The Other Cold War

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Overview

In this conceptually bold project, Heonik Kwon uses anthropology to interrogate the cold war's cultural and historical narratives. Adopting a truly panoramic view of local politics and international events, he challenges the notion that the cold war was a global struggle fought uniformly around the world and that the end of the war marked a radical, universal rupture in modern history.

Incorporating comparative ethnographic study into a thorough analysis of the period, Kwon upends cherished ideas about the global and their hold on contemporary social science. His narrative describes the slow decomposition of a complex social and political order involving a number of local and culturally creative processes. While the nations of Europe and North America experienced the cold war as a time of "long peace," postcolonial nations entered a different reality altogether, characterized by vicious civil wars and other exceptional forms of violence. Arguing that these events should be integrated into any account of the era, Kwon captures the first sociocultural portrait of the cold war in all its subtlety and diversity.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

International Affairs - Andrew Preston

The Other Cold War is a fascinating investigation of the very meaning of the Cold War. Given its brevity, it can only be suggestive-this is not a comprehensive history of the postwar era but a primer on how to reimagine what we have long taken for granted. it is as brilliant as it is iconoclastic.

H-Diplo Roundtable - Mark Philip Bradley

Brilliant and timely

Pacific Affairs - Jeffrey James Byrne

The Other Cold War should quickly become necessary reading for all those interested in the global historiography of the late twentieth century.

H-War - Javan D. Frazier

Kwon's focus on the local experience of the Cold War is a valuable contribution to the scholarship of Cold War studies and helps readers to better connect with the violent upheaval that the Cold War created in the lives of many in the world.

International Affairs
The Other Cold War is a fascinating investigation of the very meaning of the Cold War. Given its brevity, it can only be suggestive-this is not a comprehensive history of the postwar era but a primer on how to reimagine what we have long taken for granted. it is as brilliant as it is iconoclastic.

— Andrew Preston

H-Diplo Roundtable
Brilliant and timely

— Mark Philip Bradley

Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

Heonik Kwon is reader in anthropology at the London School of Economics and previously taught at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of Ghosts of War in Vietnam and After the Massacre: Commemoration and Consolation in Ha My and My Lai.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroductionPart 1 1. The Idea of the End2. Two Color Lines of the Twentieth Century3. American OrientalismPart 2 4. The Ambidextrous Body5. The Democratic FamilyPart 3 6. Rethinking Postcolonial History7. Cold War Culture in PerspectiveConclusionNotesBibliographyIndex

Columbia University Press

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