Collaboration: Japanese Agents and Local Elites in Wartime China

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Collaboration
Collaboration by Timothy Brook.jpg
Front cover of Collaboration
Author Timothy Brook
Country United States
Language English
Genre History
Publisher Harvard University Press
Publication date
February 2005, 1 March 2007
Media type Print (Hardback, Paperback)
ISBN 0-674-01563-0 (hardcover)
ISBN 0-674-02398-6 (paperback)

Collaboration: Japanese Agents and Local Elites in Wartime China[1] is a history book which investigates collaboration between the Chinese elites and Japanese, following the attack on the Chinese city of Shanghai in August 1937, just before the outbreak of the Second World War, and during the subsequent military occupation of the Yangtze River Delta in China by Japan.[2]

The book is written by Timothy Brook, a distinguished Canadian historian[3] who specializes in the study of China (Sinology).[4]

Synopsis[edit]

Following the attack on the Chinese city of Shanghai by the Japanese forces in August 1937, just before the outbreak of World War II, and during the subsequent occupation of the Yangtze River Delta in China by Japan, despite the violence of the assault, many of the Chinese elite came forward to collaborate with the occupying forces,[2] mirroring collaboration with the Nazis in the occupied countries of Europe.[2]

Brook analyzes both Chinese and Japanese archives in order to build up a picture of the collaboration, which extended from Shanghai to Nanjing.[2] He argues that "collaboration proved to be politically unstable and morally awkward for both sides, provoking tensions that undercut the authority of the occupation state and undermined Japan's long-term prospects for occupying China."[2]

Reception[edit]

Lucian Pye, writing in the journal Foreign Affairs states that Brook has carefully handled the subject of collaboration which the Chinese are still hesitant to address. He points out that "[Brook's] study concentrates on local collaboration in the Yangtze delta region in Shanghai's hinterland, avoiding the more shocking cases of puppet regimes in north and northeast China and the 'national government' in Nanjing."[5] Despite there being "no shortage of Chinese elites ready to work for the Japanese, [...] the relationship remained complicated and tense."[5]

David P. Barrett, writing in the Chinese Historical Review describes the book as a "finely researched" and "subtly nuanced" study.[6] He says that "what is remarkable is that Professor Brook has uncovered from both the Chinese and Japanese sides archival and memoir literature of a quality that allows him to present case studies that illuminate the ambiguities and complexities of collaboration, not to mention the essential mechanics of how it was sought and arranged."[6] The reviewer concludes that "this work is not only a major contribution to the history of the [Second] Sino-Japanese War and that of modern China; it also makes an invaluable addition to the comparative history of wartime collaboration through recounting the Chinese experience of survival under the occupation state."[6]

R. Keith Schoppa writing in The American Historical Review describes the book as a "superb" example of the doing and writing of history at its best. In addition to painting a compelling picture of the multileveled and multidirectional complexity and ambiguity of politics and society under the occupation, Brook's work is studded with notable insights."[7] The reviewer goes on to say that "Brook's writing style is at the same time urbane and engaging. In sum, this is an excellent study and a great read as well."[7]

Rana Mitter in the International History Review states that the book is "a welcome and necessary part of the new historical thinking about wartime China".[8] It is "meticulously researched, subtly argued, and courageous study of a still delicate topic. It will be of value to all readers who wish to explore the dynamics of the 1937-45 Sino-Japanese War in more detail, and adds depth and maturity to a field that has sometimes seemed the prisoner of the type of nationalist paradigms that Brook seeks to undermine."[8]

Prasenjit Duara in The China Journal states that "Brook has produced a superb book about the vexed problem of collaboration"[9] and commends Brook for providing a most interesting perspective and for "the clear and methodical way in which it proceeds through its historical investigation."[9]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The pre-publication working title was Collaboration: Japanese Agents and Chinese Elites on the Yangtze Delta. See Academic profile at St. John's College, University of British Columbia (October 2004).
  2. ^ a b c d e Staff. "Collaboration: Japanese Agents and Local Elites in Wartime China. Timothy Brook". Harvard University Press. Retrieved 2010-01-29. 
  3. ^ Dirda, Michael (27 January 2008). "Painting the World: How a hunger for tea and tobacco created global trade". Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  4. ^ Conrad, Peter (29 June 2008). "A time when every picture told a story". The Observer. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  5. ^ a b Pye, Lucian W. (June 2005). "Collaboration: Japanese Agents and Local Elites in Wartime China". Council on Foreign Relations: Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 2010-01-24. 
  6. ^ a b c Barrett, David P. (Fall 2005). "Timothy Brook. Collaboration: Japanese Agents and Local Elites in Wartime China" (PDF). The Chinese Historical Review. The Chinese Historians in the United States, Inc. 12 (2): 339–342. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2010-01-29.  The PDF shows a listing of contents for volume 12, No.2, General Issue Number 21. See CHR web site Archived 2009-09-15 at the Wayback Machine..
  7. ^ a b Schoppa, R. Keith (December 2005). "Timothy Brook. Collaboration: Japanese Agents and Local Elites in Wartime China". The American Historical Review. American Historical Association. 110 (5): 1501–1502. doi:10.1086/ahr.110.5.1501. Retrieved 2010-01-29. 
  8. ^ a b Mitter, Rana (2006). "Collaboration: Japanese Agents and Local Elites in Wartime China" (PDF). The International History Review. Routledge. 28: 426. Retrieved 2010-01-29. [dead link]
  9. ^ a b Duara, Prasenjit (January 2008). "Collaboration: Japanese Agents and Local Elites in Wartime China, by Timothy Brook" (PDF). The China Journal. Contemporary China Center, Australian National University (59): 142–143. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 5, 2008. Retrieved 2010-01-29. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]

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