Useful adversaries : grand strategy, domestic mobilization, and Sino-American conflict, 1947-1958 /

Thomas Christensen's Useful Adversaries provides a new analysis of why relations between the United States and the Chinese Communists were so hostile in the first decade of the Cold War. Employing extensive documentation from the United States and China, it offers a fresh approach to long-debat...

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Main Author: Christensen, Thomas J., 1962- (Author)
Format: Book
Published:Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, ©1996.
Series:Princeton studies in international history and politics.
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Christensen offers a provocative gloss on two important phases of Sino-American relations since the late 1940s. He argues that the Truman administration purposely aroused public opinion against the communist victors in China's civil war, despite a preference for recognizing Communist China so as to divide Russia from China. This was a Eurocentric policy decision by the administration, which adopted a simplistic, universalist anticommunist rhetoric to stir public support for expensive policies to bolster European security, 1947-1950. Conversely, facing apparent Russian technological superiority and political swagger just when China could have benefited from US aid, Mao Zedong in 1958 provoked a second Sino-American confrontation over Quemoy and Matsu to help steel his countrymen for the sacrifices needed to support the Great Leap Forward. The abject failures of both governments' disingenuous stratagems and the train of disasters that followed for Americans and Chinese are instructive caprices of democratic statecraft analysis that Christensen deemphasizes in favor of what he thinks is the progress of political theory. Upper-division undergraduates and above. L. J. Mahoney Spokane Falls Community College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

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