“What was the Cold War? Masuda Hajimu argues that it was more than an international confrontation between West and East blocs. It was also a social mechanism of purity and ordering at home, in the chaotic post-WWII world.”

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Cold War Crucible: The Korean Conflict and the Postwar World (Harvard University Press, 2015); “The Social Experience of War and Occupation” in The Cambridge History of Japan, Vol. III (2022).

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Masuda Hajimu talked about the political climate surrounding the Cold War […], and argued that the Cold War transformed from an emergent global war to social warfare and ultimately a citizens’ war.

In Cold War Crucible: The Korean Conflict and the Postwar World, new this month, Masuda Hajimu reveals social and political forces normally seen as products of the Cold War actually to have been instrumental in fostering the conditions from which the conflict sprung. Below, he examines how the dynamics he identifies as having contributed to the pervasive global logic of the Cold War can be seen anew in our own time, when the “War on Terror” becomes ever more entrenched as the rubric with which we explain the world.

What I question in my recent book is actually an assumption that these two seemingly opposing opinions share and that goes unquestioned by them: that is, that the essence of the Cold War was the US-USSR confrontation.

Beijing’s support for Pyongyang during the Korean War tells us why it still backs Kim today.

Book Talks in 2015

  • Book Launch at Woodrow Wilson Center: Thursday, June 25, 9:00 AM-10:30AM
  • Lecture at Washington University in St. Louis: Thursday, October 15, 4:00 PM-5:30 PM

And more