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General, minister of war, prime minister, and unrepentant ultranationalist, Hideki Tojo (1884–1948) was the most powerful leader in the Japanese government during World War II. From October 1941 to July 1944 he held unquestioned control, advocating and setting in motion the attack on Pearl Harbor as well as pushing forward the Japanese offensives in China, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific. The author examines Tojo's life against the backdrop of increasing Japanese militarism—Civil war, political assassinations, and coup d'états—and uses exclusive interviews with Tojo's wife to illuminate the spartan, single-minded, incorruptible personality of the man who chose war rather than succumb to U.S.–induced economic strangulation. From the initial victories, through the later severe defeats and Tojo's resignation, to his thwarted suicide attempt, trial as a war criminal, and execution, no other book offers such a clear and compelling portrait.