This is a superb work that bridges international and social history, underpinned by highly impressive research, to make arguments of real importance for our understanding of the Cold War.” -Rana Mitter

『冷戦とは何だったのか:想像上の現実、ひとびとの日常戦争、社会的装置』:冷戦についてこれまで多くのことが語られてきた。何百冊という書物が世界中で書かれ、多く学派が形成され、さまざまな側面が議論されてきた。しかし、その多くがもっとも単純で、根本的な問題を正面に据えることはあまりなかった。そもそも冷戦とは何だったのか。

Masuda Hajimu’s research focuses on the modern history of Japan and East Asia, the history of U.S. foreign relations, and the social and global history of the Cold War. A former journalist for Mainichi Shinbun and the author of articles in Foreign Policy, Diplomatic History, Journal of Contemporary History, and the Journal of Cold War Studies, he has analyzed the evolving power of the people in the modern world, regardless of any political spectrum, with particular attention to intersections between war and society and politics and culture in the mid-20th century. His first book, Cold War Crucible: The Korean Conflict and the Postwar World, published by Harvard University Press in

“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.

Masuda Hajimu (family name Masuda) is a historian at the National University of Singapore, and the author of Cold War Crucible: The Korean Conflict and the Postwar World (Harvard University Press, 2015). His work concerns the modern history of Japan and East Asia, the history of U.S. foreign relations, and the social and global history of the Cold War.

“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.”

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.