Department of Asian Studies
Department of Asian Studies

Mark Metzler


Ph.D., 1998, University of California, Berkeley

Professor
Mark Metzler

Contact

Biography


Research interests

Modern Japanese History; Global History; Historical Political Economy.

My newest book is Central Banks and Gold: How Tokyo, London, and New York Shaped the Modern World, co-authored with Simon Bytheway (to be published by Cornell University Press in December 2016). This book investigates the construction of central-bank hegemony in the early 20th century, and the way it came crashing down in the Great Depression of the 1930s.

This book continues the investigation begun in my book, Lever of Empire: The International Gold Standard and the Crisis of Liberalism in Prewar Japan (University of California Press, 2006). Lever of Empire examines the financial side of Japanese empire building in the early 20th century. Inside Japan, the monetary contradictions of empire led to the deliberate inducing of a series of economic depressions in the name of monetary and social stabilization. These "stabilization crises" culminated in the Great Depression of 1929-1931. The fascist reactions that followed destroyed the prewar liberal system. Policies pioneered then, in Japan and around the world, are still with us today under the names of austerity and "structural adjustment."

The investigation of Japan's conjunctural history is carried into the second half of the 20th century in Capital as Will and Imagination: Schumpeter's Guide to the Postwar Japanese Miracle (Cornell University Press, 2013). Asian-style high-speed growth, as pioneered in Japan in the 1950s, reveals capitalist industrial development in its most intensified form, but this is a global story rather than one specific to Japan.

These studies are part of a larger research program aimed at grasping the history of Japan in the long duration of centuries and in its wider East Asian and global contexts. As the next stage in this work, I'm now completing a global history of the late 19th century while continuing new research into Japan since the great bubble of 1989 in deep historical and ecological context.

Education

PhD in History (East Asia/Japan) at the University of California, Berkeley; MA in Comparative Social History at the University of California, Santa Cruz; BA in International Relations at Stanford University. Additional coursework at Osaka City University; the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies, Yokohama; the Beijing Language Institute; and the Freie Universitaet Berlin.

 

Courses taught

History of globalization, Japanese history (early modern through postwar), the political economy of Japan, capitalism and global history, empire and globalization in East Asia.

Affiliations

Kyoto University, Institute for Research in the Humanities, 2010–12. University of Tokyo, Institute of Social Science, 2003-04.


Courses


HIS 342C • Postwar Japan

39260 • Fall 2016
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM UTC 3.110

This course begins by examining the transition from war, defeat, and military occupation to the economic miracle of the 1960s.  Japan’s high-speed industrial growth established the model for a new kind of accelerated development that has since unfolded across Asia.  These political and economic transformations were also social and personal, encompassing the remaking of family structures and ideologies.  The greatest lessons may lie in the aftermath of high-speed growth, in the transformations that accompanied the deflation of the economic bubble after 1990.  The semester concludes with a consideration of present trajectories and possible futures.

 

 

Texts:

1. Andrew GORDON, A Modern History of Japan, third edition (Oxford University Press, 2013).

2. John W. DOWER, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Aftermath of World War II (W.W. Norton/New Press, 1999).

3. R. Taggart MURPHY, The Weight of the Yen (W. W. Norton, 1997).

4. Handouts, online, and electronic reserve readings as specified over the course of the semester

 

 

Grading:

• two midterm exams (worth 20% each)

• two essays on class readings (15% each) 

• final exam including take-home essays (25%)

• active class participation (5%)

 

HIS 350L • World In The Late 19th Cen

39330 • Fall 2016
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM GAR 0.132

A window in time.  This upper-division seminar takes on the challenge of comprehending whole-world history by looking closely at the crisis-filled period from the 1870s to the 1890s.  This era has been identified as the first age of modern globalization; it was also an originating time for modern types of racism and imperialism.  There was a revolution in transportation, as railroads and telegraph lines spanned continents while steamship lines and submarine cables crossed oceans and seas.  There was a revolution in global finance as the entire world became tied together into a single system of credit and debt.  The period began with the greatest synchronized economic boom yet seen in world history, which was followed immediately by a great crash that initiated a “Great Depression,” as it was called.  This was also the age of the explosion of the new imperialism, with the European invasions of Africa and Asia.  This happened simultaneously with the explosive development of working-class parties and the advent of mass strikes and social-cultural battles.  There was an extraordinary revolution in technology, with the dawning of the electrical age, and the development of the modern corporation.  There were also revolutions in consciousness—new conceptions of consciousness itself and visions of new social arrangements, expressed in an outpouring of writings on utopias and science-based fantasies, social revolution and gender equality, spirit realms and extra dimensions.

This writing-intensive course follows a seminar format.  Seminar members will write a series of short papers and a research based semester paper.  Active discussion work is required.

Texts:

As a textbook, we will use Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Empire, 1875–1914 (Vintage, 1989).  Other readings, available online or as electronic reserve readings, will consist of primary documents and voices of the time, ranging from the statements of revolutionary activists to those of early science-fiction writers.  We will supplement these with selections from present-day historians.  A large part of your reading will be self-selected (in consultation with the instructor), as part of your own research program.

Grading:

Class meetings follow a seminar format in which class members will be asked to comment in detail on the assigned readings.  There will be a graduate-school level expectation that each seminar member will come to class with a set of prepared notes and questions on the readings to use as a basis of discussion.  (The difference is that there won’t be a grad-school level reading and writing load!)

      The class meets only once weekly, and attendance is required. 

1.   In-class participation,including in-class writing, quizzes, and discussion, worth 20% of the total course grade.  Participation in class discussion is evaluated on both quantity and quality (quality means serious, detailed engagement with the texts). 

2.   Weekly papers.  Four papers of 1.5 to 2 pages (altogether, 25% of course grade).

3.   Presentations.  One short presentation on supplemental reading, worth 5%, and two short presentations on your own research project, 5% each.

4.   Research project.  A focused exploration of a topic, country, or region of your choice, based in substantial part on writings from the time.  The project is divided into graded components: research proposal, partial first draft, and final draft (10 pages in length), worth 40% of your grade in total.

Plus/Minus grading will be used in this course. 

 

ANS 341K • Origins Of Modern Japan

30875 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM GAR 1.126
(also listed as HIS 341K)

FLAGS:   Wr  |  GC

Description

Same as Asian Studies 341K. This course examines Japan’s early modern age, from the end of the warring-states period in the 1500s to the stirrings of the industrial revolution in the mid 1800s.  The main focus is on the period of government by the Tokugawa shoguns (1600–1867), the final era of samurai rule.  Topics include social and economic change, national isolation and national opening, the Meiji revolution, and the origins of modern nationalism, imperialism, and democracy.   We pay special attention to the subjective experiences of Japanese men and women who lived and created Japan’s distinctive path to modernity.

Texts:

Conrad Totman, Early Modern Japan, University of California Press, 1993.

Katsu Kokichi, Musui’s Story: The Autobiography of a Tokugawa Samurai, trans. Teruko Craig, University of Arizona Press, 1991.

Yamakawa Kikue, Women of the Mito Domain, trans. Kate Wildman Nakai, Stanford University Press, 2001.

And other readings TBA

Grading:

•   two midterm exams (worth 20% each)

•   two essays on class readings (15% each)

•   final exam (20%)

•   active class participation (10%). Attendance is required.

 

HIS 350L • Capitalism And Global History

38530 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GAR 0.120

This upper-division seminar explores attempts by historians and social scientists, both classic and recent, to conceptualize global history and the history of capitalism.  One premise of this course is that contemporary forms of globalization represent the latest phase in a thousand-year process, traceable to the twelfth century and earlier.  Topics include the emergence and nature of capitalism; the economic divergence between Europe and Asia; the transatlantic slave trade; the Industrial Revolution; economic development and underdevelopment; imperialism, global crises and depressions; the rise of Fordism, and the shift from Fordism to neo-liberal globalization. 

This course follows a seminar format, with some short lectures mixed in. Class participants will write a series of short papers and substantial essays. Active discussion work and several class presentations are required.

Hours: M 3:00–6:00, in GAR 0.120.  Attendance is mandatory. 

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

Substantial writing component.

 

Topics and texts.  Among the topics and texts to be discussed in one or more weeks are:

•     Energy and history.  Texts include Bruce Podobnik, Global Energy Shifts [paperback] EAN: 978-1-59213-294-2

•     Industrial revolutions.  Texts include selections from Freeman and Louça, As Time Goes By and Kenneth Pomeranz, The Great Divergence.

•     Interaction of climate and history. Readings include selections from Mike Davis, Late Victorian Holocausts.

•     Labor and coercion.  Texts include selections from Joseph Inikori, Africans and the Industrial Revolution in England.

•     Resources and social-ecological history; material and energy flows; the “earth system” and the “world system.” 

•     The postwar “golden age” and transformations of world capitalism since the 1970s.  Texts include David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity.

 

HIS 350L • Capitalism And Global History

38625 • Spring 2015
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM GAR 0.120

This upper-division seminar explores attempts by historians and social scientists, both classic and recent, to conceptualize global history and the history of capitalism.  One premise of this course is that contemporary forms of globalization represent the latest phase in a thousand-year process, traceable to the twelfth century and earlier.  Topics include the emergence and nature of capitalism; the economic divergence between Europe and Asia; the transatlantic slave trade; the Industrial Revolution; economic development and underdevelopment; imperialism, global crises and depressions; the rise of Fordism, and the shift from Fordism to neo-liberal globalization.  This seminar will take special advantage of the 2014–15 “Capital and Commodities” program at UT’s Institute for Historical Studies, which runs concurrently.

This course follows a seminar format, with some short lectures mixed in. Class participants will write a series of short papers and substantial essays. Active discussion work and several class presentations are required.

Attendance is mandatory. 

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

Substantial writing component.

 

Topics and texts.  Among the topics and texts to be discussed in one or more weeks are:

•     Energy and history.  Texts include Bruce Podobnik, Global Energy Shifts [paperback] EAN: 978-1-59213-294-2

•     Capitalism and civilization.  Texts include selections from Fernand Braudel, The Perspective of the World, Civilization & Capitalism, 15th-18th Century, Vol. 3 (Univ. of California Press, 1992; ISBN: 978-0520081161 [Paperback]) and from Braudel, The Structures of Everyday Life, Civilization & Capitalism, 15th-18th Century, Vol. 1.

•     Industrial revolutions.  Texts include selections from Freeman and Louça, As Time Goes By and Kenneth Pomeranz, The Great Divergence.

•     Eurasian world systems.  Texts: Janet Abu-Lughod, Before European Hegemony and selections from Victor Lieberman, Strange Parallels.

•     Interaction of climate and history. Readings include selections from Mike Davis, Late Victorian Holocausts.

•     Labor and coercion.  Texts include selections from Joseph Inikori, Africans and the Industrial Revolution in England.

•     Resources and social-ecological history; material and energy flows; the “earth system” and the “world system.” 

•     The postwar “golden age” and transformations of world capitalism since the 1970s.  Texts include David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity.

ANS 372 • East/West: Spirit/Intel Encoun

31935 • Fall 2014
Meets TH 11:00AM-2:00PM GAR 1.122
(also listed as HIS 350L)

This upper-division seminar provides a forum for exploring some spiritual and intellectual encounters of “East” and “West,” with a focus on ideas of mind, spirit, and consciousness. “East” and “West” are relative and relational terms, directions rather than places. They are relative, mutual, and shape-shifting. As metaphors they are generative and multivalent; when one starts to look, one finds many Easts and Wests at play, as various as the “Oriental philosophy” of Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Xuanzang’s “journey to the West” to discover the Heart Sutra, and the Zen journeys of the West Coast beatniks. In this exploration of comparisons and connections, we will encounter a full house of canonical figures including Zhuangzi, Zhu Xi, Avicenna, Ibn ‘Arabi, Hume, Swedenborg, Blake, Nietzsche, Tagore, and Jung, along with some brilliant but less well known thinkers. We will spend much of our time in the open spaces between civilizational control systems. Many of the texts are dense and difficult, reflections of deep and often distant traditions. They need to be read slowly and with care. They also repay sincere inquiry with new vistas and unexpected bounties.

Texts:

Readings include Joanna Macy, Mutual Causality in Buddhism and General Systems Theory; Jonathan Spence, The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci; and many online readings TBA.

Grading:

1. Participation in class discussion:  one overall grade, worth 20% of the course grade.

2. Eight papers of 1.5 pages each on weekly readings (altogether, 40% of the course grade).

3. Midterm essay (20% of course grade).

4. Final essay (partial revision of midterm essay; 20%).

HIS 342C • Postwar Japan

39555 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM UTC 3.112

This course begins by examining the transition from war, defeat, and military occupation to the economic miracle of the 1960s.  Japan’s high-speed industrial growth established the model for a new kind of accelerated development that has since unfolded across Asia.  These political and economic transformations were also social and personal, encompassing the remaking of family structures and ideologies.  The greatest lessons may lie in the aftermath of high-speed growth, in the transformations that accompanied the deflation of the economic bubble after 1990.  The semester concludes with a consideration of present trajectories and possible futures.

 

 

Texts:

1. Andrew GORDON, A Modern History of Japan, third edition (Oxford University Press, 2013).

2. John W. DOWER, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Aftermath of World War II (W.W. Norton/New Press, 1999).

3. R. Taggart MURPHY, The Weight of the Yen (W. W. Norton, 1997).

4. Handouts, online, and electronic reserve readings as specified over the course of the semester

 

 

Grading:

• two midterm exams (worth 20% each)

• two essays on class readings (15% each) 

• final exam including take-home essays (25%)

• active class participation (5%)

 

ANS 341K • Origins Of Modern Japan

32110 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM UTC 4.112
(also listed as HIS 341K)

Same as Asian Studies 341K. This course examines Japan’s early modern age, from the end of the warring-states period in the 1500s to the stirrings of the industrial revolution in the mid 1800s.  The main focus is on the period of government by the Tokugawa shoguns (1600–1867), the final era of samurai rule.  Topics include social and economic change, national isolation and national opening, the Meiji revolution, and the origins of modern nationalism, imperialism, and democracy.   We pay special attention to the subjective experiences of Japanese men and women who lived and created Japan’s distinctive path to modernity.

Global Cultures flag.

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

Texts:

Conrad Totman, Early Modern Japan, University of California Press, 1993.

Katsu Kokichi, Musui’s Story: The Autobiography of a Tokugawa Samurai, trans. Teruko Craig, University of Arizona Press, 1991.

Yamakawa Kikue, Women of the Mito Domain, trans. Kate Wildman Nakai, Stanford University Press, 2001.

And other readings TBA.

 Course requirements:•   two midterm exams (worth 20% each)

•   two essays on class readings (15% each)

•   final exam (20%)

•   active class participation (10%). Attendance is required.

HIS 381 • Capitalism & Global History

40185 • Spring 2014
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM GAR 1.122

How can we represent social change in ways that recenter nation-bound narratives and transcend the limitations of parochial historiographies?  How can we connect our research to the concerns of other scholarly disciplines and address multicultural international publics?  This seminar provides a forum for approaching these challenges.  It explores attempts by historians and social scientists, both classic and very recent, to conceptualize global history and the history of capitalism.  It likewise explores their persistent difficulties, such as Eurocentrism, narcissistic teleologies, and premature totalization of partial conclusions.  The goal is to give seminar members a place to apply transnational and global approaches to their own research agendas.The moment is opportune for historians.  As a field of research, transnational history, grounded in specific regional and thematic expertise, is the growth edge of the discipline.  University faculties increasingly seek fellow scholars who can offer credible research and teaching approaches to global history and global studies.A premise of this course is that contemporary forms of globalization represent the latest phase in a far longer process, which can be traced to the twelfth century and earlier.  Among the debates we will engage are those over the emergence and nature of capitalism, the economic divergence between Europe and Asia, the transatlantic slave trade, the Industrial Revolution, consumer society and family structure, economic development and underdevelopment, imperialism, global crises and depressions, the rise of Fordism, and the shift from Fordism to neo-liberal globalization.  This seminar will serve also as a workshop for ideas related to the 2014–15 program of UT’s Institute for Historical Studies, on “Capital and Commodities”:http://www.utexas.edu/cola/insts/historicalstudies/theme/overview.php

Readings will include:

• Giovanni Arrighi, The Long Twentieth Century

• Fernand Braudel, Capitalism and Civilization (selections)

• Robert Brenner, The Economics of Global Turbulence

• Kenneth Pomeranz, The Great Divergence

• Jan de Vries, The Industrious Revolution

• Eric Williams, Capitalism and Slavery

In addition to works of postwar historiography, we will also investigate classic writings on capitalism by Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Max Weber, and others.

We invite interested participants to email us before the start of the semester to introduce your specific research interests:mmetzler@utexas.edu<mailto:mmetzler@utexas.edu> and jmvaughn@austin.utexas.edu<mailto:jmvaughn@austin.utexas.edu>

ANS 341N • Postwar Japan

31805 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM UTC 4.110
(also listed as HIS 342C)

This course begins by examining the transition from war, defeat, and military occupation to the economic miracle of the 1960s.  Japan’s high-speed industrial growth established the model for a new kind of accelerated development that has since unfolded across Asia.  These political and economic transformations were also social and personal, encompassing the remaking of family structures and ideologies.  The greatest lessons may lie in the aftermath of high-speed growth, in the transformations that accompanied the deflation of the economic bubble after 1990.  The semester concludes with a consideration of present trajectories and possible futures.

 Texts:

1. Andrew GORDON, A Modern History of Japan, third edition (Oxford University Press, 2013).

2. John W. DOWER, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Aftermath of World War II (W.W. Norton/New Press, 1999).

3. R. Taggart MURPHY, The Weight of the Yen (W. W. Norton, 1997).

4. OCHIAI Emiko, The Japanese Family System in Transition (Tokyo: LTCB International Library Foundation, 1996).

5. Simon PARTNER, Toshié: A Story of Village Life in Twentieth-Century Japan (University of California Press, 2004).

6. Handouts, online, and electronic reserve readings as specified over the course of the semester

 Grading:

• two midterm exams (worth 20% each)

• two essays on class readings (15% each)

• final exam including take-home essays (25%)

• active class participation (5%)

ANS 372 • East/West: Spirit/Intel Encoun

31850 • Fall 2013
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM GAR 0.120
(also listed as HIS 350L)

This upper-division seminar provides a forum for exploring some spiritual and intellectual encounters of “East” and “West,” with a focus on ideas of mind, spirit, and consciousness. “East” and “West” are relative and relational terms, directions rather than places. They are relative, mutual, and shape-shifting. As metaphors they are generative and multivalent; when one starts to look, one finds many Easts and Wests at play, as various as the “Oriental philosophy” of Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Xuanzang’s “journey to the West” to discover the Heart Sutra, and the Zen journeys of the West Coast beatniks. In this exploration of comparisons and connections, we will encounter a full house of canonical figures including Zhuangzi, Zhu Xi, Avicenna, Ibn ‘Arabi, Hume, Swedenborg, Blake, Nietzsche, Tagore, and Jung, along with some brilliant but less well known thinkers. We will spend much of our time in the open spaces between civilizational control systems. Many of the texts are dense and difficult, reflections of deep and often distant traditions. They need to be read slowly and with care. They also repay sincere inquiry with new vistas and unexpected bounties.

 

Texts:

Readings include Joanna Macy, Mutual Causality in Buddhism and General Systems Theory; Jonathan Spence, The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci; and many online readings TBA.

Grading:

1. Participation in class discussion:  one overall grade, worth 20% of the course grade.

2. Eight papers of 1.5 pages each on weekly readings (altogether, 40% of the course grade).

3. Midterm essay (20% of course grade).

4. Final essay (partial revision of midterm essay; 20%).

HIS 306N • Modern World

39271 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM CLA 0.128

Themes in the history of the planet over the past half millennium. We will concentrate on the movements of people and ideas, technology, economy, and institutions that have made possible our interconnected world.  We devote substantial time to the concepts and methodologies of global history as well as to the content of empirical historical developments. 

 

Grading

Two midterm exams: 20% each

Final Exam: 25%

Essay: 15%

Quizzes and Participation: 20%

 

Texts

Robert Tignor, and others, Worlds Together, Worlds Apart (W.W. Norton). [Feel free to use any edition that includes Chapters 10–21 (years 1000 to 2000).]

 

And other texts TBA.

HIS 381 • History Of Globalization

39775 • Spring 2013
Meets W 12:00PM-3:00PM GAR 0.120

How can we represent social change in ways that recenter nation-bound narratives and transcend the limitations of parochial historiographies?  How can we connect the results of our research to the concerns of other scholarly disciplines and address multicultural international publics?  This seminar provides a forum for approaching these challenges.  It explores attempts, both classic and very recent, to conceptualize global history and the processes now known as globalization.  It likewise explores their persistent difficulties, such as Eurocentrism, narcissistic teleologies, and premature totalization of partial conclusions.  The goal is to give seminar members a place to apply transnational and global approaches to their own research agendas.  We also consider the work of several UT historians on the subject.

The moment is opportune for historians.  As a field of research, transnational history, grounded in specific regional and thematic expertise, is the growth edge of the discipline.  University faculties increasingly seek fellow scholars who can offer credible research and teaching approaches to global history and global studies.

This seminar mixes studies of method, context, and case studies, adapted to mesh with participants’ interests.  I invite interested participants to email me before the start of the semester at mmetzler@mail.utexas.edu, to introduce your specific research interests.

May be taken as either a reading or a research seminar.

Topics and texts.  Among the topics and texts to be discussed in one or more weeks are:

• Spaces of flows; technological revolutions; approaches to global history.  Texts: selections from Manuel Castells’ Information Age trilogy + TBA.

• Pretensions of global governance; the crises of the 1980s and 1990s in Latin America, Africa, and Eurasia in historical context.  Texts: Joseph Stiglitz, Globalization and Its Discontents + TBA

• Globalization boom in the late 19th-century? Globalization holocaust? Texts: Mike Davis, Late Victorian Holocausts + TBA.

• Early modern globalization: a Eurocentric process?  Texts: Janet Abu-Lughod, Before European Hegemony, Kenneth Pomeranz, + TBA

• Cultural globalization, hegemony, postmodernity, countercultures, anti-globalization. 

• Classic theories; structure and conjuncture. 

• Global resource and ecological questions; the “earth system” and the “world system.”

Plus other topics and readings, variable according to student interest.

ANS 341K • Origins Of Modern Japan

31575 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM UTC 3.102
(also listed as HIS 341K)

Same as Asian Studies 341K. This course examines Japan’s early modern age, from the end of the warring-states period in the 1500s to the stirrings of the industrial revolution in the mid 1800s.  The main focus is on the period of government by the Tokugawa shoguns (1600–1867), the final era of samurai rule.  Topics include social and economic change, national isolation and national opening, the Meiji revolution, and the origins of modern nationalism, imperialism, and democracy.   We pay special attention to the subjective experiences of Japanese women and men who lived and created Japan’s distinctive path to modernity.

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

Texts:

Conrad TOTMAN, Early Modern Japan, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.

KATSU Kokichi, Musui’s Story: The Autobiography of a Tokugawa Samurai, trans. Teruko CRAIG, Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1991.

YAMAKAWA Kikue, Women of the Mito Domain, trans. Kate Wildman NAKAI (Stanford University Press, 2001).And others TBA.

Course requirements:

•    two midterm exams (worth 22.5% each)

•    two essays on class readings (15% each)

•    final essay (20%)

•    active class participation (5%)

HIS 350L • History Of Globalization

39360 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GAR 0.120

This upper-division seminar samples some influential ideas of global history considered in the context of contemporary globalization. We will consider what is new about contemporary globalization and what isn’t by examining the 19th-century origins of contemporary globalization and considering its antecedents in Renaissance and Early-Modern times.Globalization is defined here in an inclusive sense that highlights global circuits of people, information, products, culture, and capital.This course follows a mixed seminar and lecture format.  Active discussion work is required.Prerequisites: Upper-division standing.

Required readings:

Available at University Coop.

1. Janet Abu-Lughod, Before European Hegemony: The World System, A.D. 1250–1350(Oxford University Press, 1991). ISBN: 0195067746

2. Mike Davis, Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World(Verso, 2001). ISBN: 1859843824

3. Donella H. Meadows, Thinking in Systems: A Primer, ed. Diana Wright (Chelsea Green, 2008). ISBN: 1603580557

4. Manfred Steger, Globalization: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, [newest edition]). ISBN: 0199552266

5. Joseph Stiglitz, Globalization and Its Discontents (Norton, 2003). ISBN: 0393324397

6. Handouts and online readings as specified over the course of the semester.

Course requirements and grading:

1. Participation in class discussion:  one overall grade, worth 20% of the course grade.

2. 9 papers of 1 to 1.5 pages each on weekly readings (altogether, 40% of the course grade).

3. Midterm essay (10% of course grade).

4. Final essay (partial revision of midterm essay; 20%).

5. Final examination (10%).

HIS 342C • Postwar Japan

39560 • Spring 2010
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM UTC 4.110

This course begins by examining the transition from war, defeat, and military occupation to the economic miracle of the 1960s.  Japan’s high-speed industrial growth established the model for a new kind of accelerated development that has since unfolded across Asia.  These political and economic transformations were also social and personal, encompassing the remaking of family structures and ideologies.  The greatest lessons may lie in the aftermath of high-speed growth, in the transformations that accompanied the deflation of the economic bubble after 1990.  The semester concludes with a consideration of present trajectories and possible futures.

 

 

Texts:

1. Andrew GORDON, A Modern History of Japan, third edition (Oxford University Press, 2013).

2. John W. DOWER, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Aftermath of World War II (W.W. Norton/New Press, 1999).

3. R. Taggart MURPHY, The Weight of the Yen (W. W. Norton, 1997).

4. Handouts, online, and electronic reserve readings as specified over the course of the semester

 

 

Grading:

• two midterm exams (worth 20% each)

• two essays on class readings (15% each) 

• final exam including take-home essays (25%)

• active class participation (5%)

 

HIS 350L • History Of Globalization-W

39630 • Spring 2010
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM CAL 21

Mark Metzler
Department of History
University of Texas at Austin
Office hrs.: M 1:00–2:30 & by appointment 

 

HST 350L
Seminar in the History of Globalization

 

 This upper-division seminar samples some influential ideas of global history considered in the context of contemporary globalization. We will consider what was new about the globalization of the 1990s and what wasn’t, also examining the late-19th-century origins of contemporary globalization and considering its renaissance and early-modern antecedents.

Globalization is defined here in an inclusive sense that highlights global circuits of people, information, products, culture, and capital.

This course follows a seminar rather than a lecture format.  Active discussion work is required.

Substantial writing component.

Prerequisites: Upper-division standing.

Hours: W 3:00–6:00, in CAL 21.  Attendance is mandatory.  

 

Required readings:
Available at University Coop.  Additional copies of some books will be placed on reserve at the
PCL.

1. Janet Abu-Lughod, Before European Hegemony: The World System, A.D. 1250–1350
(Oxford University Press, 1991). ISBN: 0195067746

2. Manuel Castells, The Rise of the Network Society (The Information Age: Economy, Society
and Culture, Vol. 1
), second edition (Blackwell, 2000). ISBN: 0631221409

3. Mike Davis, Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World
(Verso, 2001). ISBN: 1859843824

4. Donella H. Meadows, Thinking in Systems: A Primer, ed. Diana Wright (Chelsea Green,
2008). ISBN: 1603580557

5. Manfred Steger, Globalization: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2003).
ISBN: 0199552266

6. Joseph Stiglitz, Globalization and Its Discontents (Norton, 2003). ISBN: 0393324397

7. Handouts and online or electronic reserve readings as specified over the course of the
semester (some listed below, some to be announced).

 

Course Schedule (subject to revision)

 

I. (1/20) Introduction

II. (1/27) Some approaches to globalization
        1. Steger, Globalization: A Very Short Introduction (entire)
        2. Meadows, Thinking in Systems, pp. 1–72 

III. (2/3) Pre-European globalization (1)
        1. Abu-Lughod, Before European Hegemony, pp. 1–55; 102–184 

IV. (2/10) Pre-European globalization (2)
        1. Abu-Lughod, pp. 185–290; 316–373

V. (2/17) Structure and conjuncture
      1. (E-Res) Fernand Braudel, The Perspective of the World (Civilization & Capitalism, 15th-
          18th Century, Vol. 3; New York: Harper & Row, 1984 [orig. 1979]), Foreword and “The
          World-Economy and Divisions of Time,” pp. 17–20, 71–88.
      2. (E-Res or JSTOR) N. D. Kondratieff, “The Long Waves in Economic Life,” Review of
          Economic Statistics
, 17:6 (Nov. 1935), pp. 105–115.  (Abbreviated translation of “Die
          langen Wellen der Konjunktur,” Archiv für Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik, 1926.)
      3. Meadows, Thinking in Systems, pp. 75–110, Appendix (pp. 187–203) 

VI. (2/24) Paradigm shifts
       1. (E-Res) Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, second edition (Univ.
          of Chicago Press, 1970), selections
       2. (E-Res) Chris Freeman and Francisco Louçã, “Introduction: Technical Change and Long
           Waves in Economic Development” and ch. 9, “Age of ICT,” in As Time Goes By: From
           the Industrial Revolutions to the Information Revolution
(Oxford University Press, 2001),
           pp. 139–151, 301–335

VII. (3/3) The machine revolution
        1. (E-Res) Karl Marx, “Machinery and Modern Industry,” Ch. 15, Sections 1 and 3–5 of
            Capital
, Vol. 1 (pp. 371–386, 394–437 of the International Publishers edition)
        2. TBA

VIII. (3/10) The information age
        1. Castells, Rise of Network Society: Prologue and Ch. 1 (pp. 1–76); ch. 5 (pp. 358–372
            only); Ch. 6 and Conclusion (pp. 407–459, 500–509)

 First essay due; question TBA

[Spring break]

IX. (3/24) World industrialization: early statements
        1. Friedrich List, The National System of Political Economy (1844).  Available at
            http://www.econlib.org/library/YPDBooks/List/lstNPE.html
           also downloadable at
 http://books.google.com/books?id=4uuc7tdk0Z8C&printsec=frontcover&dq=friedrich+list,+national+system
        • Translator’s Preface; Memoir of the Author; Extracts from the Author’s Preface (31pp.)
        • Ch. 9, “The North Americans” and Ch. 10, “The Teachings of History” (20 pp.)
        • Ch. 11–13, pp. 97–131 

X. (3/31) Globalization and crisis in the 1990s (1)
        1. Stiglitz, Globalization and Its Discontents, Preface and pp. 3–132

XI. (4/7) Globalization and crisis in the 1990s (2)
        1. Stiglitz, Globalization and Its Discontents, pp. 133–165, 195–252

XII. (4/14) Late nineteenth-century globalization (1)
        1. Davis, Late Victorian Holocausts, through ch. 3 (to pg. 115)
            [chapters 4–6: read as you have the time]

XIII. (4/21) Late nineteenth-century globalization (2)
         1. Davis, Late Victorian Holocausts, chs. 7–9, pp. 211–310

XIV. (4/28) Time and place
         1. TBA

XV. (5/5) Trajectories
       1. TBA

   Second essay due (question TBA)

Final exam:  TBA.

Course requirements and grading:

1. Participation in class discussion:  one overall grade, worth 20% of the course grade.
2. 9 papers of 1 to 1.5 pages each on weekly readings
(altogether, 40% of the course grade).
3. Midterm essay
(10% of course grade).
4. Final essay
(partial revision of midterm essay; 20%).
    All papers should be double-spaced, using a 12-pt. Times font. 
5. Final examination
(10%).

HIS 342C • Postwar Japan

39035 • Spring 2009
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM UTC 4.110

This course begins by examining the transition from war, defeat, and military occupation to the economic miracle of the 1960s.  Japan’s high-speed industrial growth established the model for a new kind of accelerated development that has since unfolded across Asia.  These political and economic transformations were also social and personal, encompassing the remaking of family structures and ideologies.  The greatest lessons may lie in the aftermath of high-speed growth, in the transformations that accompanied the deflation of the economic bubble after 1990.  The semester concludes with a consideration of present trajectories and possible futures.

 

 

Texts:

1. Andrew GORDON, A Modern History of Japan, third edition (Oxford University Press, 2013).

2. John W. DOWER, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Aftermath of World War II (W.W. Norton/New Press, 1999).

3. R. Taggart MURPHY, The Weight of the Yen (W. W. Norton, 1997).

4. Handouts, online, and electronic reserve readings as specified over the course of the semester

 

 

Grading:

• two midterm exams (worth 20% each)

• two essays on class readings (15% each) 

• final exam including take-home essays (25%)

• active class participation (5%)

 

HIS 350L • History Of Globalization-W

39120 • Spring 2009
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM CAL 21

Lectures, discussion, reading, and research on selected topics in the field of history.

May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

Designed for History majors. 

History 350L and 350R may not both be counted unless the topics vary.

Course carries Writing flag. 

ANS 391 • Us Relations With East Asia

31325 • Spring 2008
Meets M 2:00PM-5:00PM GAR 0.120
(also listed as HIS 382N)

Study of various subjects with Asian studies-related content.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Some topics are offered on the letter-grade basis only; these are identified in the Course Schedule.  Prerequisite: Graduate standing; additional prerequisites vary with the topic and are given in the Course Schedule.


HIS 342C • Postwar Japan

40055 • Spring 2008
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM UTC 4.110

This course begins by examining the transition from war, defeat, and military occupation to the economic miracle of the 1960s.  Japan’s high-speed industrial growth established the model for a new kind of accelerated development that has since unfolded across Asia.  These political and economic transformations were also social and personal, encompassing the remaking of family structures and ideologies.  The greatest lessons may lie in the aftermath of high-speed growth, in the transformations that accompanied the deflation of the economic bubble after 1990.  The semester concludes with a consideration of present trajectories and possible futures.

 

 

Texts:

1. Andrew GORDON, A Modern History of Japan, third edition (Oxford University Press, 2013).

2. John W. DOWER, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Aftermath of World War II (W.W. Norton/New Press, 1999).

3. R. Taggart MURPHY, The Weight of the Yen (W. W. Norton, 1997).

4. Handouts, online, and electronic reserve readings as specified over the course of the semester

 

 

Grading:

• two midterm exams (worth 20% each)

• two essays on class readings (15% each) 

• final exam including take-home essays (25%)

• active class participation (5%)

 

ANS 361 • Us-East Asian Relations-W

31630 • Fall 2007
Meets T 3:30PM-6:30PM BUR 436A
(also listed as HIS 350L)

Selected topics in south and east Asian anthropology, economics, history, geography, government, art, music, and philosophy.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Asian Studies 320 and 361 may not both be counted unless the topics vary.  Prerequisite: Varies with the topic and is given in the Course Schedule.

HIS 341K • Origins Of Modern Japan

40860 • Fall 2007
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM BUR 112

Same as Asian Studies 341K. This course focuses on Japan’s early modern age, from the end of the warring-states period in the 1500s to the stirrings of the industrial revolution in the mid 1800s.  The central focus is on the period of government by the Tokugawa shoguns (1600–1867), a period that reveals the social-ecological dynamics of an island country at a time of chronic resource scarcity and unprecedented development of popular culture.  Topics include the classical and medieval heritage, social and economic change, national isolation and national opening, the Meiji revolution, and the origins of modern nationalism, imperialism, and democracy.   We pay special attention to the subjective experiences of Japanese men and women who lived and created Japan’s distinctive path to modernity.

 

This course follows a half-lecture, half-seminar format.  Active class participation is required.

 

Writing flag.

Global Cultures flag.

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

Hours: TTh 9:30–11:00, in UTC 4.112.

 

Required texts:  

1.  Conrad Totman, Early Modern Japan (Univ. of California Press, 1993). ISBN-10: 0520203569

2.  Katsu Kokichi, Musui’s Story: The Autobiography of a Tokugawa Samurai, trans. Teruko Craig (Univ. of Arizona Press, 1991). ISBN-10: 0816512566

3.  Yamakawa Kikue, Women of the Mito Domain, trans. Kate Wildman Nakai (Stanford Univ. Press, 2001). ISBN-10: 0804731497

4.  Handouts, electronic-reserve, and on-line readings.

 

Course requirements and grading:

•   two midterm exams (worth 10% each)

•   two essays on class readings (10% each)

•   essay revisions (10% total)

•   one presentation on supplemental readings (10%)

•   active in-class discussion work (10%)

•   in-class writing and peer editing work (10%)

•   final exam (in-class exam portion: 10%; take-home essay: 10%)

This is a small, writing-intensive and participation-intensive course, and attendance is required. If you anticipate that you will need to miss classes during the coming semester, please plan on taking this course in a later semester when it truly fits your schedule.

ANS 361 • American Occupation Of Japan-W

30520 • Spring 2007
Meets TH 3:30PM-6:30PM BUR 234
(also listed as HIS 350L)

Selected topics in south and east Asian anthropology, economics, history, geography, government, art, music, and philosophy.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Asian Studies 320 and 361 may not both be counted unless the topics vary.  Prerequisite: Varies with the topic and is given in the Course Schedule.

ANS 391 • Empire/Globlzatn In Mod E Asia

29835 • Spring 2006
Meets T 2:00PM-5:00PM UTC 4.114
(also listed as HIS 382N)

Study of various subjects with Asian studies-related content.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Some topics are offered on the letter-grade basis only; these are identified in the Course Schedule.  Prerequisite: Graduate standing; additional prerequisites vary with the topic and are given in the Course Schedule.


HIS 342C • Japan Since 1945

38740 • Spring 2006
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM UTC 3.134

This course begins by examining the transition from war, defeat, and military occupation to the economic miracle of the 1960s.  Japan’s high-speed industrial growth established the model for a new kind of accelerated development that has since unfolded across Asia.  These political and economic transformations were also social and personal, encompassing the remaking of family structures and ideologies.  The greatest lessons may lie in the aftermath of high-speed growth, in the transformations that accompanied the deflation of the economic bubble after 1990.  The semester concludes with a consideration of present trajectories and possible futures.

 

 

Texts:

1. Andrew GORDON, A Modern History of Japan, third edition (Oxford University Press, 2013).

2. John W. DOWER, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Aftermath of World War II (W.W. Norton/New Press, 1999).

3. R. Taggart MURPHY, The Weight of the Yen (W. W. Norton, 1997).

4. Handouts, online, and electronic reserve readings as specified over the course of the semester

 

 

Grading:

• two midterm exams (worth 20% each)

• two essays on class readings (15% each) 

• final exam including take-home essays (25%)

• active class participation (5%)

 

ANS 341M • Modern Japan

29145 • Fall 2005
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM UTC 4.134

FLAGS:   GC

ANS 361 • American Occupation Of Japan-W

29150 • Fall 2005
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM JES A303A
(also listed as HIS 350L)

Selected topics in south and east Asian anthropology, economics, history, geography, government, art, music, and philosophy.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Asian Studies 320 and 361 may not both be counted unless the topics vary.  Prerequisite: Varies with the topic and is given in the Course Schedule.

ANS 301M • Hist Of East Asia Since 1800

28215 • Spring 2005
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM UTC 4.112

Please check back for updates.

ANS 361 • Political Economy Of Japan-W

28305 • Spring 2005
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM PAR 204
(also listed as HIS 350L)

Selected topics in south and east Asian anthropology, economics, history, geography, government, art, music, and philosophy.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Asian Studies 320 and 361 may not both be counted unless the topics vary.  Prerequisite: Varies with the topic and is given in the Course Schedule.

ANS 341M • Modern Japan

28937 • Fall 2004
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM UTC 3.134

FLAGS:   GC

ANS 361 • Japan-Us Relations-W

28953 • Fall 2004
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM CBA 4.340
(also listed as HIS 350L)

Selected topics in south and east Asian anthropology, economics, history, geography, government, art, music, and philosophy.  Specific offerings are listed in the Course Schedule.  Asian Studies 320 and 361 may not both be counted unless the topics vary.  Prerequisite: Varies with the topic and is given in the Course Schedule.

Central Banks and Gold



In recent decades, Tokyo, London, and New York have been the sites of credit bubbles of historically unprecedented magnitude. Central bankers have enjoyed almost unparalleled power and autonomy. They have cooperated to construct and preserve towering structures of debt, reshaping relations of power and ownership around the world. Central Banks and Gold explores how this financialized form of globalism took shape a century ago, when Tokyo joined London and New York as a major financial center.

As revealed here for the first time, close cooperation between central banks began along an unexpected axis, between London and Tokyo, with the Bank of England's secret use of large Bank of Japan funds to intervene in the London markets. Central-bank cooperation became multilateral during World War I—the moment when Japan first emerged as a creditor country. In 1919 and 1920, as Japan, Great Britain, and the United States adopted deflation policies, the results of cooperation were realized in the world's first globally coordinated program of monetary policy. The first age of central-bank power and pride ended in the disaster of the Great Depression, when a rush for gold brought the system crashing down. In all of this, we see also the quiet but surprisingly central place of Japan. We see it again today, in the way that Japan has unwillingly led the world into a new age of post-bubble economics.

Release date: December 20, 2016 (Cornell University Press).

Pre-publication reviews: "Central Banks and Gold is a game changer. Simon James Bytheway and Mark Metzler convincingly upset conventional interpretations of many issues concerning international finance in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with findings that have profound implications for global financial trends in recent decades."—Steven J. Ericson, Dartmouth College

Capital as Will and Imagination



Capital as Will and Imagination
(Cornell University Press, 2013) investigates the nature of financial capital and its power to shape the course of economic development. Japan's experience after World War II offers the clearest possible case study. A clue to understanding is found in a neglected aspect of Joseph Schumpeter's theory of economic development: the nexus between money creation by banks, investment, and inflation. Economists and planners in postwar Japan found in Schumpeter's ideas a description of what they saw happening around them. They also put these ideas directly to work. Asian-style high-speed growth, as pioneered in Japan in the 1950s, presents capitalist industrial development in its most intensified form; however, the story is a global one. The shadow of credit is debt, and the worldwide debt bubbles of recent times reveal the limits of the 20th-century growth model.

Runner Up Prize, 2014 Professor Robert W. Hamilton Book Awards.

Selections from reviews:

" Mark Metzler has been in the forefront of moves to treat Japan’s economic history not as a unique curiosity explicable only to specialists, but rather as an analytically important element in global processes of change. He is also an original, challenging and stylish writer and his work can profitably and enjoyably be approached by readers beyond the particular bounds of Japanese history. …In some respects at least, Japan appears to have led where the rest later followed (for example, in overcoming the interwar Great Depression by 'Keynesian' means and much later in experiencing property and financial bubbles followed by protracted stagnation)… 'Learning from Japan' might apply to the fundamental ways in which modern capitalist economies operate at the macro and monetary levels… For this point alone, as well as for a wealth of other interesting insights, Metzler’s book should be widely read. "

—Penelope Francks, Enterprise & Society

" Mark Metzler has written a provocative and important book on the interrelationship of inflationary credit creation, high-speed growth, and collapsing debt bubbles in Japan’s postwar financial system. …Credit-fueled growth is portrayed as a Faustian bargain with ominous consequences. …Metzler argues that in advanced capitalist countries, with declining populations, environmental limits on future industrial production, and political difficulties when letting banks fail, 'the type of banking system that funded the first great age of capitalism now functions more and more as a bubble machine, casually throwing up immense debts that act as a dead weight on everything else. In this dimension, the second age of industrial capitalism will need to be a post-Schumpeterian age.'…Highly recommended for …anyone interested in the role of states and banks in the future of world capitalism. "

—John Sagers, Journal of Asian Studies

" Many of the issues and topics that Metzler raises will surely elicit comment, inform debate, and enliven discussion for years and decades to come. I personally found Capital as Will and Imagination to be a surprisingly useful primer into thinking about money—one of the greatest, yet least understood, of our socially constructed 'contingent' creations.  …Thought-provoking, intellectually curious, and at times downright challenging, Capital as Will and Imagination tests the reader’s knowledge and interpretation of the events that have come to characterize and define modern Japanese history. Replete with astute references and finely drawn observations, it is a work of great wisdom and intellect, a must for all those who seek to understand the 'miracle' of Japan’s postwar economic growth. "

—Simon Bytheway, Monumenta Nipponica

" In this book, Japan in the first decade and a half after World War II serves as an empirical case study for a process of inflationary credit creation—of state authorities and private bankers 'willing and imagining' money into existence—which the author suggests applies to capitalist industrial development worldwide. …Among the many significant points Metzler raises is that, from the standpoint of financial history, Japan has repeatedly led the way as opposed to trailing the earlier industrializers. …It also preceded the recent Anglo-American bubbles and crashes by a decade and a half and may stand today as the first industrial-capitalist country to have completed 'the modern inflationary process.' …All in all, Metzler has produced an incisive work full of stimulating insights into the capitalist development process as well as new and challenging ways of thinking about Japan’s economic performance since World War II. "

—Steven Ericson, Journal of Japanese Studies

" What makes this book particularly interesting is that the author describes extensively the ideas and the activities of the Japanese economists who had been directly educated by Schumpeter in Europe or in the US before the war, and came to play substantial roles in designing economic policies and plans in postwar Japan. …Using both primary and secondary sources, including their articles, interviews, and memoirs, Metzler persuasively shows how Schumpeter's ideas and theory were adopted in Japan through those economists and were applied to the economic policies of the postwar period. "

—Tetsuji Okazaki, Economic History Review

 

Lever of Empire



 Lever of Empire
approaches Japan from the standpoint of global history while taking Japan’s experience as a standpoint for understanding the global dynamics of finance, empire, and the Great Depression of the 1930s. The investigation reaches down to the level of personal biography to explore how the logic of international finance undermined internationalist liberalism as a whole system in the early 1930s. This is also the question of the rise of fascism and the sources of the Second World War.


Part One
of the book, Global Money and Empire, examines the financial side of Japanese imperialism in the early twentieth century. How did Japanese state elites leverage a war indemnity imposed upon China in order to join the London-centered gold standard? How did they leverage British capital in order to seize an overseas empire? How did Japan, like Britain and the United States, make occupied countries finance their own colonization via monetary means? How did these choices lead finally to austerity and chronic recession in Japan itself?

Part Two, Global Money and the Doctrine of Induced Depression, explores how economic depression was deliberately induced in the 1920s in the name of monetary stabilization. A series of internationally coordinated “stabilization crises” began in 1920, in Japan, with the great crash in the spring of that year. US financiers had a leading role in this international movement. The policies pioneered then are with us today under the names of “structural adjustment” and austerity.

Part Three, The Crisis of Liberalism, analyzes the unfolding of the Great Depression. For Japan, the deflation policies of the 1920s culminated in the “gold standard” depression of 1929–1931. In 1932, Japan was also the first country to recover from the Great Depression, under the influence of the “Keynesianism before Keynes” directed by finance minister Takahashi Korekiyo. Recovery was unfortunately a station on the road to war. The book ends by observing how Japan rejoined the international financial order after World War II. Politically, Japan was subordinated to the United States, but financially it remained independent.

Principal characters in the story: Inoue Junnosuke, governor of the Bank of Japan and minister of finance, assassinated in 1932; Takahashi Korekiyo, governor of the Bank of Japan governor, minister of finance, and prime minister, assassinated in 1936; Ishibashi Tanzan, liberal economic journalist and publisher, postwar minister of finance and prime minister; Thomas W. Lamont, leading partner of J. P Morgan & Co. at the height of its international ascendancy.

Keywords: deflation; gold standard; monetary imperialism; business cycles; policy cycles; Great Depression of 1929–32.

Selections from reviews:

Arturo Giraldez, Economic History Review:  “This is a remarkable addition to the literatures on the gold standard and world economic history. Japanese monetary policy and its historical consequences are here integrated into a worldwide perspective, taking into account its manifold social and political implications. …Metzler’s outstanding contribution goes beyond the historical information compiled so impressively in this book. …Historians of Japan, world and economic historians, and economists in general would profit very much from reading this study, which is going to become a classic in the historiography of Japanese and world economic history.”

Peter Frost, American Historical Review: “Metzler’s wide scope, prodigious research, and vivid writing clearly show how 'the dry and technical details of monetary policy became a matter of life and death in newly industrializing Japan.' By opening up areas that most Japan historians and (and perhaps also students of the world economy) do not always think about, Metzler has written an excellent book that we all need to master.”

Itoh Masanao, Social Science Japan Journal: “The author has investigated a wide range of domestic and foreign primary materials and has read them most carefully. He has painstakingly compared the results that were brought to light from Japanese primary documents with the English primary documents and has done a lot of original fact finding. Moreover, the author’s perspective is quite broad both as a historian and an economic historian, his range covering everything from economic history through political and social history. …[Lever of Empire] mak[es] new contributions to the study of Japanese history and Japanese economic history as done by Japanese scholars, …we can learn a host of historical lessons about international policy cooperation and economic policies toward emerging markets.”

W. Miles Fletcher, History: Reviews of New Books: “Mark Metzler’s Lever of Empire accomplishes two major tasks. It presents by far the most comprehensive analysis in English of Japanese financial policy in the early twentieth century, a crucial period in which Japan began to emerge as the major industrial and military power in Asia. Perhaps even more important, Metzler crafts a masterful transnational history that examines the close interaction of Japanese domestic policies with outside forces… Along the way, the book also yields important insights into the dynamics of Japanese imperialism. …This excellent book not only provides fresh insights into the dynamics of Japanese economic history and Japanese imperialism in the early-twentieth century; it also presents at a more general level a fascinating and perhaps cautionary tale of how a set of economic principles championed by a small group of passionate and powerful advocates gained dominant global influence with some unfortunate results.”

Michael Schiltz, Financial History Review: “This is an outstanding book. It eloquently shows the formation of Japan’s political-economic practice, and rightfully stresses the spillover of monetary matters into both political and economic development. Students of the dollar standard or IMF policies too will find its conclusions provocative, worthwhile and compelling.”