In Consuming Japan: Popular Culture and the Globalizing of 1980s America
(UNC Press, 2017), Andrew McKevitt
explores the intense and ultimately fleeting moment in 1980s America when the future looked Japanese. Would Japan's remarkable post World War II economic success enable the East Asian nation to overtake the United States? Or could Japan's globe-trotting corporations serve as a model for battered U.S. industries, pointing the way to a future of globalized commerce and culture? While popular films and literature recycled old anti-Asian imagery and crafted new ways of imagining the yellow peril, and formal U.S.-Japan relations remained locked in a holding pattern of Cold War complacency, a remarkable shift was happening in countless local places throughout the United States: Japanese goods were remaking American consumer life and injecting contemporary globalization into U.S. commerce and culture. What impact did the flood of billions of Japanese things have on the ways Americans produced, consumed, and thought about their place in the world?
From autoworkers to anime fans, Consuming Japan
introduces new unorthodox actors into foreign-relations history, demonstrating how the flow of all things Japanese contributed to the globalizing of America in the late twentieth century.