Bookshelf Spotlight: Southeast Asian Culture & the Cold War

Featured Books

* America’s Strategy in Southeast Asia: From Cold War to Terror War
* Cultures at War: The Cold War and Cultural Expression in Southeast Asia
* Connecting Histories: Decolonization and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, 1945-1962
* Vietnam and Beyond: A Diplomat’s Cold War Education
* The Cold War and National Assertion in Southeast Asia: Britain, the United States and Burma, 1948-1962

America’s Strategy in Southeast Asia: From Cold War to Terror War


by James A Tyner
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2006

James A. Tyner’s inventive and multidisciplinary ideas on geography similarly range from the personal-his father’s experience in the military during the Vietnam War-to a broad discussion of how the United States has come to exercise power through the production of geographic knowledge, in this case in Southeast Asia. America’s Strategy in Southeast Asia contends that the construction of Southeast Asia as a geographic entity has been a crucial component in the creation of the American empire.

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. | Goodreads | Amazon | Google Books

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Cultures at War: The Cold War and Cultural Expression in Southeast Asia


by Tony Day, Maya H. T. Liem
Cornell Southeast Asia Program Publications, 2010

These innovative essays compel us to reevealuate our understanding of the Cold War as a predominantly political and military event. The consideration of a broad range of cultural forms from literature and film to glossy magazines and body-building-reminds us that the Cold War’s influence on culture and its producers was as varied and complex as the Southeast Asian countries it touched. Lively and insightful, this rich collection is a valuable contribution to both Cold War studies and the modern histories of Southeast Asia.

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Connecting Histories: Decolonization and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, 1945-1962


by Christopher E. Goscha, Christian Ostermann
Stanford University Press , 2009

Connecting Histories: Decolonization and the Cold War in Southeast Asia draws on newly available archival documentation from both Western and Asian countries to explore decolonization, the Cold War, and the establishment of a new international order in post-World War II Southeast Asia. These intersections are the focus of the contributions to this book, which use new sources and approaches to examine some of the most important historical trajectories of the twentieth century in Burma, Vietnam, Malaysia, and a number of other countries.

Stanford University Press | Goodreads | Amazon | Google Books

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Vietnam and Beyond: A Diplomat’s Cold War Education


by Robert Hopkins Miller
Texas Tech University Press, 2002

Robert Hopkins Miller spent nearly one-third of his forty-year Foreign Service career on Americas unsuccessful Vietnam venture from 1962 to the end of the war. This memoir of his full career emphasizes his Vietnam years but also covers his postings in Europe and assignments as ambassador to Malaysia, 1977-80, and to Côte d’Ivoire, 1983-86. He describes the internal debates and frequent arguments, the tensions and the anguish that went on below the top policy levels in Washington. Miller supplements personal recollections of his professional life with documentation from published accounts and official files to give a full picture of life in the Foreign Service during peace and war. He reveals how one diplomat’s thinking on Vietnam evolved as America’s frustrations grew, and he conveys a sense of how we became entangled in a major trouble spot.

Texas Tech University Press | Goodreads | Amazon | Google Books

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The Cold War and National Assertion in Southeast Asia: Britain, the United States and Burma, 1948-1962


by Matthew Foley
Routledge, 2010

This book charts British and American approaches to Burma between the country’s independence from the United Kingdom in 1948 and the military coup that ended civilian government in 1962. It analyses the fundamental drivers of Anglo-American policy-making during this crucial period – assumptions, expectations and apprehensions that would, eventually, lead America into the disaster of Vietnam. The book suggests the key to understanding British and American approaches to Southeast Asia is to see them in terms of a search for order and stability in an increasingly chaotic and dangerous world. Such order had previously been provided by the colonial regimes of the European powers. With those regimes gone or going, British and American planners faced a region beset with new uncertainties, led by a set of nationalist politicians driven by very different, and often competing, goals and aspirations.

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