What We Are Reading Today: Factory Girls by E. Patricia Tsurumi

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Updated 07 July 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Factory Girls by E. Patricia Tsurumi

Investigating the enormous contribution made by female textile workers to early industrialization in Meiji Japan, Patricia Tsurumi vividly documents not only their hardships but also their triumphs. While their skills and long hours created profits for factory owners that in turn benefited the state, the labor of these women and girls enabled their tenant farming families to continue paying high rents in the countryside. 

Tsurumi shows that through their experiences as Japan’s first modern factory workers, these “factory girls” developed an identity that played a crucial role in the history of the Japanese working class. Much of this story is based on records the factory girls themselves left behind, including their songs. “It is a delight to receive a meticulous and comprehensive volume on the plight of women who pioneered (assembly plant) employment in Asia a century ago ….” — L. L. Cornell, The Journal of Asian Studies “Tsurumi writes of these rural women with compassion and treats them as sentient, valuable individuals …. [Many] readers will find these pages informative and thought provoking.” — Sally Ann Hastings, Monumenta Niponica.


What We Are Reading Today: Fallout

Updated 08 August 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Fallout

Author: Lesley M. M. Blume

New York Times bestselling author Lesley M.M. Blume reveals how one courageous American reporter uncovered one of the deadliest cover-ups of the 20th century — the true effects of the atom bomb — potentially saving millions of lives.
Released on the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, Fallout is an engrossing detective story, as well as an important piece of hidden history that shows how one heroic scoop saved — and can still save — the world.
On the bright clear morning of Aug. 6, 1945, the US dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, immediately killing 70,000 people, and so grievously crushing, burning and irradiating another 50,000 that they too soon died.
Blume, a tireless researcher and beautiful writer, moves through her narrative with seeming effortlessness — a trick that belies the skill and hard labor required to produce such prose.
Knowing what we know today about the nuclear bomb and its devastating consequences, it’s so amazing to read this thoroughly researched report on the man who, against all odds, exposed to the world the true damage of the bomb when it was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.