American Samurai: Myth and Imagination in the Conduct of Battle in the First Marine Division 1941-1951

TitleAmerican Samurai: Myth and Imagination in the Conduct of Battle in the First Marine Division 1941-1951
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1994
AuthorsCameron, Craig
Number of Pages310
PublisherCambridge University Press
CityCambridge ; New York
Abstract

Events on the battlefields of the Pacific War were not only outgrowths of technology and tactical doctrine, but also the products of cultural myth and imagination. A neglected aspect of the history of the Marine Corps operation against Imperial Japan has been any close study of how the marines themselves shaped the landscape of the battlefields on which they created new institutional legends. Marines projected ideas and assumptions about themselves and their enemy onto people, situations, and events throughout the war, and thereby gave life to formerly abstract ideas and molded their behavior to expectations. Focusing specifically on the First Marine Division, this study draws on a broad range of approaches to its subject. The book begins with a look at the legacy of the Marine Corps on the eve of Pearl Harbor, and then turns to gender studies to shed light on the methods of "making" marines. At the heart of the book are close examinations of how three broad categories of myth and imagination directly affected the First Division's campaigns on Guadalcanal, Peleiu, and Okinawa. The study concludes by considering what happened to the myths and images of the Pacific War in the Korean War, and how they have been preserved in American Society up to the present.

Short TitleAmerican Samurai
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