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A Time of Crisis: Japan, the Great Depression and Rural Revitalization. By Kerry Smith. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, distributed by Harvard University Press, 2001. Pp. xvii, 481. $40.00.

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 May 2002

Penelope Francks
Affiliation:
University of Leeds

Extract

“Rural crisis” is a concept with which anyone who has lived through the summer of 2001 in Britain is only too familiar; the parallels between the rhetoric employed daily in the media here, and that surrounding the undoubtedly much more severe crisis that hit Japanese farm households in the 1930s, are a reminder that periodic agricultural instability remains an as-yet unsolved problem in industrial economies. Nonetheless, Kerry Smith's study of the impact of the Great Depression on rural Japan, which interweaves accounts of the national-level policymaking process with a case study of one village, locates Japan's rural crisis within the specific process of economic and political change that generated both the wartime political economy and significant features of the postwar institutional structure. In this, he reflects the ongoing work of a number of Japanese scholars who are seeking to locate the grass-roots-level continuities between the immediate prewar and wartime periods and the postwar era of reform and growth. However, his wide-ranging study is the first in English to trace in such detail, through the experiences of an individual village and its inhabitants, the impact of and responses to the depression in rural Japan.

Type
BOOK REVIEWS
Copyright
© 2002 The Economic History Association

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A Time of Crisis: Japan, the Great Depression and Rural Revitalization. By Kerry Smith. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, distributed by Harvard University Press, 2001. Pp. xvii, 481. $40.00.
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A Time of Crisis: Japan, the Great Depression and Rural Revitalization. By Kerry Smith. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, distributed by Harvard University Press, 2001. Pp. xvii, 481. $40.00.
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A Time of Crisis: Japan, the Great Depression and Rural Revitalization. By Kerry Smith. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, distributed by Harvard University Press, 2001. Pp. xvii, 481. $40.00.
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