Reforming Public Health in Occupied Japan, 1945–52: Alien Prescriptions? is a long-awaited volume borne out of the collaboration between Christopher Aldous and Akihito Suzuki. The authors adopt a straightforward, commonsense approach to the topic, which is public health reform under the occupation of Japan (1945–52). It is based on rich information and statistical data gleaned from printed sources and various archives, the most important of which was the archives of the General Headquarters, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (GHQ), available at the National Diet Library in Tokyo. As the book's subtitle hints, Aldous and Suzuki engage with the question long at stake for scholars of Japanese history: whether or not the year 1945 signifies a moment of historical disjuncture. Thus, Aldous and Suzuki ask, was the health reform in occupied Japan a revolutionary, novel, and foreign prescription imposed by American occupiers on “backward”...

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