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America's Asia

Genres: Sociology
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Vintage Publishing, London, United Kingdom
Imprint: Vintage
Published: 29th Mar 1973
Dimensions: w 120mm h 180mm
ISBN-10: 0394716620
ISBN-13: 9780394716626
Barcode No: 9780394716626

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Kirkus US
The eleven essays presented here irritatingly beg the "why" of many issues raised, but solidly prove their empirical thesis that the U.S. practices blatant cultural chauvinism, economic exploitation, and military aggression against Southeast Asia. Leigh and Richard Kagan's review of American textbooks on China reveal the text's preoccupation with explaining the "loss" of China and the "threat" posed by Communist China's turning away from her "non-violent" Confucian culture, together with the observation that "they have a fine sense of humor." Gittings, Peck and Friedman examine the need for a self-consoling line - for example, George Kennan's "This country we have befriended has fallen into the hands of a group of embittered fanatics." Gittings brilliantly explodes W. W. Rostow's thesis that Zhdanov's 1947 speech at the formation of the Cominform was "Stalin's offensive in the East": in fact, the Chinese party was excluded while the Soviets encouraged the Chinese to negotiate a coalition with Chiang and allowed the French C.P. to ignore Viet Minh pleas for assistance. Jonathan Mirsky and Stephen Stonefield offer a cogent summary of U.S. intervention in Laos since World War II, concluding that Washington obstructed neutralist solutions, helped wreck the physical and social fabric of Laos, and "chose to destroy the meaningful non-Communist alternative"; whether they would sanction intervention on the "right" side is not made clear. Three essays on Chinese economic growth indicate the inapplicability of laissez-faire, hardly a live issue, while neglecting to assay Chinese claims to Marxism in the light of Marx's theory of accumulation, and offering instead a structural analysis of management-worker relations. As a substantive debunking, the collection fulfills its "anti-text" designation, and brings together a good deal of fresh material along with points about, e.g., Loas, worth remaking in this form. (Kirkus Reviews)