John W. Dower

Ford International Professor of History, Emeritus

John Dower, emeritus professor of Japanese history, retired from the History faculty in 2010 but remains active in MIT’s online “Visualizing Cultures” project, a pioneering website he co-founded in 2002 that breaks new ground in the scholarly use of visual materials to reexamine the experience of Japan and China in the modern world.  As of 2012, eleven of the lengthy presentations on this multi-unit site were authored by him.

Books by Professor Dower include The Elements of Japanese Design, (1971); Origins of the Modern Japanese State: Selected Writings of E. H. Norman (1975); Empire and Aftermath: Yoshida Shigeru and the Japanese Experience, 1876-1945 (1979); A Century of Japanese Photography (edited, 1980); The Hiroshima Murals: The Art of Iri Maruki and Toshi Maruki (co-edited, 1985); War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War (1986); Japan in War and Peace: Selected Essays (1994); Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II (1999); Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor/Hiroshima/9-11/Iraq (2010); and Ways of Forgetting, Ways of Remembering: Japan in the Modern World (2012).  War Without Mercy won several prizes in the United States and Japan, including the National Book Critics Circle Award.  Awards for Embracing Defeat include the Pulitzer Prize (for general nonfiction), National Book Award (for nonfiction), Bancroft Prize (for U.S. hisotry), Fairbanks Prize (for history of Asia), Los Angeles Times Book Prize (in history), and two prestigious Japanese prizes for the documentary version of its work.  Professor Dower also was executive producer of a documentary titled Hellfire—A Journey from Hiroshima that was a finalist for an academy award in 1988.