The Quest for the Lost Nation: Writing History in Germany and Japan in the American Century

"This is an extraordinarily compelling story. It is a bold and innovative retelling of the German and Japanese effort to reconstruct a national history. "The Quest for the Lost Nation" is a model for comparative history--and should serve as an incentive for a new generation to do more of this kind of work."--Michael Geyer, University of Chicago "Comparative and transnational, "The Quest for the Lost Nation" brilliantly illuminates the predicaments of postwar historical thinking in the aftermath of what was for both nations, Germany and Japan, an unmitigated catastrophe. Even as intellectuals called for a wider, even global purview, it was the defeated nation that served as the locus of critical thinking about the immediate past. A timely and original work."--Helmut Walser Smith, author of "The Continuities of German History" "Conrad demolishes the now frequently invoked contrast between an active German confrontation with the Nazi past and an ostensible Japanese hesitancy (or worse) to face history in the crucial decade and a half following 1945. "The Quest for the Lost Nation" is a probing and highly significant study."--Andrew Barshay, author of "The Social Sciences in Modern Japan: The Marxian and Modernist Traditions"