Empire and Cold War: The Roots of Us-Third World Antagonism, 1945-47

Shirley Bills, Author, Scott L. Bills, Author St. Martin's Press $35 (280p) ISBN 978-0-312-03641-6
This well-researched study examines the origins of anti-Americanism in the early Cold War years, a period when native nationalists expected the U.S. to lead the way in dismantling colonial empires. Bills shows why these expectations turned to disappointment and then resentment as Washington concentrated most of its postwar foreign-policy energy on containing Soviet expansion, at the same time supporting imperial resistance to independence movements in North Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Describing French and Dutch suppression of anticolonial movements in Indochina and the Netherlands East Indies, the author illustrates the developing perception in the Third World of the U.S. as a selfish, materialistic, exploitive giant, ``the last avatar of the imperial ethos.'' Bills, a history professor at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas, ascribes some of this unhappy result to hopes raised by wartime president Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was ``anticolonialist in everything he said'' but showed little inclination to press the Allies for concessions to native nationalists. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
Genre: Nonfiction
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