DEMOCRACY WITH A GUN; America and the Policy of Force, by Fumio Matsuo, translated by David Reese. Berkeley, California: Stone Bridge Press, 2007, 306 pp., $26 (cloth)

As a child in wartime Japan, Fumio Matsuo, now a journalist, and his family were nearly wiped out by U.S. incendiary bombing of regional cities. He shares the general Japanese trauma over the U.S. atomic bombings. Based in and out of the United States for around 40 years as a Kyodo correspondent, he seems to have made it his life work to find out why Americans who seem so genuinely proud of their democratic origins are so addicted to force — to guns at home and bombs abroad.

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