Cover of Shadow Shoguns by Jacob M. Schlesinger
Shadow Shoguns
The Rise and Fall of Japan’s Postwar Political Machine
Jacob M. Schlesinger

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1999
368 pages.
$29.95

Paper ISBN: 9780804734578

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Reviews

This is a vivid account of the corrupt and improbable political machine that ran Japanese politics for twenty years, from the early 1970s to the early 1990s, the period during which Japan became the world's second-largest economy.

Reviews

"Washington lobbyists, Moscow mafiosi, and Beijing party bosses stand back! . . . Here is one of the longest running big-time political sleaze serials of the past quarter-century. . . . This was a book waiting to be written, and not only has Schlesinger done it, but he has also produced a fine job of political reporting."

New York Times Book Review

"In a rollicking style, Schlesinger . . . demolishes the popular misconception that politicians are boring. His is a tale of monstrous personalities. . . . This is the most entertaining short history of Japanese politics this reviewer has encountered."

The Economist

"A story which is told vividly in this well researched and reliable account. . . . A superb analysis of Japan's politics and economic affairs."

Washington Post Book World

"Shadow Shoguns is a lively and anecdote-rich account of the eerie parallels between Tokyo's now-battered political machine and New York's Tammany Hall. . . . Schlesinger masterfully demonstrates why Prime Minister Tanaka personified the collusive ties between Japanese politicians and Big Business."

Business Week

"A fascinating and penetrating tale about the Tanaka machine that dominated Japan's politics for several decades and whose demise in the early 1990s has created a political vacuum that accounts for many of Japan's current problems."

Foreign Affairs

About the author

Jacob M. Schlesinger writes on economics for the Wall Street Journal; from 1989 to 1994, he reported on technology, trade, and Japanese politics from the Journal's Tokyo bureau.

"Washington lobbyists, Moscow mafiosi, and Beijing party bosses stand back! . . . Here is one of the longest running big-time political sleaze serials of the past quarter-century. . . . This was a book waiting to be written, and not only has Schlesinger done it, but he has also produced a fine job of political reporting."

New York Times Book Review