Useful Adversaries by Thomas J. Christensen
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Useful Adversaries
By Thomas J. Christensen

Useful Adversaries

Grand Strategy, Domestic Mobilization and Sino-American Conflict, 1947-1958

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Format: Paperback

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Useful Adversaries by Thomas J. Christensen

Book Description

This book provides a new analysis of why relations between the United States and the Chinese Communists were so hostile in the first decade of the Cold War. Employing extensive documentation, it offers a fresh approach to long-debated questions such as why Truman refused to recognize the Chinese Communists, why the United States aided Chiang Kai-shek's KMT on Taiwan, why the Korean War escalated into a Sino-American conflict, and why Mao shelled islands in the Taiwan Straits in 1958, thus sparking a major crisis with the United States. Christensen first develops a novel two-level approach that explains why leaders manipulate low-level conflicts to mobilize popular support for expensive, long-term security strategies. By linking "grand strategy," domestic politics, and the manipulation of ideology and conflict, Christensen provides a nuanced and sophisticated link between domestic politics and foreign policy. He then applies the approach to Truman's policy toward the Chinese Communists in 1947-50 and to Mao's initiation of the 1958 Taiwan Straits Crisis. In these cases the extension of short-term conflict was useful in gaining popular support for the overall grand strategy that each leader was promoting domestically: Truman's limited-containment strategy toward the USSR and Mao's self-strengthening programs during the Great Leap Forward. Christensen also explores how such low-level conflicts can escalate, as they did in Korea, despite leaders' desire to avoid actual warfare.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780691026374
ISBN-10: 0691026378
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 21mm)
Pages: 352
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 28-Oct-1996
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Thomas J. Christensen

China Challenge by Thomas J. Christensen China Challenge, Paperback (July 2016)

This compelling assessment of US-China relations is essential reading for anyone interestd in the future of the globalised world.

Worse Than a Monolith by Thomas J. Christensen Worse Than a Monolith, Paperback (March 2011)

Focusing on relations between the Communist and anti-Communist alliances in Asia during the Cold War, this title explores how internal divisions and lack of cohesion in the two alliances complicated and undercut coercive diplomacy by sending confusing signals about strength, resolve, and intent.

» View all books by Thomas J. Christensen


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China Challenge by Thomas J. Christensen
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