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University at Buffalo Libraries

World History

Japan and World Order, 1914 – 1942

History 545: Japan and World Order, 1914 – 1952

Charles D’Aniello

321 Lockwood Library

645-2323, extension 424

Books Reviews and Reviewing a Book

Book reviews are a quick way to get an overall sense of a book and to identify the topics judged worthy of comment by experts. Many a reader has read the reviews; but not the book. This is only the best strategy if you want your views framed by someone else. Nonetheless, like a movie review, a book review may encourage you into a reading a book or thoroughly discourage you.

Book reviews evaluate books; but when evaluating a book review you should know who the author is and the orientation as well as reputation of the journal in which the review appears.

How to Find Book Reviews

Depending on the age of book, there are many, many ways to find reviews. Knowing this, we have created a detailed guide to book review sources, find it at: On the other hand, to just go ahead and use if without a little guidance would not be a good idea. When looking for reviews of books likely to be referred to in this course, also give the following a try:

Academic Search Premier

Do a title search for the book reviewed, for instance, on the top of the query screens enter embracing defeat in TI Title. On the left, below the series of query boxes, select Book Review under Document Type.


Do a search for the book reviewed, for instance, on the top of the query boxes enter embracing defeat and tag is Article Title. Below the query boxes Limit to Review. Most the important English-language journals published are covered, up to the most recent 4-7 years.

Web of Science

Like JSTOR (above) the journals indexed here are considered the most important or rather influential non-Asian language periodicals in the world. Do a Cited Reference Search. Using this source requires a little more thought though. Set the top query box to Title and type embracing defeat in the query box. Then search.

Finding Out about the Reviewer (or the author too, for that matter)

Go about finding out about a reviewer the same way you would research an author. A Google search is always a promising place to begin – you never know what you’ll find. For an academic reviewer you will sometimes find a detailed curriculum vitae. But to approach this task from a library perspective try Contemporary Authors.

Contemporary Authors

Too find out about the author of Embracing Defeat, John W. Dower, type his name in the author query box. Of course, were he a reviewer, you would use the same approach.

Who, if Anybody, Other than You, is Reading this Stuff? Or – More Politely – Citation Indexing

You have two options: Google Scholar and the citation search function of Web of Science. Use both, they complement one another. Apart from keeping score, these sources connect ideas. After all, scholars only cite material that in some way is related to what they’re working on. Sometimes the relationship is tight and critical; other times it is referential and deferential.

Google Scholar

Web of Science

Select Citation Reference Search. Do yourself a favor and exclude Science Citation Index from your search. This option is offered at the bottom of the search screen.

What Does this Person Look Like?

Do just about anything and your image may make it to the Web. For instance, do a Google Image — — search for author John W. Dower – you’ll find his picture. Do a Google Video search – : you’ll find John Dower, author of Embracing Defeat. Incidentally, while he apparently never made it to BookTV – you should know what BooKTV is because many prominent historians are part of its programming, visit it at:

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Preliminary and Ongoing Research: The Literature Review

I.  Encyclopedias: General and Multi-Disciplinary

Gale Virtual Reference

Gale Virtual Reference Library offers complete content of more than 100 book titles from the Gale Group of publishers. The collection includes subject encyclopedias, almanacs, and specialized reference works in more than 20 subject areas. Broad topics include literature, history, environment, philosophy, life sciences, business, sociology, law, political science, popular culture, country studies, and more. View the complete list of subjects and titles.

International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (1968-1991), 19 vols.

Lockwood Reference Collection, Lockwood Book Collection, Poetry/Rare Books, and Law Reference Collection H41.I6

See annotation below.

International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences

Lockwood Reference H41.I58 2001 26 vols

Like its predecessors (Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences and the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences), the International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences organizes the knowledge, theories, and methodologies of the social sciences of its generation. Like them, it strives to demonstrate and make accessible the interconnectedness of the social science disciplines.  Core disciplines covered are: anthropology, economics, political science, psychology, and sociology; however, all disciplines and sub-disciplines are included. Many topics receive far greater coverage in this set than in its predecessors – and coverage is, of course, more current – and the relationship between mathematics and science with the social sciences receives special emphasis. Some fields of study did not even exist when the earlier sets were published. History (as a discipline and an approach to knowledge) is included in all sets, with the Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences being, as a source, the most explicitly historical. Entries include bibliographies. There are 150 biographical entries (they focus on ideas, not personal biography); this compares with over 4,000 in the Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, and 600 in the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. However, throughout the source, countless references are made to individuals. It is far easier to search in its electronic version.  For historical perspective, consult the previous two encyclopedias as well.

For comprehensive current coverage always use with the following. Reader’s Guide to the Social Sciences (2001, 2 vols., Lockwood Reference Collection H81.H69 2001) guides the reader to key texts on specific topics with entries that present and critically review a topic’s literature. This extremely useful source offers excellent help in writing a literature review.  Topics are not covered in encyclopedic detail. For methodological interests, see the section Research and Analysis Methods in the Social Sciences, under which are listed such entries as; Factor Analysis, Regression Analysis, and Validity. The Sage Encyclopedia of Social Science Research Methods (2004, 3 vols., Lockwood Reference Collection H62.L456 2004) offers authoritative essays on social science topics, both qualitative and quantitative.  Essays conclude with references. Broad categories under which individual essays appear include: Analysis of Variance, Longitudinal Analysis, Survey Design, and Time Series. In addition, see the encyclopedias and dictionaries on various disciplines. Use the keyword search form: and and and Most disciplines and many fields are served by distinguished scholarly encyclopedias and dictionaries.

To explicitly trace the evolution of an idea use the New Dictionary of the History of Ideas (2005, 6 vols., Lockwood Reference Collection CB9.N49).  This resource is available through Gale Virtual Reference The “back cover blurb” describes the source well: “What are the origins of the concepts under which we organize societies, create institutions, and think about our lives?  Where did the concept of God or equal rights or democracy come from?  How does one idea influence another?”  Through essays authored by scholars, which conclude with bibliographies, a diverse universe of thought is identified, categorized, and contextualized.  A “Reader’s Guide,” available at the beginning of each volume, enables one to identify entries pertinent to a particular disciplinary focus.  Among the many entries listed under Political Science (which itself is listed under Social Sciences) are topics as diverse as: fascism, knowledge, paradigm, democracy, and game theory. The History section is excellent. In addition, there is an older version of this resource, which is really an encyclopedia (encyclopedia is really another word for extended dictionary).  Referring to it may offer a temporal perspective on an “idea.”  In other words, the way something is looked at may have changed.

Finally, do not neglect Encyclopaedia Britannica, the online version < > and the older editions – for historical perspectives — available in the stacks.


You’re probably surprised to find it listed – but beware when you use it, although you might find it very useful too.  The danger with the Wikipedia is that you may not be knowledgeable enough to know when it’s painfully incomplete or just simply wrong.  There’s no telling who wrote the article you’re reading . . . that says it all! All this said, studies repeatedly find it to be – overall – very accurate.

Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan

Lockwood Reference Collection DS 805.K633 1983

Available only in hardcopy.

Encyclopedia of Modern Asia

Lockwood Reference Collection DS4..L48 2002

I am listing this separately because sometimes it is useful to simply pick up an encyclopedia and flip through it. This resource, however, is searchable full text through the Gale Virtual Reference platform


II. Background on Historical Figures

(The sources above also include biographic information.)

American National Biography

This is the current major American biographical dictionary.  It “offers portraits of more than 17,400 men and women — from all eras and walks of life — whose lives have shaped the nation” It contains full-text articles, which usually include bibliographies and hyperlinked cross-references to related articles in ANB and other Oxford reference sources. Many articles include illustrations or photographs, and some link to recommended websites with additional information.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

The major source for biographical information on individuals – engaged in all areas of activity — who have lived in the British-dominated world.  The later is important to note because individuals who lived in the colonies, the Commonwealth, or “associated” places are included. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is the direct successor of the esteemed Dictionary of National Biography.  Offering 50,000 biographies, all written by experts and illustrated with 10,000 portraits from London’s National Portrait Gallery, it is a complete revision of the earlier source’s 36,000 articles.  Seventy percent of the original articles have been completely redone, and 30% are heavily revised. Over 13,500 people have been added and coverage of women and other originally under-represented groups has been increased.  Most biographies treat a single person but some contain a subsidiary biography, some cover a group, and there are articles on specific families.  Many entries are lengthy and conclude with information on sources of information, pertinent archival collections, the source of likenesses, and a brief analysis of an individual’s wealth at death.  When appropriate, a biography is accompanied by a link to a parallel biography in the American National Biography and to a link to the National Register of Archives.  The latter is a collection of the catalogs of British repositories.

III. Walking Through the Reference Collection: The More You “Know” the More You Can Imagine

Walk through the reference collection, the Hs, Js (political science and JZ is international relations), and Ks and for complementary historical material, the Ds, Es, and Fs.  For a guide to the Library of Congress classification scheme visit

Pay special attention to the many topical encyclopedias and dictionaries with foci on people, events, and periods.  There are several for the history of American foreign relations, for example, and many for such topics as the congress, and the presidency.  In addition, there are several American history dictionaries as well as various statistical compilations, including voting records.

In addition to visiting the physical collection, if you are working on a specific “historical” event visit the appropriate collection of online resources for either the history of the United States or the rest of the world, you will find the links to these lists at Resources by Subject  Different disciplines offer different perspectives – and insights – and these thoughts are preserved in its publications: books, journals, and reference sources.  Begin finding some of these by walking through the appropriate sections of the reference collection.

IV. Translating Foreign Languages

Google Language Tools

Translate a Website or translate a passage in an impressive diversity of languages.

Altavista Language Tools

Translate a Website or translate a passage in an impressive diversity of languages (via Babel Fish).

V.  Finding Review Articles and Literature Reviews

In any periodical index try a formulation which combines topic with a request for this format.  In some indexes, such a search will take the form given below.  If you do a field delimited search, always use “review article” or “literature review” as keywords.

international relations and (review article or literature review) or deterrence and (review article or literature review)

Review articles can appear anywhere and there’s even a political science annual devoted to the genre:

In this formulaic search you can also substitute historiography for (review article or literature review). Try this search – formulated precisely as I show it — in Academic Search Premier : japan in SU: Subject Terms and history in SU: Subject Terms and historiography in Select a Field (optional).

VI. Using Bison and WorldCat

Before you begin, review the directions for searching UB’s online catalog . Also, learn to use WorldCat  WorldCat is a mega-library catalog containing more than 60 million records contributed by 20,000 libraries around the world.  It contains full bibliographic descriptions and cataloging information for a diversity of bibliographic formats.  No serious search is complete without consulting it. Interlibrary loan is more efficient than ever before and WorldCat is your gateway beyond UB.  Once you learn about keyword searching, you might execute searches that look like some of these (the logic remains the same, but the new catalog has changed the way things look – your search won’t look like this!): and or k= political and

Such a search taps into the controlled vocabulary of the Library of Congress subject headings, using Boolean logic, and illustrates basic keyword searching.  For more on using this search capability, visit the University of Maryland’s Using Library of Congress Subject Headings <>.  The five volumes that present the headings are shelved to the right in the books behind the Lockwood reference desk.  Below is an example of subject headings for Japanese history.

Japan – History

Japan – History – 1185-1600

Japan — History — 1333-1600

Japan – History – 1787 – 1868

Japan — History – 1868 – 1945

Remember to all be specific when you search – these are general headings. For instance, suppose you were interested in Japan and WW II. Here there are other possibilities. Always do keyword searching in addition to subject heading searching – they complement one another.

World War, 1939 –1945 — Japan

World War, 1939 –1945 – Japan — Atrocities

World War, 1939 –1945 – Japan — Bibliography

World War, 1939 — 1945 – Japan — Catalogs

World War, 1939 — 1945 – Japan – Chichi Island

World War, 1939 — 1945 – Japan — Congresses

World War, 1939 — 1945 – Japan — Fiction

World War, 1939 — 1945 – Japan — Hiroshima

World War, 1939 — 1945 – Japan – Hiroshima – Bombardment, 1945

Browse our online catalog by call number as another way of finding clusters of related materials. From the catalog?s Basic Search screen ? under Search type (on the left) ? select Call Number (LC) begins with.

VII. E-Books and Searching Inside Books


Consists of two collections of electronic versions of books: the “UB Library Collection” of 2,000+ titles and the “Public Collection” of 3,000+ non-copyrighted titles that are free to everyone.  “Search inside the book” is supported.

ACLS Humanities E-Book Project

Major previously published monographs that may be read individually or searched as a group. Includes new titles specifically designed for electronic presentation.  Full-text searching is supported and one may search by author, title, or subject.

Google Book Search

From the Google Web site: “In May 1961, JFK said that he was going to put a man on the moon.  The idea was unthinkable at the time, but within the decade, the goal was achieved. . . . Google Book Search is our man on the moon initiative. We see a world where all books are online and searchable.  How exactly will this be done?  How long exactly will it take?  We aren’t sure, but we’re committed to making it happen.”  Try the advanced search screen at; first—for some background — read the “helps” at:


A warning: This is not always consistent.  Many books you cannot search inside of.  Try Search Inside the Book : “Search Inside! is a new feature offered by Amazon where you can search millions of pages to find exactly the book you want to buy. The previous Amazon search displayed books whose title, author, or publisher-provided keywords matched your search terms.  But with Search Inside!, search results will include titles based on every word inside the book.  Search Inside!  results are displayed interspersed with the standard results.”  Note, most books are included without this capability.

VIII. Book Reviews (we’ve already covered this, but there’s more here)

There are many book review sources.  Useful guides include the appropriate section of Marc Trachtenberg’s online Doing Cold War History: A Practical Guide and the University Libraries produced guide Book Reviews: A Guide to Selected Sources The former will probably not be of much use to you for this course.

While useful reviews will be found in a tremendous diversity of sources, the best places to look for high quality reviews are JSTOR, Project MUSE and Web of Science  These draw from the most important journals in political science as well as other social science disciplines (including history).  Also, for more recent reviews, do not hesitate to try the indexes included under the heading Best Basic Resources on the Libraries home page .  And, of course, the indexes in the section which follows will also identify reviews.

H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online – Book Reviews

From the Web site: “H-Net Reviews bring a new dimension to the world of academic publishing.  Our reviews are published online via discussion networks and the H-Net web site.  This permits our reviews to reach scholars with a speed unmatched in any other medium.  It also makes a new kind of interactivity possible, as reviewers, authors and readers engage in discussions of the reviews online.  Through the power of e-mail and the web H-Net has helped pioneer online scholarly reviewing.”   Be sure to use the search utility:  Most texts covered are historical.

IX. Essential Journal Indexes

The two major political abstracts we have available are listed below.  Each has a specific orientation and each complements the other.

Bibliography of Asian Studies (BAS)

Bibliography of Asian Studies (BAS), produced by the Association for Asian Studies, provides bibliographic references for western-language monographs, articles and book chapters on all parts of Asia published since 1971. Since 1992, newly published individual monographs are no longer being added to the database, and users seeking monographs are should consult other general resources and databases such as WorldCat.

International Political Science Abstracts

Scholarly journals and yearbooks published worldwide are abstracted. IPSA is prepared by and published for the International Political Science Association. Topics covered range from method and theory; political thinkers and ideas; political and administrative institutions; political processes (public opinion, attitudes, parties, forces, groups, and elections); international relations; to national and area studies.

PAIS International Online

PAIS indexes journal articles, books, government documents, statistical directories, grey literature, research reports, conference reports, publications of international agencies, microfiche, and Internet material. All areas of the social sciences, but especially social and public policy are covered. Coverage extends back to 1915.

Remember to always use the general (multi-disciplinary) indexes under Best Basic Resources .  They complement but never take the place of the resources listed below.


Presents the full text, in facsimile form, of the complete back files of important scholarly journals, generally from the first volume through issues published prior to the most recent three years.  Current issues are not available. JSTOR is a consortium of approximately 1,800 participating academic institutions, including the University at Buffalo.  It is continually expanding and presently covers the following disciplines:

Accounting, African Studies, African-American Studies, Anthropology, Archaeology, Architecture, Art, Asian Studies, Biology, Botany, Business, Classics, Ecology, Economics, Education, Finance, General Sciences, Geography, History, History of Science, Latin American Studies, Literature & Language, Management, Mathematics, Middle East Studies, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Population/Demography, Slavic Studies, Sociology, Statistics.

There’s more to searching JStor than you may think.  Learn about advanced search techniques at

Periodicals Index Online (PIO) and Periodicals Archive Online (PAO)

Use both of these sources. Each offers indexing of scholarly periodicals – and periodicals for the learned lay public – into the 18th century and up to a little over a decade ago. When you search PAO you can search the full text of the included articles. PIO covers more material, but it does not offer full text searching of article content.

Project MUSE

Project MUSE provides full-text online editions of over 100 scholarly journals in the Humanities and Social Sciences that are published by The Johns Hopkins University Press and other scholarly publishers. Searchers can conduct queries across all included journals, or choose selected or individual journals.  Leads to full-text articles in the project journals, largely in the disciplines of Cultural Studies, History, Literature, Philosophy, Political Science, Religion and Theater.

Reader’s Guide Retrospective, 1890 – 1982

An easily used portal to the past – America’s and the world’s — and a detailed account of U.S. culture and history through the lens of “middle” America. Designed as the single index that might be available in a library the diversity of periodicals covered ranged from the American Historical Review to Mademoiselle to Retirement Living to UNESCO Courier. Articles may be found by subject heading, publication, dates, journal, author, or article title. Original subject headings are retained revealing how events were framed at the time; but updated headings have also been added. Entries link to page images from original Readers Guide volumes, showing users the original see and see also references, plus the complete hierarchy of subject headings and subheadings. Use Readers Guide for reviews of motion pictures (moving pictures) and theatrical productions.

America: History and Life

America: History and Life indexes the literature about the history of the United States and Canada.  History is very broadly construed.  Leads to citations to and abstracts for the contents of over 2,000 scholarly journals, dissertations, and book and media reviews from over 100 key historical journals. Also includes full text articles from The History Cooperative, Project Muse, and JSTOR.

Historical Abstracts

Historical Abstracts indexes the literature about world history from 1453 forward, excluding the United States and Canada.  History is very broadly construed.  See America: History and Life for indexing of history about the United States and Canada.  Leads to citations to and abstracts for the contents of over 2,000 scholarly journals, including foreign language journals, and citations to internationally published books and dissertations.

Web of Science (Institute of Scientific Information)

Search in combination the Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences Citation Indexes.  You can search for specific articles by subject, author, and/or title in the indexes individually or at the same time.  Because the information about each article includes the article’s cited reference list (i.e., the footnotes or references), you can also search the databases for articles that cite a particular author or work.  Searching for cited references often locates relevant articles that cannot be found through traditional searching techniques.  “Through a cited reference search, you can discover how a known idea or innovation has been confirmed, applied, improved, extended, or corrected.”  Begin by entering the name of the cited author to retrieve records of texts cited in articles from journals covered by the indexes; then select from these entries those of interest to retrieve the articles, from ISI source journals, which cite each selected work. Visit:   (See the section on this form of indexing below  Web of Science contains leads to citations with bibliographical references for articles from over 8,000 journals.  Many of the references include author-prepared abstracts, as well as links to the full-text of articles if available.  Be sure to use the various online helps and hints for searching the resource.

Google Scholar

It’s more than a journal index – because there’s certainly more than journals on the Web.  But you’ll find a lot of everything using this resource; just don’t limit yourself to it. .

X. Accessing the Perspectives of Various Disciplines Using Disciplinary Resources

Below are the major abstracting and indexing services for several disciplines.  For a comprehensive guide to disciplinary resources held by the Libraries, visit Resources by Subject at  The concept is simple, but laziness gets the better of all of us: looking for the business dimensions of the problem, use business sources; looking for a historical consideration of the problem, use history sources; looking for the economic impact of the problem, try economic sources.  The political science page is accessible directly at  To be sure, resources overlap; but a flexible approach may yield interesting results.  Further, social science disciplines often share methodologies, theories, and models.  Sort or arrange citations chronologically and intellectual history may emerge.

Sociology: Sociological Abstracts

Sociological Abstracts is the leading resource for the research literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences.  The database is international in scope.

Philosopher’s Index

The premier international scholarly research tool in all fields of philosophy. Contains citations and abstracts of articles appearing in over 480 journals from over 38 countries as well as books and book chapters.

Psychology: PsycINFO

PsycINFO provides comprehensive coverage of the professional and scholarly literature in psychology and psychiatry, and selective coverage in education, social work, sociology, and related disciplines. You might be surprised – there might actually be some useful material here – especially if you are researching psychohistory or group psychology – but it probably would not be by an historian.

Economics: EconLit

EconLit indexes scholarly literature in all fields of economics, including economic theory, production, welfare, growth, inflation, accounting, international trade, economic history, social indicators, capital markets, consumer finance, business credit, and labor and demographics.

Education: ERIC

ERIC is the largest education database in the world with coverage of over 800 periodicals, plus non-journal publications called ERIC documents which include: research papers, guides, government reports, speeches and more.  It contains citations with abstracts covering more than 950,000 journal articles and ERIC documents.  Topics range across all aspects of education research and practice.

Law: Guide, Law – Foreign and International

This is a library-produced guide.

XI. Tracking References (Citation Indexing and we’ve already considered this)

Web of Science

Find useful material by identifying important journal articles that cite relevant work.  For guidance, use the publisher’s tutorial: Select the section that will explain how to do a Cited Reference Search.

Google Scholar

If you are interested in the relationship between the two citation indexes – which you do not have to be to benefit from them – visit: . Otherwise, satisfy whatever appetite you have for additional Google Scholar knowledge by visiting: Be sure to visit:

XII. Dissertations

Digital Dissertations

Digital Dissertations provides title, author, and subject access to virtually every U.S. dissertation; the database also provides access to thousands of Canadian dissertations and U.S. master’s theses, and since 1988 selected access to British and European dissertations.  Dissertations published from 1980 forward include 350-word abstracts, written by the author (abstracts for dissertations published before 1980 are available in the printed Dissertation Abstracts back to 1938). Citations for master’s theses from 1988 forward include 150-word abstracts. Contains leads to citations to over 2 million doctoral dissertations and master’s theses from more than 1,000 North American and European graduate schools. Abstracts to doctoral dissertations from 1980 forward & for master’s theses from 1988 forward. Full Text: Free full-text of most University at Buffalo dissertations published after January 1997.  Full text of many non-UB digital dissertations published after January 1997.

XIII. Discussion Lists

Very useful information and you might want to join in the discussion yourself. To do so, you have to join – but to search for useful information from previous or ongoing discussions you only need visit the URLs given below.

H-Net Discussion Networks

From this directory visit:




XIV. Suggestions for a Primary Source Search

  • Many of the sources above will list secondary sources (and some primary sources) and secondary sources will generally lead to primary sources. This includes dissertations.

  • We have periodical indexes (many with access to full text articles) as well as newspapers for the entire period covered by the course. Of course, the material is not Japanese; but if you want to study the West’s reaction to or interpretation of Japan, we have a lot you can work with and easily find. If you pursue this angle, consult me for some quick suggestions.

  • The Internet East Asian History Sourcebook could make your search for primary sources very easy – it has a rich collection of translated materials. Find the appropriate Japan section and click on all the links – you cannot tell what you’ll find until you click. Find it at:

  • In the Google query box do a search simply expressed as: japan* “primary sources”, then explore. The asterisk truncated japan finds both Japan and Japanese and the quotation marks around primary sources ensures that the “phrase” or “term” is searched.

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