From the mid-nineteenth century on, America and Japan were caught in an extraordinary political, military and economic duel. This clash was characterised by a cultural incompatibility that was to haunt the negotiations of their two leaders, Emperor Hirohito and General MacArthur. Hirohito was a remarkable man. Diffident, uncharismatic and apparently obtuse, he survived as god-ruler of Japan for six decades through internal strife, war, defeat, occupation and economic victory. But Hirohito met his equal in MacArthur. Brash and domineering, MacArthur merited the honorary Japanese epithet shogun or 'army leader' for his almost single-handed six year rule over Japan. In this absorbing dual biography Robert Harvey traces their tense and complex relationship. His broad scope encompasses two great nations in war and peace -- a momentous period of history which provides illuminating insight into American actions across the world today.