NEW ERA IN THE PACIFIC: An Adventure in Public Diplomacy by John Hohenberg

NEW ERA IN THE PACIFIC: An Adventure in Public Diplomacy

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Over the past five or so years there have been a great many journalistic surveys of Eastern parts dwelling on ""thoughtful Asian"" concern that the U.S. should not ""abandon"" the region. This one has the virtue of up-to-date data and a fairly impressive range of economic facts. In his extensive tours Hohenberg interviewed every possible ruling figure and elicited about as much as such chats usually do. But his exposition raises solid, hard issues: a U.S.-Japan trade war and Sato's realistic efforts to avoid one; the role of Hong Kong as a funnel for Western capital to China; the burden of debt that warps Ceylon's political economy; the strictly defensive military posture of China. A certain bias shapes Hohenberg's conviction that Mrs. Gandhi's restraint of private enterprise is the key to India's woes (but direct comparison between industrial growth and living standards of China and India is conspicuously missing). Moreover, the book is excessively fulsome about the glories of post-Sukarno indonesia, while omitting notice of the economic triumph of North Korea. The failure of miracle rice in Bengal is noted, but no assessment of its innovative potential follows. Despite such limitations, the book is best read for its specifics -- inflation in Singapore, military parasitism in Taiwan -- and, most of all, for its emphasis on the dangers of contempt toward Japan.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1972
Publisher: Simon & Schuster