Books: 85 Million Paradoxes

FIVE GENTLEMEN OF JAPAN (373 pp.) —Frank Gibney—Farrar, Straus and Young ($4).

The Emperor of Japan is a stooped, middle-aged man whose greatest pleasure in life is marine biology. He was against the war and the militarists. He is no deity and doesn't want to be. He even likes the idea of Japan as a democracy. But he is also, perhaps more than any man alive, the creature of centuries of rigid tradition. So when a factory worker tried to shake Hirohito's hand during one of his democratic postwar tours, the Emperor said: "Let's...

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