Useful Adversaries: Grand Strategy, Domestic Mobilization, and Sino-American Conflict, 1947-1958 / Edition 1

Useful Adversaries: Grand Strategy, Domestic Mobilization, and Sino-American Conflict, 1947-1958 / Edition 1

by Thomas J. Christensen
     
 

This book 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, it offers a fresh approach to long-debated questions such as why Truman refused to recognize the Chinese Communists, why the United States aided Chiang Kai-shek's KMT on Taiwan,… See more details below

Overview

This book 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, it offers a fresh approach to long-debated questions such as why Truman refused to recognize the Chinese Communists, why the United States aided Chiang Kai-shek's KMT on Taiwan, why the Korean War escalated into a Sino-American conflict, and why Mao shelled islands in the Taiwan Straits in 1958, thus sparking a major crisis with the United States.Christensen first develops a novel two-level approach that explains why leaders manipulate low-level conflicts to mobilize popular support for expensive, long-term security strategies. By linking "grand strategy," domestic politics, and the manipulation of ideology and conflict, Christensen provides a nuanced and sophisticated link between domestic politics and foreign policy. He then applies the approach to Truman's policy toward the Chinese Communists in 1947-50 and to Mao's initiation of the 1958 Taiwan Straits Crisis. In these cases the extension of short-term conflict was useful in gaining popular support for the overall grand strategy that each leader was promoting domestically: Truman's limited-containment strategy toward the USSR and Mao's self-strengthening programs during the Great Leap Forward. Christensen also explores how such low-level conflicts can escalate, as they did in Korea, despite leaders' desire to avoid actual warfare.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691026374
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
10/28/1996
Series:
Princeton Studies in International History and Politics Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
767,707
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.27(h) x 0.83(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables
Preface
Note on Translation and Romanization
Ch. 1Introduction3
Ch. 2Grand Strategy, National Political Power, and Two-Level Foreign Policy Analysis11
Ch. 3Moderate Strategies and Crusading Rhetoric: Truman Mobilizes for a Bipolar World32
Ch. 4Absent at the Creation: Acheson's Decision to Forgo Relations with the Chinese Communists77
Ch. 5The Real Lost Chance in China: Nonrecognition, Taiwan, and the Disaster at the Yalu138
Ch. 6Continuing Conflict over Taiwan: Mao, the Great Leap Forward, and the 1958 Quemoy Crisis194
Ch. 7Conclusion242
App. AAmerican Public Opinion Polls, 1947-1950263
App. BMao's Korean War Telegrams271
Bibliography277
Index305

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