This chapter traces recent scholarship on Cold War America, aiming to show how the field has developed in recent years, what kinds of problems we face today, and where we can go from here.
“What Was the Cold War? Imagined Reality, Ordinary People’s War, and Social Mechanism”: This article draws on and extends parts of Chapter 8 and 9 concerning Japan’s Red Purge and China’s Suppression of counterrevolutionaries.
“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.”
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).
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.