• Review of Hooper’s War: Moral Injury the Invisible Wounds of Empire

    July 6, 2017

    Tags: ,
    Posted in: Hooper's War

    Nozomi Hayase writes in her new review of Hooper’s War: A Novel of WWII Japan:

    British investigative journalist Robert Fisk once said, “War is a total failure of the human spirit.” If Fisk, a veteran war correspondent, exposed the cruelty of modern warfare to our face, then Van Buren, the former diplomat, with his lucid writing let the destruction of our spirit unravel in slow motion.

    His story is set in an alternate WWII with the American invasion, through a fictional firebombing of Kyoto that Van Buren created, based on eyewitness accounts of the August 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Sometimes, a metaphorical reality is more effective to reveal the truth of human affairs. In the intersection of historical facts and nonfiction, history is reawakened. We are able to see the wound of war that has been buried deep in the oblivion of our memory.

    In his allegorical retelling of WWII Japan, Van Buren illustrates this process graphically with a sensitive touch. The story unfolds through reflections of both American lieutenant Nathaniel Hooper and young Japanese sergeant Eichi Nakagawa on their experiences before, during and after the invasion. In that period of Japanese imperialism, Japanese became the emperor’s soldiers. Sergeant Nakagawa depicts the lessons from Major Yamada at the training where young men are indoctrinated with the tradition and duty to fulfill obligation to the emperor. Major Yamada told Nakagawa, “You have a mouth but you cannot say what you wish. And you have a brain but you cannot think as you wish”.

    Hooper’s War is a story of courage. It invites readers to retrieve vanished memories of human events. In multiple perspectives depicted in this novel, we are able to see the truth of war, not by a view defined by nationality, neither Japanese nor American, but simply as a human. In the breath of words that unite these souls from different shores, Van Buren asserts his own voice, bearing witness to this tragedy of Hiroshima in his soul.

    Read the full review, or buy the book today!

    Related Articles:

    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...


      “War is a total failure of the human spirit.” Robert Fiske

      He should study mob psychology. Our hive mentality is a Darwinian trait that served a purpose in the past, but in this nuclear age it will probably destroy us.

      07/6/17 7:56 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      The difference this time is the hive is at war with itself.

      Richard Haas: We’re about to have a conversation with the world where we are likely to be saying, ‘Here’s what we know about North Korea,’ and this is going to be based on American intelligence,” “We’re going to be trying to rally international support for whatever it is we do diplomatically or, conceivably, militarily based on American intelligence findings. It’s just an odd time to basically be saying, ‘You can’t believe the CIA, you can’t believe the U.S. intelligence community about Russia or about Iraq.’

      Not a good idea for the queen bee to rile the drones. They can always pick a new queen.

      07/6/17 8:49 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      If we are stupid enough to attack their hive – and we are, given our past performance- we better make sure we kill all the bees, lest they sting us in the behind.

      07/6/17 9:13 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Stinger not only a missile

      Democratic Congressman Brad Sherman made an interesting suggestion about the nuclear threat from North Korea after attending a classified briefing at the White House.

      “North Korea could smuggle a nuke into U.S. rather than use ICBM. Could smuggle inside a bale of marijuana…” tweeted Congressman Sherman.

      While our Defense Dept would say Sherman is blowing smoke, this gang could not see a giant cargo ship off its port bow.

      Mitch, tell this guy not to give North Korea any ideas.

      07/6/17 9:27 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...



      I would…. But he’s a congressman…. Aka… Waste of time….

      Or…. To put it another way….

      Congress people, most of them, are like many people on this planet….
      They are like Slinky’s…… Pretty useless….. But a Lot of fun to push down stairs….

      But…. Unfortunately…. He’s right…. It would be simple to smuggle one in….or worse….. Bring in a component…. Think Flint Michigan was bad????

      Btw…. Missed your chance…. Made it home just ahead of the Hamburg Riots….

      Talk about mob mentality??????

      So…… Rich……

      Humor me on something…..

      Go off on CNN…. Please????

      Can’t wait to see your take on ‘Morning Joke’.


      07/6/17 5:15 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...




      MAJOR execption to the congress person statement…

      Tulsi Gabbard…

      Just bad ass….

      Actually gives a damn…. Trying really hard to do the right thing by everyone.

      And yes…. I know…. She’s way ‘Left’.


      07/6/17 5:19 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      And she is smokin hot.

      Just to remind you, never watch cable…period. It rots the brain.

      07/6/17 5:49 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...



      Yes she is…. And she surfs

      She’s also one of 13 congress people, and 1 senator … Who are actually trying to stop the US government from training and arming Terrorists. (geee… Why does that make sense?????)

      Cable??????…… That would get in the way for hitting replay on all 5 seasons of “Falling Skies”


      07/7/17 9:18 AM | Comment Link

    Leave A Comment

    Mail (will not be published) (required)