In the wake of World War II, the Allied forces charged 28 Japanese men with crimes against humanity. Eric Jaffe tells the story of one of the accused, a civilian named Okawa Shumei. On the first day of the Tokyo trial, he made headlines around the world by slapping star defendant and wartime prime minister Tojo Hideki on the head. Had Okawa lost his sanity? Or was he faking madness to avoid a grim punishment? Jaffee tells the story in his book A Curious Madness.
Eric Jaffe tells the history of the 400-plus-year-old Boston Post Road, connecting New York City and Boston. The King’s Best Highway: The Lost History of the Boston Post Road, the Route that Made America, details the road’s essential role in the political, economic, and social development of the United States. Continuously raised, improved, rerouted, and rebuilt, the road influenced the advent of newspapers, stagecoach travel, textiles, mass-produced goods, commuter railroads, and even Manhattan’s modern grid.