Walton makes a vast subject manageable by tracing the broad outlines of American politics in Asia and making a few telling...

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THE UNITED STATES AND THE FAR EAST

Walton makes a vast subject manageable by tracing the broad outlines of American politics in Asia and making a few telling points along the way about the differing perceptions of those policies at home and abroad. American misunderstanding of Asia is followed as far back as the Open Door, long touted in our schoolbooks as an act of altruistic statesmanship but actually a toothless unilateral declaration aimed at excluding other European nations. Of course, American missionaries also did more to make China popular here than themselves welcome in China. Walton recaps the debate over the annexation of the Philippines, drawing the obvious parallels between our attempt to save that nation from itself and our actions in Vietnam. He discusses, rather more guardedly, our opposition to Japanese expansion which, along with California's racist laws against Japanese-Americans, was interpreted by the Japanese themselves as hostile and discriminatory. And he recalls the partisan, pro-American role played by the United Nations during the Korean intervention. One can only hope that his summarizing conclusion -- that, despite Cambodia, the era of large-scale U.S. intervention in Asia has ended -- is as reliable as his historical hindsight. In any case, this moderately pitched, highly readable mix of factual summary and thoughtful, easily identifiable interpretation will bring to younger readers a more sophisticated view of foreign policy that used to be reserved for the college level.

Pub Date: April 1, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 182

Publisher: Seabury

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1974