Gordon, Andrew D. 1952-
GORDON, Andrew D. 1952-
PERSONAL: Born 1952. Education: Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies (Tokyo), attended one-year intensive language program, 1974; Harvard College, A.B. (East-Asian studies), 1975; Harvard University, Ph.D. (history and East-Asian languages), 1981.
ADDRESSES: Office—Reischauer Institute, Coolidge Hall 319, 1737 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA, 02138. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, assistant professor, 1981-87, associate professor, 1987-91, professor of history, 1995—, director of Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, 1998—; Duke University, Durham, NC, professor of history, 1991-95. Member, Joint Committee on Japanese Studies of the Social Science Research Council.
AWARDS, HONORS: John King Fairbank Prize, 1992, for best book on modern East-Asian history.
The Evolution of Labor Relations in Japan: Heavy Industry, 1853-1955, Harvard East Asian Monographs (Cambridge, MA), 1985.
Labor and Imperial Democracy in Prewar Japan, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1991.
(Editor) Postwar Japan as History, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1993.
(Translator and editor, with Mikiso Hane) Kumazawa Makoto, Portraits of the Japanese Workplace, Westview Press (Boulder, CO), 1996.
(Translator and editor, with Terry Boardman) Nimura Kazuo, The Ashio Riot of 1907, Duke University Press (Durham, NC), 1997.
The Wages of Affluence: Labor and Management in Postwar Japan, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1998.
(Coeditor) Historical Perspectives on Contemporary East Asia, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 2000.
Coeditor of a series of books on comparative and international labor history and contributor to numerous books about Japanese life, politics, and history.
SIDELIGHTS: Andrew Gordon is a professor of history, specializing in Japanese studies, at Harvard University. His first book, The Evolution of Labor Relations in Japan: Heavy Industry, 1853-1955, was part of a series published by the Harvard Council on East Asian Studies on the history of Japanese industry and business. The author distinguishes between three major stages on the progression of Japanese labor relations and focuses much of the book on the interactions between workers and management in each stage. Gordon uses the histories of five heavy engineering and shipbuilding companies to illustrate the difficult relationships between power hungry bosses and workers who needed to be employed. This system, according to Gordon, is what eventually helped to create the stable Japanese workforce we see today. However, many would argue that the country's secure labor force is simply a result of traditional Japanese culture. W. Mark Fruin of Business History Review felt that one "problem with Gordon's study is a lack of balance in discussing the motives and activities of workers as opposed to managers." However, T. Juravich, reviewing for Choice, called this book a "timely and much needed work that dispels a growing myth about the Japanese industrial system."
Gordon focuses on the early 1900s in Labor and Imperial Democracy in Prewar Japan. The book is arranged around numerous case studies of workers exercising their political rights. In what George M. Wilson ofAmerican Historical Review called "an ambitious attempt to revise our view of the political history of prewar Japan," the author explains that the workers of this period were activists and much more vocal than previously believed. He describes them as resilient and creative in their efforts to organize themselves in order to protest, carefully planning their tactics to persuade management. Peter Duus of Journal of Japanese Studies remarked that while Gordon does not specifically say so, "the development of worker organizations in the 1920s suggests that neighborhood and community were as important in shaping developments as a strong sense of solidarity." Duus also noted that this book is a "vivid account of the emergence of organized labor in Tokyo during the 1920s and 1930s."
In The Wages of Affluence: Labor and Management in Postwar Japan, Gordon offers his theory as to how Japan was able to rebuild its economy into one of the largest in the world after its defeat in World War II. He examines this question from the perspective of labor relations, focusing again on worker-management relations. W. Dean Kinzley, writing for American Historical Review, remarked that "this book is a compelling and thoroughly grounded tale of the development and maintenance of Japan's distinctive industrial relations system with its mix of weak unions, relative job security, and coercive management behavior." Gordon also argues that management's move toward increasing dominance during this time influenced the country's social values. His research shows that the national campaigns conducted by large Japanese companies, which focused on efficiency and productivity, also targeted women in the home, encouraging them to manage their homes in such a way as to enable their husbands to be superior workers. Masanori Hashimoto of Journal of Asian Studies praised this book, saying that it "contributes a well-researched discussion of the transformation of industrial relations practices in postwar Japan."
Gordon moves away from the study of labor practices in his more comprehensive A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to Present. In this book, Gordon examines the contemporary social evolution of Japan, beginning with the Tokugawa dynasty, and also explores the causes and effects of democracy and industrialization. Charles W. Hayford of Library Journal explained that the author "tells a sweeping and provocative story of Japan's political, economic, social, and cultural inventions in evolving international contexts." Gilbert Taylor of Booklist called the book "a judicious comprehension of two centuries of Japanese history."
Gordon has also coedited and translated books from the Japanese, including Kumazawa Makoto's Portraits of the Japanese Workplace and Nimura Kazuo's The Ashio Riot of 1907.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, February, 1992, George M. Wilson, review of Labor and Imperial Democracy in Prewar Japan, p. 270; June, 1999, William M. Tsutsui, review of The Ashio Riot of 1907, p. 883; June, 2001, W. Dean Kinzley, review of The Wages of Affluence: Labor and Management in Postwar Japan, p. 961.
Asian Affairs, June, 2001, J. E. Hoare, review of Historical Perspectives on Contemporary East Asia, p. 236.
Booklist, November 1, 2002, Gilbert Taylor, review of A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to Present, p. 470.
Business History, January, 2000, D. H. Whittaker, review of The Wages of Affluence, p. 140.
Business History Review, autumn, 1991, Earl H. Kinmonth, review of Labor and Imperial Democracy in Prewar Japan, p. 718; spring, 1987, W. Mark Fruin, review of The Evolution of Labor Relations in Japan, p. 179; summer, 2001, Koji Taira, review of The Wages of Affluence, p. 456.
Choice, July, 1986, T. Juravich, review of The Evolution of Labor Relations in Japan, p. 1710; October, 1991, A. E. Tiedemann, review of Labor and Imperial Democracy in Prewar Japan, p. 331.
Historian, winter, 2000, W. Dean Kinzley, review of The Ashio Riot of 1907.
History: Review of New Books, winter, 2001, John Mosher, review of Historical Perspectives on Contemporary East Asia, p. 84.
Journal of Asian History, fall, 1998, Gary P. Leupp, review of The Ashio Riot of 1907, p. 202.
Journal of Asian Studies, May, 1994, Michael A. Barnhart, review of Postwar Japan as History, p. 556; February, 2002, Masanori Hashimoto, review of The Wages of Affluence, p. 253.
Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, spring, 1995, Peter K. Frost, review of Postwar Japan as History, p. 769.
Journal of Japanese Studies, summer, 1992, Peter Duus, review of Labor and Imperial Democracy in Prewar Japan, p. 539; winter, 1999, Kevin M. Doak, review of The Ashio Riot of 1907, p. 201.
Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2002, review of A Modern History of Japan, p. 1280.
Library Journal, October 15, 2002, Charles W. Hayford, review of A Modern History of Japan, p. 84.
ORBIS, summer, 1994, David Gross, review of Postwar Japan as History, p. 487.
Pacific Affairs, fall, 1987, Sydney Crawcour, review of The Evolution of Labor Relations in Japan, p. 512; spring, 1995, Millie R. Creighton, review of Postwar Japan as History, p. 120.
Social History, January, 2000, Michael Lewis, review of The Ashio Riot of 1907, p. 130.
Times Literary Supplement, June 27, 1986, Ronald Core, Getting Organized, p. 698.
Harvard University Web site,http://www.fas.harvard.edu/ (January 3, 2003).
University of California Press Web site,http://www.ucpress.edu/ (January 3, 2003).*