Focusing on the intellectual dimension of the American war effort, this book examines how the US government created representations of its enemies, with particular emphasis on the pathologies of Japanese and German culture, mind and nature; and the subsequent consequences this construction had both for America's conduct of the war, and the peace that followed. It examines the process of enemy-making - or enmification - as part of the American culture of war through a systematic comparison of 'constructions' of these enemies, arguing that the ideas behind these images are key to understanding this important aspect of the global history of World War II. These images of the German and Japanese enemies were created to encourage participation in a war to defeat the evils of the Hitler-Mussolini-Tojo Axis, but as a consequence they also shaped the approach of the U.S. to the project of reconstruction when hostilities ended. To illuminate this, the book examines the key interpretive framework that shaped the American approach to both the German and Japanese enemy and the postwar world: the medical model of diagnosis, prognosis and cure.
Knowledge of the medical model illuminates the way that the United States, as represented by the knowledge elite, assessed the two enemy powers and the prospects for lasting peace. As early as 1941, academic observers emphasized the importance of the study of national character, which was influential in preparing propaganda, training military personnel, and defining Occupation policy for Japan and Germany. The focus on the enemy as disease - requiring diagnosis and cure - presented in this book provides a new approach to the intellectual war effort for the European and Pacific Theaters and an innovative insight into understandings of World War II.