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Introduction: Framing the Asia Pacific War with an Even Hand

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The powerful hold the glory of war has on the human imagination is good news for book publishers, filmmakers, and creators of video games—not to mention those invested in military enterprises whose vastness lies almost beyond comprehension. They enjoy economic, political, and cultural markets that seem only to expand with the passing of time. For the purposes of this special issue, that steady and expanding market is bad news because our hope is that governments and people in general will learn from the lessons of war and spend less time on the glory of its violence. We aspire to work with an even hand and begin with an awareness just how blinded we can be by human nature to the realities and memories of war of .the other side.. We also believe that including more attention to the human dimensions of war in our teaching and writing—while placed within the familiar military and historical contexts—will soften the powerful hold that war has on the way we see ourselves and others. The selected letters and diaries introduced in this special issue are offered as a starting point and framework to do just that.


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