Controlling the Waves: Dean Acheson and U.S. Foreign Policy in Asia

Ronald L. McGlothlen, Author W. W. Norton & Company $27.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-393-03520-9
Dean Acheson (1893-1971) was one of the first to recognize that Japan was crucial to the expansion of U.S. trade throughout Asia and to the containment of Asian communism. As Undersecretary of State and later as Secretary during the Truman administration, he orchestrated State Department efforts to restore postwar Japan's military stability and economic power and to rebuild its regional trade network. In this scholarly, instructive study, McGlothlen, who formerly taught history at Northern Illinois University, argues that U.S. commitment to the postwar rehabilitation of Korea was fundamental to Acheson's plans for the long-term recovery of Japan but that the Korean War blocked both the revival of Japan's trade with that country and tentative efforts to estabish a trade partnership with the People's Republic of China. Though he succeeded in laying the foundations for a dramatic resurgence of Japanese power, the cost was great, for in the process Acheson initiated America's awkward commitment to Taiwan, a 20-year feud with the People's Republic of China and involvement in the Korean and Vietnam wars. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/31/1993
Release date: 06/01/1993
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