Reynolds, E. Bruce 1947- (Edward Bruce Reynolds)
Reynolds, E. Bruce 1947- (Edward Bruce Reynolds)
Born May 29, 1947, in Kansas City, MO; son of Virgil Edward and Sibyl Reynolds; married Pilaiwan Wongsarojana, May 9, 1982. Education: Central Missouri State University, B.S, 1969, M.A, 1977; University of Hawaii, Ph.D., 1988. Hobbies and other interests:
Educator, writer. Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, lecturer, 1979-1982; San Jose State University, San Jose State, CA, assistant professor, 1988-1992, associate professor, 1992-98, professor of history, 1998—, chair, history department, 1995-99, director of the East Asian Regional Materials and Resources Center (EARMARC), 1990—. Announcer, KOKO-AM, Warrensburg, MO, 1973-77; Daily Star Journal, Warrensburg, reporter, 1977-79. East Asian Regional Materials and Resources Center, San Jose, director, 1991. Military service: United States Air Force, 1969-1973; reached rank of staff sergeant.
Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast (member board of directors, 1992-94; vice-president, 1997-99; president, 1999-2001), Association for Asian Studies (member of the Southeast Asia Council, 2008-10), American History Association, Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations, World History Association, World War II Studies Association.
Fulbright fellowship recipient, U.S.-Japan Educational Commission, Tokyo, 1986-87, and U.S. Department of Education, Bangkok, 1987-88; Crown Prince Akihito scholarship, Tokyo, 1985-86; Austen Warburton Award of Merit, College of Social Sciences, San Jose State University, 2006.
(Editor, with Supang Chantavanich) Indochinese Refugees: Asylum and Resettlement, Institute of Asian Studies (Bangkok, Thailand), 1988.
(Editor, with Chaiwat Khamchoo) Thai-Japanese Relations in Historical Perspective, Institute of Asian Studies (Bangkok, Thailand), 1988.
Thailand and Japan's Southern Advance, 1940-1945, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1994.
(Editor) Japan in the Fascist Era, Palgrave Macmillan (New York, NY), 2004.
Contributor of articles and chapters to scholarly journals and books.
E. Bruce Reynolds is the author of several books dealing with the modern history of Southeast Asia. A lecturer at a university in Thailand for several years before returning to the United States, where he is a professor of history, Reynolds focuses, as he reported on the San Jose State University History Department Web site, on "international relations in the Pacific region during the first half of the twentieth century." Several of his books, both written and edited by Reynolds, have dealt with aspects of Thailand's role in World War II.
The 1994 title Thailand and Japan's Southern Advance, 1940-1945 outlines the changing internal and external domestic policies of Thailand vis-à-vis Japan during World War II. Before the war, the Thais played a delicate game of maintaining the balance of power between two major European colonial powers in the region, England and France. Historian reviewer William R. Braisted noted that the Thai government "played off the British in Burma to the west against the French in Indochina to the east." However, with the advent of Japanese power in the region, such a system collapsed. Thereafter, the Thais practiced a type of diplomacy that "enabled the nation to bow before the Japanese storm without breaking and then to rise once more," as Braisted further explained. Reynolds employs British, American, Japanese, and Thai sources to tell this story of national survival in which the Thais, after putting up minimal resistance to the Japanese invaders, ultimately became an ally of Japan during the war, hoping thereby to avoid the destruction and turmoil other countries in the region experienced during this time. This fact was largely forgotten in the West after the conclusion of the war; certainly no retribution was visited upon Thailand in the man- ner it was on Japan. Indeed, it took half a century for a true history of the Thai-Japanese connection during World War II to be published. As Pacific Affairs critic William Swan observed, Reynolds's book was thus "a long-awaited piece of research." Braisted had high praise for Thailand and Japan's Southern Advance, 1940-1945, noting, "Reynolds' graceful monograph is a thoughtful appreciation of a little noticed aspect of World War II." Likewise, Swan commented, "Reynolds weaves his wealth of information into a coherent, highly readable narrative," and went on to conclude, "Reynolds has done a superb piece of work, illuminating a long-shrouded period in Thailand's twentieth-century history."
Reynolds explores further aspects of Thai activity in the 1940s in his 2005 title Thailand's Secret War: The Free Thai, OSS, and SOE during World War II, a "congenial study [that] untangles the history of Thai resistance to Japan during World War II," as David Chandler wrote in Pacific Affairs. Reynolds traces the origins of the Free Thai Underground in this work, and also links it to Anglo-American rivalry in their competing secret services. After the Japanese invasion of Thailand in December, 1941, and the surrender of Thailand five hours after the beginning of hostilities, numerous Thai students in the United States gathered together to form what eventually became the Free Thai Underground, which in turn was put under the control of America's new espionage unit, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Whereas in the United States the Thai legation offered complete cooperation with the United States (even though Thailand ultimately became allies of Japan), in England the Thai legation presented its declaration of war as a Japanese ally, and thus earned the enmity and distrust of England and its Special Operations Executive (SOE), which was also operating in Southeast Asia. Chandler noted: "The Free Thai … were not expected to liberate their country but to infiltrate it and provide information to the Allies (one of whom was at war with Thailand) about the Japanese troops stationed there." Reynolds notes the rivalries not only between the OSS and SOE, but also the competing views between the American and British governments regarding the status of Thailand after the war. Reynolds worked with archival sources, memoirs, and personal interviews to produce an "absorbing book," according to Chandler, who also felt that Thailand's Secret War was the "definitive book on the subject." Phillip J. Ridderhof, writing for H-Net Reviews, thought the same work "is well researched: a review of the sources indicates that Reynolds accessed both U.S. and British official sources, many western and Thai secondary sources, and has interviewed an impressive number of American, British and Thai participants." Ridderhof also thought Thailand's Secret War was "well-written" and "a very engaging read." The same reviewer went on to note, "Reynolds did an outstanding job in providing a clear narrative of what could be a very confusing story."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, December, 1995, Alfred W. McCoy, review of Thailand and Japan's Southern Advance, 1940-1945, p. 1647; June, 2006, Constance M. Wilson, review of Thailand's Secret War: The Free Thai, OSS, and SOE during World War II, p. 816.
Asian Affairs, November, 2005, Mervyn Matthews, review of Thailand's Secret War, p. 407.
Diplomatic History, September, 2006, Timothy N. Castle, review of Thailand's Secret War, p. 779.
Historian, summer, 1995, William R. Braisted, review of Thailand and Japan's Southern Advance, 1940-1945.
International History Review, November, 1994, review of Thailand and Japan's Southern Advance, 1940-1945, p. 833; June, 2006, Raymond A. Callahan, "Forgotten Armies: The Fall of British Asia, 1941-1945," review of Thailand's Secret War, p. 431.
Journal of Asian Studies, November, 1989, Taketsugu Tsurutani, review of Thai-Japanese Relations in Historical Perspective, p. 804; May, 1995, Benjamin A. Batson, review of Thailand and Japan's Southern Advance, 1940-1945, p. 633.
Journal of Military History, October, 1994, Edward J. Drea, review of Thailand and Japan's Southern Advance, 1940-1945, p. 762; January 2006, Barry M. Stentiford, review of Thailand's Secret War, p. 266.
Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, March, 1990, Benjamin A. Batson, review of Thai-Japanese Relations in Historical Perspective, p. 263; March, 1996, N.J. Brailey, review of Thailand and Japan's Southern Advance, 1940-1945, p. 203.
Pacific Affairs, summer, 1995, William Swan, review of Thailand and Japan's Southern Advance, 1940-1945, p. 291; spring, 2006, David Chandler, review of Thailand's Secret War, p. 145.
Reference & Research Book News, February 1, 1995, review of Thailand and Japan's Southern Advance, 1940-1945, p. 10.
H-Net Reviews,http://www.h-net.org/ (March 23, 2008), Phillip J. Ridderhof, review of Thailand's Secret War.
San Jose State University History Department Web site,http://www.sjsu.edu/ (March 23, 2008), "E. Bruce Reynolds, Professor, Area Studies Advisor."
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