What does it mean by "Nothing has done so much to set it back"? From Wealth and Poverty of Nations From Wealth and Poverty of Nations by David Landes (page 421): "Japanese society also has its testosteronic bravado and taste for violence. Japan has a long history of wars of aggression and oppression, all of them justified by national necessity. Nothing has done more to propel Japan. Nothing has done so much to set it back." Could you explain the last two sentences "Nothing has done more to propel Japan. Nothing has done so much to set it back"? This section compares the Middle Eastern countries and Japanese economy, and before the paragraphs I cited, the author concludes that Japan does a better job in gender equality. Thanks a lot! Any comments would be appreciated.
Nov 11, 2018 2:30 PM
Answers · 6
In my opinion, the author is speaking about the wars initiated by Japan, saying that wars have helped its economy, but they have also slowed it down.
November 11, 2018
Referring back to the taste for violence, bravado, and wars the author thinks are characteristic he is saying that these things have both propelled Japan forward - i.e. led to economic development and political influence etc, and set it back, i.e. in some way prevented Japan from developing in some other, unspecified way. It's a little bit cryptic, as he doesn't specify how exactly these things have helped Japan to both develop and be prevented from developing, although maybe he enlarges on that elsewhere in the book.
November 11, 2018
Still haven’t found your answers?
Write down your questions and let the native speakers help you!
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, Korean, Spanish
Learning Language
English, French, Korean, Spanish