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The Reckoning by David Halberstam

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AUTHOR’S NOTE

I DECIDED TO DO this book in the spring of 1980. In the wake of the fall of the Shah of Iran it was clear that the entire American industrial core was vulnerable to relentless challenge from a confident, disciplined Japan. How and why that had happened seemed to me a story worth telling. While there were a number of experts on both sides of the Pacific, it struck me that there was no book that tried to tell the parallel stories of the Japanese ascent and the American malaise, and that it was a perfect opportunity for a writer willing to spend the five years or so it would take to report the critical events closely. The story was what I would call soft drama—that is, something profound that has taken place so quietly, in such small ...

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