BLACK SHIPS OFF JAPAN by Arthur Walworth


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An historical, well-documented account of Com. Perry's two years of ironfisted imperialism, perfect coordination of diplomatic and naval strategy, culminating in the Treaty of Kanagawa of 1854. Perry arrived off the shores of Japan with a powerful naval squadron, loaded with the products of American industrial genius, and authorized State Department orders (written by himself). With the benefit of two dress rehearsals in Manifest Destiny power politics, at the Ryukyu and Bonin Islands, the Commodore commenced two years of bluff, intrigue astute diplomacy, grand pageantry, social graces and shows of force. At one low point of negotiations, Perry secretly proposed that the U. S. fortify the Ryukyus as a threat to Japan. But Perry finally triumphed without bloodshed, and opened the way for the Trade Treaty of 1858. This material is drawn from journals of the Commodore and his men, and gives a picture of a terrorized, superstitious, totalitarian Japan, much as we know it. Academic and scholarly in style and approach, but a sound basis for understanding Japan and this phase of history.

Pub Date: March 26th, 1945
Publisher: Knopf