Hirohito's War is the most comprehensive available narrative of the Pacific War. and the first single-volume history on the subject produced for thirty years.

Francis Pike's fast-paced story argues that the origins of the Pacific War lie in the implosion of Chinese power and China's descent to a region picked over for advantage by Japan and the West. He suggests that the start date for the Second World War should be considered the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, which escalated into a full-scale war between China and Japan in 1937. Hirohito’s War traces the path to war involving the complex interplay of domestic and foreign politics in America, Japan. Germany, Great Britain, China and the Soviet Union.

The narrative explains the rise of Japan’s imperial ambitions through the adoption by its ruling elites of Darwinian racial philosophies. Hirohito’s War also argues that America and Great Britain's failure to enforce the international rule-based ‘Pax Anglo- Saxon’ established at Versailles and the Washington Conference was a major cause of the Pacific War. Ultimately America, militarily weakened by two decades of isolationism, but nevertheless seeking to protect its own geopolitical interests, provoked Japan to war by the imposition of an oil embargo.

In addition to geopolitical analysis. Hirohito’s War is structured to give blow-by-blow accounts of every major campaign of the war with a particular emphasis on strategy, topography, logistics and technology. The gruesome quality of the war, fought in some of the planet’s most hostile terrains, is not forgotten. The combatants of both sides are extensively quoted to provide human color to the narrative drama.

Hirohito’s War debunks the Pearl Harbor conspiracy theories, highlights General MacArthur’s chicanery and argues that Emperor Hirohito, the embodiment of Japan’s imperialism, should have been charged as a war criminal. Francis Pike also explains Chiang Kai-Shek's seeming reluctance to fight, the historical expunction of Australia's major contribution to the Pacific War, the US Navy’s torpedo scandal, and the moral issues of the firebombing of Japan and the nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


* Hardcover: 1110 pages
* Publisher: Bloomsbury (June 18th, 2015)
* ISBN: 978-1-4725-9670-3