AMERICA'S ROLE IN ASIA by D. F. Fleming

AMERICA'S ROLE IN ASIA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A concise if somewhat repetitive collection of articles, written with urgent simplicity over the past four years, by an historian best known for the mammoth study of the Cold War which has fertilized so much revisionist work. Fleming himself remains a tame sort of Beard whose heroes include Lippmann and JFK. The arguments he presents are now truisms for many of the no-more-world-policeman advocates who were still defending the domino theory in 1965. Fleming's thesis: ""American foreign policy in East Asia is a disastrous mixture of anti-Communist ideology; containing China as a great power; smashing guerrilla war . . .; economic imperialism; . . . and blind leadership."" Behind this policy he sees a military-industrial complex whose China war plans (a possibility Fleming stresses here) have twice been overruled by a majority faction of the economic elite. Fleming counsels U.S. capitalism to progress by rebuilding the domestic wilderness: his critique of the Vietnam war is similarly pragmatic, from the fallacy of bombing (it didn't work in Korea, either) to the absurdity of ""pulverizing an ancient and viable civilization."" A still-uncommon emphasis falls on the fact that the war began without Northern aid as a Southern revolt against Diem's outrages and Dulles' betrayal of independence hopes. The essays stick to the ribs.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1969
Publisher: Funk & Wagnalls