4 books and a special issue to read together

  1. Victor Cha, Powerplay: The Origins of the American Alliance System in Asia. American strategies to restrain its new Cold War allies in Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan, fusing together management of international and domestic politics. An IR book with an important comparative politics angle.
  2. Wen-Qing Ngoei, Arc of Containment: Britain, the United States, and Anticommunism in Southeast Asia. How leaders in Malaysia and Singapore maneuvered to build an “arc of containment” against communism both at home and abroad, including skillful manipulation of outside patrons.
  3. Taomo Zhou, Revolution in the Time of Migration: China, Indonesia, and the Cold War. Wonderful book on the intersection of transnational and international influences with domestic political cleavages in Indonesia in the 1950s and 1960s.
  4. Christopher Goscha, The Road to Dien Bien Phu. A fascinating history of the DRV in its early years, organized with a blend of theme and chronology I find particularly well done. Kind of an interesting pairing with Cha – the 1940s and 1950s on each side of the emerging regional political competition.
  5. Eva Hansson and Meredith Weiss edited a special issue of the Journal of Contemporary Asia on “Legacies of the Cold War in East and Southeast Asia.” They also edited a great selection of shorter selections from the issue in the Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia that is freely available to the public; great example of making scholarly work accessible to those without expensive subscriptions or the right university library.