incident, by Peter C. Perdue
- Booknotes interview with Dower on Embracing Defeat, March 26, 2000.