Gregg Huff, "World War II in Southeast Asia: Economy and Society under Japanese Occupation" (Cambridge UP, 2020)


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To say that World War II and Southeast Asia: Economy and Society under Japanese Occupation (Cambridge University Press, 2020) is an impressive achievement is a huge understatement. Based on years of research in over two dozen archives on three continents, this book won the Lindart-Williamson prize from the Economic History Association. World War II and Southeast Asia: Economy and Society under Japanese Occupation explores how Japan, as part of its plan to build an East Asian empire and secure oil supplies essential for war in the Pacific, swiftly took control of Southeast Asia. Dr. Huff describes the occupation’s devastating economic impact on the region. Japan imposed country and later regional autarky on Southeast Asia, dictated that the region finance its own occupation, and sent almost no consumer goods. GDP fell by half everywhere in Southeast Asia except Thailand. Famine and forced labor accounted for most of the 4.4 million Southeast Asian civilian deaths under Japanese occupation. World War II and Southeast Asia presents a new understanding of Southeast Asian history and development before, during and after the Pacific War.

Gregg is Senior Research Fellow at Pembroke College, University of Oxford. He is the author of The Economic Growth of Singapore: Trade and Development in the Twentieth Century and co-editor of and contributor to World War II Singapore: The Chōsabu Reports on Syonan-to. Gregg has large number of publications in the Journal of Economic History, Economic History Review, Economic Development and Cultural Change, Oxford Economic Papers, Cambridge Journal of Economics, World Development, Modern Asian Studies and Journal of Southeast Asian Studies.

Michael G. Vann is a professor of world history at California State University, Sacramento. A specialist in imperialism and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, he is the author of The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt: Empires, Disease, and Modernity in French Colonial Vietnam (Oxford University Press, 2018). When he’s not reading or talking about new books with smart people, Mike can be found surfing in Santa Cruz, California.

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