SOUTHEAST ASIA IN PERSPECTIVE by John Kerry King

SOUTHEAST ASIA IN PERSPECTIVE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In a sure survey of United States relations and relationship to the Southeast Asian states, John Kerry King, associate professor at the University of Virginia, provides readable and reasonable commentary for the layman. He delineates the multiple nature of our interests and points out which of these are potentially positive from the view of the Southeast Asian nations themselves. He describes the effect of Western colonialism, more master than mentor, which disrupted-by imposition of governmental forms and economic policies- the existing socio-economic structure of the countries, from which the reaction of emergent national feeling after World War II arose. He reviews American policy as it has evolved through the experience in the Korean conflict with Communism. He questions the reactions to warnings of massive retaliation and limited aggression, and the realism of facing external rather than internal aggression. The diplomatic program centers about the factors of our attitudes toward colonialism, neutralism, our objectives and motives. In the juggling act with the independent nations on one hand, the colony-holding allies on the other, NATO, the UN and Communist activity in between, we have, he says, generally made principled statements and taken political action. Our fingerwagging nagging of nonaligned nations turns this potential safety factor from the West to the Communists. An approach as partners in human progress, with commensurate economic aid and trade offered-exceeding the over-proportionate military aid except in particular instances would have more effect than the anti-Communist crusade. Thus runs the prescription, after documented and specific diagnosis.

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1956
Publisher: Macmillan