The Iconoclast: Shinzo Abe and the New Japan
Tobias Harris (Author)
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DescriptionShinzo Abe entered politics burdened by high expectations: that he would change Japan. In 2007, seemingly overwhelmed, he resigned after only a year as prime minister. Yet, following five years of reinvention, he masterfully regained the premiership in 2012, and now dominates Japanese democracy as no leader has done before. Abe has inspired fierce loyalty among his followers, cowing Japan's left with his ambitious economic program and support for the security and armed forces. He has staked a leadership role for Japan in a region being rapidly transformed by the rise of China and India, while carefully preserving an ironclad relationship with Trump's America. The Iconoclast tells the story of Abe's meteoric rise and stunning fall, his remarkable comeback, and his unlikely emergence as a global statesman laying the groundwork for Japan's survival in a turbulent century.
Hurst & Co.
October 01, 2020
5.7 X 8.6 X 1.8 inches | 1.65 pounds
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About the Author
Tobias S. Harris is a Senior Vice President of the advisory firm Teneo, covering Japan and East Asia. Since working for a Japanese legislator in 2006-2007, he's written on Japanese politics for the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal and Foreign Affairs. He was also a a research fellow at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA from 2014-2020.
"In exhaustive detail, [Harris] describes a career of setbacks, half-successes and frustrated ambitions.'"--The Times
"Important and outstanding."-- The Critic
"Harris has very skillfully told one of the great political comeback stories of our era - the fall and rise of not just Abe Shinzo, but Japan itself. With colorful anecdotes and insightful analysis, the author shows us how Abe, a political blue-blood, pulled off the most remarkable second act in modern Japanese history by being an iconoclast. Harris tells how Abe challenged taboos and broke the mold to help Japan reclaim its confidence, and its rightful place in the world."
--Martin Fackler, former Tokyo bureau chief, New York Times
"The Iconoclast is a well written and comprehensive chronicle of the politics and policies of Japan's longest serving prime minister."
--Gerald L. Curtis, Burgess Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Columbia University
"A superb biography of Abe Shinzo, Japan's longest-serving prime minister, as well as a remarkably detailed political history of Japan, from Abe's grandfather Prime Minister Kishi Nobusuke (1957-60) to Prime Minister Abe. Thoroughly researched, lucidly written. A great achievement."
--Ezra Vogel, Ford Professor Emeritus, Harvard University
"'The Iconoclast' is a definitive, must-read biography of Abe, and will be the standard English-language work on his life and times for years to come." --Eric Johnston, The Japan Times
"Mr. Harris, a longtime observer of Japanese politics, astutely explains how Mr. Abe's family influenced his thinking, and situates that thinking in the broader context of Japanese history stretching back to the Meiji restoration of 1868. This comprehensive and engaging tome may become the definitive English-language portrait of Mr. Abe..." - The Economist
"For more than a decade, Shinzo Abe has been the doorknob of international politics - largely unnoticed but functionally crucial. Throughout a period of tumult, both international and domestic, he has remained a grimly determined steady hand, a conservative force in a world of radical uncertainty. In translucent prose, Tobias Harris is a subtle commentator on Japan and a remarkably sure-footed guide to the inner workings of its longest-serving prime minister in history."
--David Pilling, Financial Times, author of Bending Adversity: Japan and the Art of Survival
"Journalists, scholars -- anyone interested in the political evolution of the leading democracy of East Asia -- will need to add The Iconoclast to the reading pile." --Scott Foster, Asia Times
"Reflecting on the past and speculating the future, the book contains rich insight about Japan under Abe's government as well as in the coming post-Abe era, which will help us envision Japan's future." -- Nikkei Asian Review