How Japan created its own lost generation

Written by an intelligent and scrupulous journalist, Shutting out the Sun, is a worthwhile read. The book's defect is that it confuses value judgments with rational argument.

It is worth reading Shutting out the Sun for its good writing and quirky insights into a major culture and economy. But it pays to remain sceptical when the author compares Japan to the US.

Author Michael Zielenziger pays passing tribute to superior Japanese craftsmanship, its public safety, and the tendency to stick together and share resources equitably. But overall, heÆs horrified at what he finds after seven years as a reporter in Tokyo. And he does an excellent...

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