Cold War Orientalism: Asia in the Middlebrow Imagination, by Christina Klein

By Christina Klein

Within the years following global warfare II, American writers and artists produced a gentle movement of well known tales approximately americans residing, operating, and touring in Asia and the Pacific. in the meantime the united states, competing with the Soviet Union for international energy, prolonged its succeed in into Asia to an extraordinary measure. This booklet unearths that those trends—the proliferation of Orientalist tradition and the growth of U.S. power—were associated in advanced and remarkable methods. whereas so much cultural historians of the chilly struggle have considering the tradition of containment, Christina Klein reads the postwar interval as one in every of foreign financial and political integration—a designated bankruptcy within the technique of U.S.-led globalization.

Through her research of a variety of texts and cultural phenomena—including Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific and The King and that i, James Michener's shuttle essays and novel Hawaii, and Eisenhower's People-to-People Program—Klein indicates how U.S. coverage makers, including middlebrow artists, writers, and intellectuals, created a tradition of worldwide integration that represented the expansion of U.S. strength in Asia because the forging of emotionally enjoyable bonds among americans and Asians. Her ebook enlarges Edward Said's inspiration of Orientalism for you to deliver to gentle a cultural narrative approximately either household and overseas integration that also resonates today.

Reviews:

"Christina Klein takes a clean, stimulating, and enlightening examine the complicated visions of Asia dreamed over the a long time through American pop culture. She argues her provocative viewpoints with the verve and aptitude of a showman, in a booklet which is helping us to work out the complete international via new eyes."—David Henry Hwang, writer of M. Butterfly and Flower Drum tune (2002)

"An terribly fascinating examine of ‘Cold battle internationalism.’ Klein’s impressive and inventive examining of such musicals as South Pacific and The King and that i allows us to work out how tradition and geopolitics have been woven jointly to rework the chilly warfare order into today’s ethnically different and economically interdependent world—within the framework of ‘U.S. international expansion.’"—Akira Iriye, Professor of heritage, Harvard college, and writer, international Community

"Christina Klein takes a clean, stimulating, and enlightening examine the complicated visions of Asia dreamed over the a long time through American pop culture. She argues her provocative viewpoints with the verve and aptitude of a showman, in a publication which is helping us to work out the total international via new eyes."-David Henry Hwang, writer of M. Butterfly and Flower Drum tune (2002) "An terribly attention-grabbing examine of 'Cold conflict internationalism.' Klein's amazing and resourceful interpreting of such musicals as South Pacific and The King and that i allows us to work out how tradition and geopolitics have been woven jointly to remodel the chilly struggle order into today's ethnically different and economically interdependent world-within the framework of 'U.S. worldwide expansion.'"-Akira Iriye, Professor of historical past, Harvard college, and writer, worldwide group

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Extra info for Cold War Orientalism: Asia in the Middlebrow Imagination, 1945-1961

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The Cold War connection between local power struggles in this distant corner of the globe and the far more significant diplomatic tussles in Europe. Yet the challenges posed by the two areas could not so easily be separated and, by the late 1940s, coincident with the Chinese Communist triumph, Washington and Moscow increasingly looked at Southeast Asia as another important theatre of East–West conflict. Prior to World War II, the Soviet Union had never devoted much attention to Southeast Asia. It was surprisingly slow, moreover, to recognize the geopolitical advantages it might reap from aligning itself with anti-Western, revolutionary insurgencies there, whether communist-led or not.

The Russian ruler, accordingly, pushed vigorously for a harsh peace that would strip Germany of both territory and industrial infrastructure. Such an approach would satisfy the Soviet Union’s dual need to keep Germany down while extracting from it a sizable contribution to the Soviet rebuilding effort. Roosevelt proved unwilling to commit himself fully to Stalin’s punitive proposals, though he did tell Stalin that he, too, saw merit in the permanent dismemberment of Germany. In fact, US experts had not yet decided, at that point, among competing impulses: whether to crush the nation that had precipitated so much carnage; or to treat it magnanimously, using the anticipated occupation period to help fashion a new Germany that could play a constructive role in postwar Europe, with its resources and industry fully utilized in the mammoth task of rehabilitating war-torn Europe.

During World War II, the Roosevelt administration had bolstered the Chiang regime with substantial amounts of military and economic assistance, though never enough to satisfy the demanding 39 Towards ‘Hot War’ in Asia, 1945–50 In view of the enormity of the perceived stakes, US officials were agreed that protecting Japan from any external communist threat and simultaneously inoculating it from any possible internal contagion stood as America’s cardinal regional priorities. Yet, despite the noteworthy early successes of the occupation, they remained apprehensive about the future, fearing in particular that developments across the China Sea might undercut the prospects for a revitalized Japan anchored firmly to the West.

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