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History 348/EAST 348                                               Barry Keenan <keenan> 
Fall, 2010                                                                   Office 406 Fellows x6253
Denison University                                                    Office Hours: MW 2:30-3:30
TR 3:00-4:20                                                                                        R 1:30-2:30                                                                                                                             
The August, 1945 unconditional surrender of Japan left China, Korea, and Vietnam suddenly emancipated from Japanese military occupation.  In all colonized areas of East Asia, which included Manchuria in northeast China, as well as in two countries further south, the Philippines and Indonesia, nationalistic liberation movements were immediately active. But the freezing wind of the first winter following the war brought with it international forces of a new world conflict, the Cold War.    
We shall contextualize East Asian international relations from 1945 to 1970 in the domestic history of each country. By 1969 Chinese-American rapprochement signaled a thaw in the Pacific Cold War; and in 1973 our withdrawal from the Vietnam War began. But only in the twenty-first century when China began to assert regional leadership independent of Japan and Japan’s post-war ally, the United States, did East Asian politics more clearly enter the post-Cold War era.   

Required Books:
Borthwick, Pacific Century (Third Edition, 2007).  [Abbreviated (PC)]
McMahon, Major Problems in the History of the Vietnam War (2008) [Abbreviated [MP)].           Fourth  Edition
Chen,   Mao’s China and the Cold War (2001)
Coursepack [abbreviated CP] in bookstore.

Course Work
Take-home Research Essay  (October 7, 2010).  See syllabus for the topic.
Five-Page Installment of Research Paper  (November 18, 2010)
Research Paper
A topic for your twenty-five page research paper will be defined by each student and should utilize secondary scholarship, and primary material.  A well-organized research paper, developing your main argument or thesis, will be due in hard copy at 406 Fellows (Dr. Keenan’s office) by 8:30 P.M. on December 17, 2010.
In-Class Learning
Attentive learning with regular attendance will compose this part of the evaluation of your work.  You should learn as much in the classroom as doing homework.  Learning from others is part of this evaluation. Q(question) papers are two-pages maximum, may be exchanged with fellow students, and are graded “pass, high pass, and excellent.”  One-Page Essay papers receive letter grades.

Your Final Grade
Research Essay 25%, Five-Page Installment 15%, Research Paper 35%; In-Class Learning, 25%.
Any student who feels he or she may need a learning accommodation based on The impact of a disability should contact me privately as soon as possible to discuss his or her specific needs.  I rely on the Academic Support & Enrichment Center in 104 Doane Hall to verify the need for reasonable accommodations based on documentation on file in that office.

Academic Honesty
Students must clearly cite any sources used – for all quoted passages but also for ideas and information that are not common knowledge.  Masquerading the words of others as your own can result in expulsion from Denison for plagiarism.  Consult me if you need extensions to finish your work.

Electronic Reserve (ERes) and Blackboard:  Go to the library homepage for this course (first to “Services”, then click Reserves , which are searched by professor’s name, and then our course number, 348). Then, use the password [indigenous] to access the documents.  Access Blackboard from Denison’s homepage; click on “Course Content.”


      l.   Course Objectives  Tuesday August 31, 2010

2.   Nineteenth-century Colonization (9/2)
Part I of  East Asia at the Center ,Ch.8 [CP].

Optional: William Duiker, “France’s Imperial Dreams, Vietnam’s Trauma,” 25-32 [MP]

DECEMBER 7, 1941

East Asia at the Center, Part II, Ch. 11 [CP]  (9/7)
Hess, “The Rivalry of Japan and the United States Over Southeast Asia,
1940-1941,” [CP]
PC, pp. 204-214.
Q: Isolate the benchmark events that led Japan to attack Pearl Harbor.



  1. The Cold War and Japan, 1945-1952 (9/9)
Schaller, “Remaking Japan, 1945 to 1948,” (pp. 20-43 only), and
“Setting a New Course.” [CP]
PC, 214-221.
One-Page Essay:  Keeping political development in all of Pacific Asia (East and Southeast Asia) in view, what explains the 1948 shift in U.S. Occupation policy in Japan?

       2.  Renewal of U.S.-Japan Security Treaty in 1960 (9/14)
PC, 231-243.
Dower, “Peace and Democracy in Two Systems” [CP]


  1. The Lost Chance in 1945 China (9/16)

Chen, Mao’s China, Ch.1.
John Gittings, “If Mao Had Met Roosevelt: An Alternative View of U.S.-China Relations,”[Blackboard]
Hearings Before the Cttee on Foreign Relations 1945 ERes

Supplementary: Tuchman, “If Mao Had Come to Washington in 1945,” in Tuchman, Notes from China, [Library hard copy reserve], or Foreign Affairs (October, 1972).  See JSTOR.
Optional: Service, The Amerasia Papers,  [CP]

Q: Why has U.S. scholarship shifted back and forth on whether a 1944 meeting between Mao and FDR should be considered a lost chance in U.S.-Chinese relations?

       2.  The Chinese Civil War, 1945-1949 (9/21)
“If Vietnam Why Not China?” (Distributed)
“Why We Lost China,” Saturday Evening Post, (Jan. 7, 14, 21, 1950) (Blackboard)
PC, pp. 366-376.

      3.   The “Loss” of China (9/23)
A)  Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) are on hard copy reserve:
FRUS, v.7 1947  893ff.  For internal Lucas memo see pp. 861-86.
FRUS, v.7, 1947 911ff
FRUS, v.7, 1948, 282ff
FRUS, v.8, 1948, 84-99.
FRUS, v.7, 1948, 505ff
FRUS, v. 7, 1948, 512ff
Analyze further references to Marshall’s views you find useful in these volumes.

B) See also United States Relations with China with Special Refence to the Period 1944-1949.

            This is the famous White Paper compiled by the Truman Administration after criticism of its China policy became public.  Note the documents declassified from secrecy and especially, pp. 380-384.

            One-page essay topic: “State Department opposition to direct and substantial U.S. military assistance to the Nationalists in 1948 reflected a shift in its policy that was pro-Chinese Communist.”  Support or refute. 

Alternative topic for students who have taken the History 290 course: “Doing History: The Cold War and East Asia.”  Topic:    “Comparing White Paper selections to the later FRUS volumes that collect China policy documents more fully, was the White Paper a “white wash” to justify Truman policy or not?”


  1.  Origins of the U.S. Commitment to a Non-Communist Vietnam, 1945-1954 (9/28)
MP 23-25, 48-58
Chen Jian,  Mao’s China, Ch. 5
Meet in Library Viewing Room for “First Indochina War” film
(Lower level, room 204)
2.  U.S. Toehold in Vietnam (9/30)
MP, 58-71 (McMahon, 1993), 111-118, 121-141.
Supplementary:  Robert McMahon, The Limits of Empire: The United States                                 and Southeast Asia Since World War II(1999), Chs.2-3. [library hard copy reserve]

      One-Page Essay: What specific Truman Administration (1948-1952) policies towards the French war in Vietnam were counterproductive?  Analyze why.


The 1945 Watershed in Indonesia and the Philippines (10/5)
PC, pp. 220-225.
Hess, “The United States’ Model: Decolonizaton in the Philippines” [CP]
Hess, “The Indonesian Revolution, 1947-1949,”  [CP]

Q: Describe the most prominent political factions in Indonesia and in the Philippines in the year 1945.


TAKE-HOME RESEARCH ESSAY:  Due in class. October 7, 2010
Topic: Looked at from the political realities on the ground in China, Japan, and Vietnam analyze the effects of U.S. policy in each country following August, 1945.  Limit your evaluation to the period before 1956.  Suggested length: six pages.

                     VI. THE KOREAN WAR AND TAIWAN

1.   Origins of the Korean War, 1945-1950: The U.S. Priorities (10/12)
PC, 376-386
Schaller, “Douglas MacArthur. . .” (pp. 167-191) [CP]
Chen, Mao’s China, Ch.3
Cumings, “Japan’s Position in the World System,” [CP]

Optional:       (1) Bruce Cumings, Origins of the Korean War, Vol. 1, (1947-1949) hard copy library reserve.
(2) Charles K. Armstrong, “The Cultural Cold War in Korea, 1945-1950,” Journal of Asian Studies 62, No 1(February, 2003): 71-99.
(3) For the social implications of the Cold War in the Unitged States, see Elaine Tyler May, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era (1988).  Hard copy library reserve.

Q: Compare the political viewpoints of Kim Il-sung and Douglas MacArthur on the eve of the Korean War. 

  1. Origins of the Korean War: The Communist Priorities 10/14

Review Chen, Mao’s China, Ch.3.
On China’s entry into the Korean War consult the “The Korean War” file of materials from the Cold War International History Project (CWIHP) [Blackboard].  Read Shen Zhihua, “Sino-North Korean Conflict and Its Resolution during the Korean War,” Cold War International History Project Bulletin #14/15 (Winter, 2003-Spring, 2004), pp. 9-24 [On Blackboard, scroll down to page 9 for this title]. 

FALL BREAK   October 18-19, 2010


3.   The Taiwan Straits Crisis of 1958 (10/21)
Chen, Mao’s China, Ch. 7.  Review Chapter 3, pp. 72-84.
Robert S. Ross, “Taiwan’s Fading Independence Movement.” Online use Denison library’s Ebsco database to find Foreign Affairs V, 85 No.2 (March/April, 2006): 141-148.

Optional: James A. Kelly, Assistant Secretary of State, “ Overview of U.S. Policy Toward Taiwan,” April 21, 2004 (google this title).


4. The “Second” Korean War, 1966-1969  (10/26)
“Mostly Propaganda in Nature: Kim Il Sung, The Juche Ideology, and the Second Korean War.” 51 Pages. [Blackboard] by Dr. Mitch Lerner which is a Working Paper of the CWIHP.

Guest Professor: Mitch Lerner, Ohio-State University, Newark Campus

Additional primary material on this issue appear on the Cold War International History Project website, reference given in class.


                  VII.   ESCALATION OF THE VIETNAM WAR, 1963-1968

1.  Vietnam, 1963 (10/28)
MP 124-157
Lessons in Disaster, 25-68 ERes

2.  LBJ Escalation, 1964-1968  (11/2)
MP, Ch.6
One-page paper:  Why did LBJ up-grade the Vietnam conflict to a major war from 1963-1965?  Use all resources, including digital sources shown in class, from the last two class sessions.

3.   Hanoi Strategy and TET  (11/4)
Chen, Mao’s China, Ch. 8 “China’s Involvement”
Supplementary:  MP, Ch.8


U.S.-China Rapprochement 1969-72  (11/9)
Chen,  Mao’s China, Ch.9.
Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969-1976, Volume E-13, Documents on China, 1969-1972 (Blackboard) These 175 documents are an electronic-only supplement to the print volume for China (volume XVII, China 1969-1972), and add documentation on the historic Nixon administration’s opening to China not in the 280 documents in the print volume.

Shen Zhihua, “Sino-U.S. Reconciliation and China’s Vietnam Policy, in Priscella Mary Roberts, Behind the Bamboo Curtain: China, Vietnam, and the World Beyond Asia, Stanford: Stanford UP, 2006.(Blackboard), pp. 349-366.






1.   Isolating a Controversy (11/11/2010)
Select China, Japan, Korea, or Vietnam for your research topic.  Review sessions of the course to determine an issue referred to that you would like to analyze.  Define alternative interpretations in existing scholarship on this controversial issue.  Submit in class this short analysis with selected sources you have read and find valuable.


  1.  Thematic Outline (11/16/2010)

     Generate a comprehensive bibliography of primary and secondary sources on your topic.  Review these sources, and make a list of themes that existing scholarship finds are important.  Restructure those themes into a tentative outline of your own research paper.  List the most relevant primary and secondary sources and bring your outline, with sources listed, to submit in class.
Be sure to utilize the “East Asian Studies Research Guide:”



  1. Five-page installment due.  (11/18/2010)

Take advantage of the written feedback from Dr. Keenan on the controversy you selected (11/11/2010), and your bibliographic search to clarify your topic. 
Analyzing the best-documented section of your outline, write five pages of footnoted research.  Note the relevance of this section to the overall thesis or integrating argument, of your research project.  Turn in your five-page analysis to Dr. Keenan’s office, 406 Fellows, before 4:20 P.M. on Thursday, November 18, 2010. No class meeting today.


THANKSGIVING VACATION  November 20-28, 2010





1.   Ramifications of the Cold War in Pacific Asia Today (11/30)
PC, 400-406
Bruce Cumings, “East Asia and the United States: Double Vision and Hegemonic Emergence” Parallax Vision (1999) ERes.

Optional: “No Longer the ‘Lone’ Superpower,” by Chalmers Johnson. JPRI Working Paper No. 105 (March, 2005). Google this source.

Discussion Question: 
What historical sensitivities in East Asia could U.S. policy today easily violate?


2.  Individual Meetings (12/2/2010)
Confer individually with Dr. Keenan to get back your five-page installment submitted  before Thanksgiving.  Come to 406 Fellows for five-minute sessions.         
No in-class meeting.

3.  Regional Bonding in Pacific Asia Today (12/7)
PC, 542-551.
“China-Southeast Asian Relations: Ferment over the South China Sea, 2009” by Robert Sutter et al.  Comparative Connections: A Quarterly E-Journal on East Asian Bilateral Relations, V. 11, No.2 (July 14,2009). 9 pp. Covers the year, 2009 (Blackboard)

Supplementary for student research:
“China-Southeast Asia Relations, 2006,” a 2006 paper on China’s Southeast Asian interests as written for the Congressional Research Service.  This is a ten-year analysis, 1995-2005, including China’s relations with all regional states. (Blackboard)

4.  STUDENT SEMINAR PRESENTATION  of  Your Thesis, with Discussant
December 9, 2010


   5.  STUDENT SEMINAR PRESENTATION of Your Thesis, with Discussant                             December 14, 2009

The final draft of your research paper replaces a final examination in this course.  The 25-page paper must be turned in as hard copy to 406 Fellows by 8:30 P.M. on December 17, 2010.


                                          Declassified and Digital Sources


1)  The Cold War International History Project (CWIHP)

Since 1991 this scholarly project has accelerated the release and
distribution of previously classified Cold War documents.  These come from former “Communist bloc” countries, and are translated into English and are posted publically online.

                        Go to their Cold War Files (google this) for a helpful breakdown of events, people, documents, multimedia sources, and more on the cold war.

2)  The National Security Archive

                        Founded in 1985 by journalists and scholars seeking access to classified
government records, the Archive focuses on the United States.  Following amendments to the Freedom of Information Act in 1996, the Archive has brought suit against governmental agencies to make their documents more available.
One can join for free, and receive email notices of the latest materials made available. 


3)  The Office of the Historian of the State Department

                    Digital version of all recent volumes in the Foreign Relations of the United States [FRUS] series are published online.


4)  The Miller Center at the University of Virginia has been transcribing and annotating secret White House recordings made under the presidencies of Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon from 1961-1974.  See <>