THE STATE OF ASIA by Lawrence K. Rosinger


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From backgrounds as varied as the American Institute of Pacific Relations, the Foreign Policy Association, the Department of State, SCAP staff sections, Office of Strategic Services, Council on Foreign Relations, Federal Communications Commission, Officer of War Information, Intelligence, and a number of university posts come in the contributors to this important survey on Asia since 1945. Where Payne's very readable Red Storm Over Asia (see report P. 83) supplies a once-over-lightly for the man in the street, this is virtually a post-graduate course for the student of Asiatic affairs. At no point is it easy reading. But the end result -- the impact -- is unquestioned. Americans, and by implication other Western peoples, have worn blinders as to what was happening in Asia. They will lose out to the more aware forces of Communism unless they realize that Asiatic problems must be realistically faced. Prewar and wartime background supplies historical bases for exploration of what is happening, politically, economically, socially (to a lesser extent), in China, in Japan, in Korea, in Indochina, in Malaya, in Burma, in Indonesia, in Pakistan and India, in Thailand, in the Philippines. Reactionary governments are being pushed to the wall. Communism, even while still a minority, is pursuing a role of watchful waiting, seizing on unrest, providing programs of reform in living standards, agriculture, etc. This is not an opinion book; it is a coldly analytical exploration of events and pressures behind those events; of personalities (one could wish for more color here) and the factors that support or destroy them. Internal issues are analyzed closely, and the effect of external events in shaping the future. Not a book that will give confidence that the West can disentangle selfish interests from the ultimate cause of peace. But a book that informs, challenges, and disturbs as we need to be disturbed.

Pub Date: June 19th, 1951
Publisher: Knopf