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Asia and the Cold War: An Interpretive Overview

Date and Time: 
Friday, February 8, 2019. 04:30 PM - 06:00 PM
Meeting Location: 
Humanities Center Boardroom
Cold War In Asia: Culture, Technology, History
Meeting Description: 

How do we understand the "Cold War”?  Was Asia a “front” in it or should it be considered an integral element?  If we fully appreciate and consider Asia in the post-WWII period, how might we reconceptualize the Cold War?  My talk seeks to prompt consideration of these questions. I do not have a paper to circulate in advance, but I will speak from my years of work on U.S.-East Asia relations. I will suggest that historical scholarship might be better served if we think about Cold War I (roughly 1947-1972) and Cold War II (1972-1992). I will draw from my work published in my books, Friends and Enemies: The United States, China, and the Soviet Union: 1948-1972 (Stanford University Press 1990) and Fateful Ties: A History of America’s Preoccupation with China (Harvard University Press 2015).

Gordon H. Chang is Olive H. Palmer Professor in Humanities and professor in the Department of History. He has served as the Director of the Center for East Asian Studies. He is currently the co-director of the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project at Stanford, an international collaborative effort that is recovering the history of Chinese who labored to complete the first transcontinental railroad in the United States, culminating in the driving of the Golden Spike in Utah in 1869.