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Fateful ties : a history of America's preoccupation with China / Gordon H. Chang.

By: Chang, Gordon H.
Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooks.Publisher: Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 2015Description: 1 online resource (314 pages).Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9780674426115; 0674426118.Subject(s): Public opinion -- United States -- HistoryAdditional physical formats: Print version:: Fateful tiesDDC classification: 327.73051 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Ties of opportunity -- Physical and spiritual connections -- Grand politics and high culture -- Revolutions and war -- Allies and enemies -- Transformations -- Old/new visions -- Afterword.
Scope and content: "Americans look to China with fascination and fear, unsure whether the rising Asian power is friend or foe but certain it will play a crucial role in America's future. This is nothing new, Gordon Chang says. For centuries, Americans have been convinced of China's importance to their own national destiny. Fateful Ties draws on literature, art, biography, popular culture, and politics to trace America's long and varied preoccupation with China. China has held a special place in the American imagination from colonial times, when Jamestown settlers pursued a passage to the Pacific and Asia. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Americans plied a profitable trade in Chinese wares, sought Chinese laborers to build the West, and prized China's art and decor. China was revered for its ancient culture but also drew Christian missionaries intent on saving souls in a heathen land. Its vast markets beckoned expansionists, even as its migrants were seen as a 'yellow peril' that prompted the earliest immigration restrictions. A staunch ally during World War II, China was a dangerous adversary in the Cold War that followed. In the post-Mao era, Americans again embraced China as a land of inexhaustible opportunity, playing a central role in its economic rise. Through portraits of entrepreneurs, missionaries, academics, artists, diplomats, and activists, Chang demonstrates how ideas about China have long been embedded in America's conception of itself and its own fate. Fateful Ties provides valuable perspective on this complex international and intercultural relationship as America navigates an uncertain new era"--Provided by publisher.
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Item type Current location Call number URL Status Date due Barcode
Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
Online
E183.8.C5 C417 2015 (Browse shelf) https://ezproxy.uttyler.edu/login?url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/j.ctt1c84ds7 Available ocn908146077

"Americans look to China with fascination and fear, unsure whether the rising Asian power is friend or foe but certain it will play a crucial role in America's future. This is nothing new, Gordon Chang says. For centuries, Americans have been convinced of China's importance to their own national destiny. Fateful Ties draws on literature, art, biography, popular culture, and politics to trace America's long and varied preoccupation with China. China has held a special place in the American imagination from colonial times, when Jamestown settlers pursued a passage to the Pacific and Asia. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Americans plied a profitable trade in Chinese wares, sought Chinese laborers to build the West, and prized China's art and decor. China was revered for its ancient culture but also drew Christian missionaries intent on saving souls in a heathen land. Its vast markets beckoned expansionists, even as its migrants were seen as a 'yellow peril' that prompted the earliest immigration restrictions. A staunch ally during World War II, China was a dangerous adversary in the Cold War that followed. In the post-Mao era, Americans again embraced China as a land of inexhaustible opportunity, playing a central role in its economic rise. Through portraits of entrepreneurs, missionaries, academics, artists, diplomats, and activists, Chang demonstrates how ideas about China have long been embedded in America's conception of itself and its own fate. Fateful Ties provides valuable perspective on this complex international and intercultural relationship as America navigates an uncertain new era"--Provided by publisher.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Ties of opportunity -- Physical and spiritual connections -- Grand politics and high culture -- Revolutions and war -- Allies and enemies -- Transformations -- Old/new visions -- Afterword.

Print version record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

America has maintained a connection with China from the birth of the United States, instigated in part by a tax on Chinese tea. This connection continues to the modern day, with both investment in and a fascination with Chinese economic growth. Chang (history, director of Ctr. of East Asian Studies, Stanford Univ.; Friends and Enemies) recounts the history of America's relationship with China by looking at its political and human impacts. The author chronicles the activities and opinions of numerous Chinese leaders and missionaries, as well as American policymakers, to follow the progression of Sino-American relations throughout the 20th century. The book explores a full range of experiences and opinions while providing a rich body of citations that, while not ideal for the casual reader, are a bonus for researchers. Whether discussing mutually beneficial trade and discourse or souring relations leading to conflict, Chang argues that ties between the two countries are not predestined but that the futures of both nations are nonetheless deeply intertwined. VERDICT A valuable resource for academics and those seeking in-depth knowledge on the historical relationship between the United States and China.-Casey Watters, Shanghai Jiao Tong Univ. (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

Two books with similar titles would suggest a common focus on the long-term, complex relationship between the US and China. However, the two books are quite different and reach clearly different conclusions. In The China Mirage, Bradley touches a chord in certain elements in the US and sees little but disaster and untold sorrow. He argues that the US "illusion" with China has led the US into numerous conflicts and cost millions of lives. In effect, the "illusion" distorted US foreign policy in ways that were not in the national interest. Bradley fears this will continue into future costly conflicts. Gordon Chang, in Fateful Ties, fully acknowledges the US preoccupation with China but provides a far more nuanced portrait and, at least from an academic perspective, makes a much stronger case. Well aware of the risks inherent in the relationship, Chang casts a wide net as he focuses on the role cultural, educational, business, and political connections play in the relationship. He explains how it ultimately became possible for the two countries to reengage more than two decades after the 1949 Chinese revolution. The two parties often walk past each other on numerous issues, but there is genuine hope for a long-term, productive relationship. Each book has its merits. Bradley's work is clearly aimed at a broad audience to warn US policymakers to reassess their fascination with China or face even greater conflict in the future. Chang's work deserves a broad audience and will more likely stand the test of time. Summing Up: Recommended. Most levels/libraries. --David L. Wilson, emeritus, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

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