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Korean War

His report, written with David Lilienthal and submitted in March , was a sincere if doomed effort to accommodate Soviet concerns about the American nuclear monopoly by establishing an international agency to regulate the production of atomic energy. Yet Acheson found himself, along with his president, moving toward a tougher stance against the Soviet Union. If Stalin thought by early that his capitalist enemies were encircling him despite the reasonableness of his position, the view from Washington was different. While the hallmark of American resolve was George Kennan 's essay "The Sources of Soviet Conduct," in which he called for the employment of "counterforce" against the Soviets "at a series of constantly shifting geographical and political points," the Truman administration had in fact been pursuing an ad hoc version of this containment strategy since early Acheson was its lead author.

It was he who wrote Stalin a stern note, delivered by Kennan, demanding the withdrawal of Russian troops from northern Iran. And it was Acheson who wrote the Truman administration's sharp response to the Soviet demand, in August , that Turkey agree to a joint Russian-Turkish defense of the Dardanelles.

Acheson's note, along with arrival in the area of a U. Acheson also played a vital role in shaping the political and economic institutions of Truman's Cold War. In early , with Byrnes out and George Marshall in as the secretary of state, the anticommunist governments of Turkey and Greece claimed to be under severe Soviet pressure and could not guarantee their own survival. Convinced that the United States must help the Turkish and Greek governments, the administration nevertheless faced the difficult task of persuading a fiscally careful Congress to provide the aid needed to shore up these governments.

On 27 February, Truman called a meeting between administration officials and a handful of leading senators and members of congress in hopes of winning over the legislators. Acheson described this encounter as "Armageddon. The legislators seemed unmoved. Was it America's fight?


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Was the bill likely to be enormous? Acheson asked to speak. Immediately he changed the terms of the debate. The crisis in southeastern Europe, he said, was no local dustup but one that involved the two Cold War powers. The Soviets were pressuring Turkey and Greece as they had pressured Iran. At stake was a vast portion of the free world, for if Greece went communist, "like apples in a barrel infected by one rotten one, the corruption of Greece would infect Iran and all to the east.

It would also carry infection to Africa through Asia Minor and Egypt , and Europe through Italy and France," which faced communist threats of their own. Only the United States stood in the way of a communist onslaught that would, if successful, snuff out freedom and destroy all hope of economic recovery in parts of three continents. The congressional leaders were impressed, and the pronouncement of the Truman Doctrine followed on 12 March, promising that the United States would fight communism everywhere. The world's biggest problems remained economic, and the chief area of concern for Acheson, as always, was neither Iran nor Greece but western Europe.

Policymakers in Washington believed that communism fed on economic distress; European nations were vulnerable to radicals promising the redistribution of wealth as a panacea for poverty. Economic aid from the United States — and in far greater magnitude than that proffered to Turkey and Greece — was essential to Europe's economic recovery, its revival as a market for U.

Acheson said as much in a speech he gave in Cleveland , Mississippi , in early May His call for massive economic aid to Europe found its manifestation in the Marshall Plan , announced by the secretary of state at Harvard the following month. If the Truman Doctrine had made the strategic case for containment, the Marshall Plan was designed to give economic spine to American's closest friends and trading partners in western Europe.

Once more, Acheson had played a crucial role in shaping the new policy. Acheson had previously decided to leave the administration, and when he tendered his resignation effective 1 July , Truman this time reluctantly let him go. He was, however, receptive when Truman, surprisingly victorious in the election, invited him to return to public life, this time as secretary of state. The problems to which Acheson returned in January were even knottier than they had been when he had departed eighteen months earlier. Europeans and Soviets no longer doubted American resolve.

But the Nationalist government of China was in the final stages of collapse; as Acheson remarked ruefully, he arrived back in service just in time to have it fall on him. There was not yet a peace treaty with Japan, and France's effort to return to power in its colony of Indochina had met with firm resistance from Vietnamese nationalists associated with communism. The Soviet Union would explode its first atomic bomb later that year.

Above all, at least as far as Acheson was concerned, Europe remained dangerously unstable. The Italian and French governments turned over with distressing frequency, threatening Europe's stability and ultimately its solvency. Great Britain still depended on U. Germany remained divided, with Berlin under siege in the East and with the West, its capital at Bonn, a seeming out-post of Western interests thrust provocatively into the Soviet bloc, economically infirm and utterly defenseless.

Here especially, thought Acheson, something had to be done. Acheson addressed the problems systematically, blending a staunch anticommunism, a fervent faith in liberal capitalism, and a healthy measure of pragmatism. There was not much to be done about China: Chiang Kai-shek was plainly a loser and it would be necessary to "let the dust settle" following the communists' victory. Japan would have a peace treaty in Vexed by French behavior in Indochina but unwilling to weaken France further or cede more territory to what he construed as world communism, Acheson supplied some economic and military aid to the French-backed read "puppet" government of Bao Dai in Vietnam.

What Europe and especially West Germany needed was an infusion of confidence that the United States would come to the rescue in the unlikely event that the Soviet Union attacked. Working with the Europeans, Acheson helped fashion, in the spring of , the North Atlantic Treaty, which created a group of like-minded nations committed to the proposition, as article 5 of the treaty put it, that "an armed attack against one … shall be considered an attack against them all.

Acheson had not spent much time thinking about Korea. His State Department predecessors, and the military, had already put into motion the withdrawal of U. In a speech in January Acheson described a U. It was possible to take from Acheson's words the implication that mainland Asian nations, including South Korea, fell outside the U. Certainly Acheson was naive to assume, as he told the Foreign Relations Committee, that South Korea "could take care of any trouble started by" the North. But no cold warrior of Acheson's type would have invited an attack on an ally, even one as troublesome as Syngman Rhee 's South Korea.

The proof of Acheson's commitment came in the last days of June, once Kim Il Sung had launched his offensive. Truman, closely advised by Acheson and the military, committed U. The Korean War would ultimately serve the ends of the containment strategy. The North Koreans, who were presumed by Acheson to be proxy soldiers for Moscow, were stopped.

Still, Acheson's reputation suffered as a result of the war. Conservatives attacked him because he had not seen it coming. He would have, they argued, had he understood the implications of his do-nothing policy on China; his abandonment of Chiang had encouraged communists throughout Asia to think they could launch attacks with impunity.

He was part of a "crimson crowd," said McCarthy. Senator Hugh Butler exclaimed: "I look at that fellow. I watch his smart-aleck manner and his British clothes, and that New Dealism in everything he says and does, and I want to shout, 'Get out, Get out. You stand for everything that has been wrong with the United States for years! Truman and Acheson could not achieve a truce in Korea. An armistice was signed only in July , six months after Dwight Eisenhower and John Foster Dulles had succeeded them as the nation's chief cold warriors.

Out of harness Acheson drifted. He wanted badly to have influence again on U. This was not possible in the Eisenhower administration: Acheson was tainted by his association with the humiliations of the United States in East Asia. In any case he disparaged the administration's reliance on nuclear weapons , a strategy dubbed "massive retaliation," and thought Dulles sanctimonious. Nor would Democrats embrace him. Adlai Stevenson, the Democrats' presidential nominee in and , thought Acheson irascible and controversial, and kept his distance. In Germany in Ambassador David Bruce, who was Acheson's friend, found the former secretary "devastating, clever, bitter and not constructive ….

Dean is overfull of bile and it is sad. John F. Kennedy , the Democrat who won the presidency in , did consult with Acheson. Elsewhere Kennedy resisted Acheson's increasingly reflexive militancy. As the war in Vietnam expanded, particularly under Kennedy's successor, Lyndon Johnson, Acheson found himself more and more in demand as an adviser.

Johnson treated Acheson with deference. And Acheson's early position on Vietnam — that the United States had no choice but to fight until South Vietnam was preserved against a communist takeover — matched Johnson's. Averell Harriman said in "Some people's minds freeze. Acheson's hasn't changed since While Acheson never lost his suspicion of the Soviet Union, and thus remained convinced of the necessity of containment, and while his contempt for his intellectual inferiors, especially those in Congress, remained undiminished, he came to see the Vietnam War as a waste of American power.

At a meeting of Johnson's Vietnam "wise men" on 25 March , Acheson spoke bluntly and eloquently of the need for the administration to disengage from the conflict. Johnson, shaken, announced less than a week later that he would seek to negotiate with Hanoi. He added, almost as an afterthought, that he would not seek reelection in but would instead devote all his energy to finding a way out of the morass in Southeast Asia.


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Acheson had come full circle. He had started his public career as a man of principle, demanding to see evidence that one policy choice was better than another, just as Felix Frankfurter and Louis Brandeis had taught him. His Cold War — like Stalin's, ironically — sprang from ideology tempered by pragmatism. But the harsh criticism of conservatives inclined Acheson toward greater militancy and left him unable to resist the temptations of victory in Korea. Thereafter he grew increasingly sharp with those with whom he disagreed. That never changed.

But the Vietnam War restored Acheson to his former view that the United States could not solve every world problem, especially not by military means. When Acheson died on 12 October he left a legacy worthy, in ambition and execution, of the two secretaries of state he admired most. But while Acheson enjoyed a comfortable boyhood and moved rather casually through Groton and Yale, Mao left school at thirteen to help with the family farm, married at age fourteen and was widowed at seventeen , and in joined the Republican army in its quest to unite and strengthen China.

When he was twenty years old Mao, who came from the rural province of Hunan , returned to school and came under the influence of a teacher named Yang, who inspired in him a passion for reform, a strong ethical sense, and an enthusiasm for exercise, generally taken in the nude. When Yang got a job at Beijing University , Mao went north with him. It was the young farmer's first time out of Hunan. He took a job as a clerk at the university library and came to know a corps of intellectuals who published an influential magazine called New Youth, which became the literary centerpiece of an inchoate but determined reformist movement that emerged following the formal end of the Qing dynasty and the establishment of a republic in Sun Yat-sen , a Japanese-educated radical from Canton, was the movement's leading political light, but his faith in republicanism was not shared by some young Chinese who sought the end of class oppression.

Li Dazhao proclaimed an interest in Marxism and endorsed the Bolshevik revolution. Hu Shih , who had a degree from Cornell, was a literary critic who wrote on women's liberation. Mao was not in their intellectual circle, but the yeastiness of the Beijing scene plainly affected him. Mao returned to Hunan and the city of Changsha in the early spring of He thus missed the great urban demonstrations of 4 May, out of which would flow reformist currents that would dominate China for the next thirty years.

But Mao contributed a small tributary of his own. He taught history at local schools. And he edited a journal called the Xiang River Review, for which he wrote nearly all the articles. His writing heralded the forthcoming "liberation of mankind," which would arrive when people lost their fear of those who ruled them and the superstitions that held them in thrall. When the local warlord stopped publication of the Review, Mao shifted to another journal; when it, too, was suppressed, he wrote for Changsha's biggest newspaper.

Mao Zedong was among them. After days of discussion the Congress decided that it should devote its efforts to organizing the working class, putting off plans to mobilize the peasants and the army. The capitalists would be overthrown and "social ownership" of land and machinery would ensue. Buoyed by these resolutions, and presumably in agreement with them, Mao returned to Hunan to begin building a mass movement. He organized workers and orchestrated strikes. Mao did not attend the Second Party Congress meeting in July , but he soon after learned that the party, nudged by the Comintern agents, had decided to enter into coalition with the Nationalist, or Kuomintang , Party, then headed by Sun Yat-sen.

Communists were instructed to form "a bloc within" the party.

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In this way, they would work alongside the bourgeois elements in China to overthrow the feudal oppressors, all the while securing their bonds to the working class and awaiting the revolutionary situation that would someday emerge in the country. Mao dutifully joined the Kuomintang. Certainly the Communist decision to create a United Front with the Kuomintang seemed reasonable at the time and was consistent with Marxist doctrine. The Kuomintang under Sun was a militant organization, sympathetic to workers and willing to help them strike for their rights. Nor were there many Communist Party members in China, and the party was broke.

The Communists could decide their ultimate course as events unfolded. Sun Yat-sen died in , and leadership of the Kuomintang, and thus the United Front, was grasped by Chiang Kai-shek , a general who was commandant of the United Front's military academy. In the spring of Chiang led his forces north out of Canton, determined to destroy the power of local warlords and unite the nation under United Front rule.

Communists marched alongside Kuomintang troops, but even more important were the Chinese Communist Party CCP organizers, among them Mao, who were assigned to prepare the way for Chiang's soldiers. The men and women of the CCP served as agitators, turning peasants and workers against their local regimes in order to soften them up for the expedition forces. Alarmed at the success of CCP organizers in mobilizing workers, Chiang decided to purge the United Front of its Communists, thus purifying the Kuomintang ideologically and eliminating any awkwardness about power sharing in the future.

Chiang's purge was bloody everywhere, but particularly so in Shanghai, where Kuomintang troops killed thousands of their recent allies in April As the ideological cleansing spread westward, Mao found himself the de facto leader of a demoralized peasant army whose ranks dwindled daily. Increasingly isolated, he moved his remaining supporters to a mountainous area on the border between Hunan and Jiangxi provinces.

His force, as he noted at the time, consisted of "ten thousand messy people. In Mao had written a report on the peasants in two Hunan counties. Contrary to the Comintern view that peasants were benighted and thus unlikely revolutionary tinder, Mao discovered that the country people were doing a remarkable job of radicalizing and organizing themselves. The Communist Party was at a crossroads: it could continue to deny the revolutionary potential of the rural masses, or it could break with Moscow-inspired orthodoxy, take its place at the revolutionary vanguard, and guide the peasants to victory.

For Mao the second road seemed best; however, this decision put Mao at odds with the Comintern and Stalin. Under pressure from Kuomintang forces, in Mao and his peasants moved to a new border base and created a government in what they called the Jiangxi Soviet. Mao's grasp of power now slipped. He fell seriously ill several times. It was they who decided that the Soviet had become indefensible, and that the Communists would have to leave, though exactly where they would end up was unsettled. Thus began the Long March, an event that would assume legendary status among the Communists, especially as the passage of time dimmed memories of its horrors.

Some eighty-six thousand people left Jiangxi in the fall of , Mao among them, though without a leading role. Harried by Kuomintang troops, exploited by the locals, frozen, hungry, and sick, the Communists lost marchers at an alarming rate. As the former Soviet leaders were blamed for the debacle, Mao's star rose. By the time the remnants of the column — only eight thousand people — reached far off Shaanxi province a full year after its departure from the Soviet, Mao was back in charge.

The Communists made their new headquarters in the town of Yan'an. Living in caves carved into the sere hillsides, they worked to create their version of a just society, to include some land redistribution and respect for the local peasantry. Mao was the acknowledged leader in these efforts.

He insisted that intellectuals learn from rather than teach the masses. But he abandoned sociology in favor of political theory that he represented as unassailable. In July the Japanese forced a clash with Chinese troops at the Marco Polo Bridge near Beijing, then used the incident as a pretext to launch a full-scale assault against China. The Japanese attacked the major eastern cities, took Shanghai, then drove Chiang's Nationalist Kuomintang out of its capital at Nanjing, committing appalling atrocities as they did so.

Mao welcomed this step, though he understood that it was born purely of expediency; once the Japanese were defeated, he knew, war between the parties would resume. Nationalist and Communist troops frequently fought hard against the Japanese, but they cooperated minimally and kept a wary eye on each other.

When the war ended in August Japanese troops remained on Chinese soil. The Americans, who had sent representatives to Yan'an during the war and had encouraged the maintenance of the United Front, were nevertheless determined to help Chiang regain political and military superiority. They gave weapons to the Kuomintang, ferried its troops north to accept the Japanese surrender and thus their weapons as well, and kept Japanese soldiers armed in order to prevent Communist advances.

The Russians, for their part, ushered Communist troops into Manchuria in the wake of their own departure. Thus did the Cold War come implicitly to China. Hoping to prevent the resumption of civil war, President Truman sent George Marshall to China in late Marshall wanted a coalition between the Communists and the Nationalists, a desire that was as sincere as it was unrealistic.

Mao, whose postwar position seemed weaker than Chiang's, proved cooperative, agreeing to remove Communist fighters from southern China and accepting in principle Marshall's proposal for a unified Chinese army. Chiang balked at nearly every American suggestion, preferring to pursue his war against the Communists. When a discouraged Marshall left China in January he labeled Chiang "the leading obstacle to peace and reform" on the scene. Yet the Americans would not abandon Chiang.

He was, the Truman administration judged, the only hope for a united, noncommunist China. Mao may have hoped for a more genuinely balanced U. Never, despite his pretensions, a sophisticated political theorist, Mao soon proved his abilities as a battlefield strategist.

Cold Warriors

He maintained high morale and fought relentlessly and without quarter. Within each new area seized from the Kuomintang, Mao instituted land reform, with the understanding that the beneficiaries in their gratitude would become eager recruits for the Communist army. Beginning in the fall of CCP forces won battle after battle against the Kuomintang. Chiang Kai-shek fled to Taiwan , taking with him the remnants of the Kuomintang government and vowing to reconquer the mainland.

China desperately needed help.

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There had been a flicker of hope of establishing a diplomatic relationship with the United States. Even after the failure of Marshall's mission, Mao had signaled that he would welcome American assistance, and Mao's compatriot Zhou Enlai , who would become premier of the People's Republic, had seemed even more willing to make overtures to Washington. But in June Mao had given a speech in which he declared the need for China to "lean to one side" in the Cold War, specifically toward the Soviet Union.

Mao's pronouncement did not ensure that the Soviets would embrace the Chinese Communists. Stalin had all along treated the Chinese revolution as an odd and ominous strain of the species, and he remained ambivalent about its prospects even after the CCP had won. Mao came to resent the widely held perception that he was Stalin's junior partner in revolution, and he was not reassured by the treatment he received when he arrived in Moscow in December, seeking a new relationship with the Kremlin and a good deal of economic aid.

He got far less than he had hoped for with the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship signed in February Mao's most important goal was to consolidate the revolution at home, which required the establishment of Communist political legitimacy and economic policies that would eradicate poverty. He was also intent on liberating Taiwan from Chiang; without this step, the revolution would remain unfinished.

Stalin promised no help, but when the Americans indicated their disinterest in defending the island, Mao began to concentrate his forces along China's southwest coast in preparation for an attack across the Formosa Strait. But Kim Il Sung moved faster. Having received Stalin's permission to go to war, Kim came to Beijing in May , seeking Mao's blessing as well. Mao was unenthusiastic about Kim's plans and asked him to reconsider.

Kim refused. In the end Mao offered Kim a green light but promised nothing in the way of help, and Kim did not then pursue the matter, figuring he was likely to win quickly or that the Soviets would give him any assistance he needed. Mao was also surprised when the Americans intervened to halt the North Korean attack and placed their fleet in the Formosa Strait.

The United States, Mao decided, was determined to destroy the People's Republic, and had taken its first step toward doing so in Korea. In response Mao began redeploying troops to northeast China near the Korean border. In September, following Douglas MacArthur 's successful landing at Inchon and the subsequent rout of the North Korean army, Mao wrote to a Manchurian comrade: "Apparently, it won't do for us not to intervene in the war. You must accelerate preparations.

On 16 October Chinese units crossed the Yalu River in force. Mao professed confidence in their ultimate victory. Once the Chinese had bloodied U. Privately Mao looked for additional help from the Soviet Union. Stalin was not at first forthcoming; he evidently wanted to test Chinese determination, and he remained wary of antagonizing the Americans.

But as the Chinese routed UN forces and gave every indication that they intended to stay the course, Stalin relented, putting Soviet warplanes into action over Korea in mid-November. Military stalemate came in Korea by the spring of The negotiations toward ending the war then dragged on for two frustrating years. During this time Mao used the war to rally people to the CCP. He mounted campaigns aimed at rooting out "counterrevolutionaries," crypto-capitalists, and Kuomintang sympathizers.

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His own power grew. By he was not only chairman of the Communist Party but also chairman of the People's Republic of China itself and in charge of its armed forces. Stalin's death in March left Mao unrivaled as a source of revolutionary wisdom and experience. He became the leading symbol of the communist Cold War, dispensing advice to would-be revolutionaries throughout the world, rattling sabers at the capitalist powers and their "running dog" allies, and threatening, as always, to absorb Taiwan. The relationship between the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union, tense during the best of times, deteriorated rapidly following Stalin's death.

Nikita Khrushchev, who ultimately succeeded Stalin and who exposed some of Stalin's crimes to the world, found Mao cruel and megalomaniacal. At a time when Khrushchev was seeking to coexist with the United States, Mao seemed always to be courting war. In Moscow in Mao, according to Khrushchev, told Communist Party delegates that they should not fear "atomic bombs and missiles.

So what? War is war. The years will pass, and we'll get to work producing more babies than ever before. The following year Mao confronted the United States for a second time over the status of Quemoy and Matsu, two Nationalist-held islands in the Formosa Strait.

Having precipitated a crisis Mao then backed down, which suggested to Khrushchev that the Chinese leader was better at creating confrontations than he was at resolving them. Mao would say the same thing about Khrushchev following the Cuban missile crisis in The Russians found intolerable Chinese abuse of Soviet advisers sent to help China develop its oil and build an atomic bomb , and in the Soviets removed their people.

Mao, meanwhile, was incredulous that the Soviets would sell advanced MIG jets to India in , given the friction that existed on the border between China and India. As ever Mao's Cold War abroad directly affected his domestic policies. In Mao inaugurated a program of economic acceleration called the Great Leap Forward , in which all farm cooperatives would be joined into twenty thousand enormous communes and in which the nation's steel production would be increased through the efforts of workers who would erect blast furnaces in their backyards.

Mao also announced a campaign to "let a hundred flowers bloom, and a hundred schools of thoughts contend. Both policies proved catastrophic. The Great Leap Forward resulted in a famine that killed twenty million in — Intellectuals and journalists who took seriously Mao's invitation to let flowers bloom quickly found themselves branded as "poisonous weeds" by an orchestrated "anti-rightist" campaign. Mao grew increasingly dictatorial and unpredictable. He also seemed to withdraw from the battlements of the Cold War.

He continued to support revolution around the world, and he was helpful in particular to the North Vietnamese in their war with the United States after China, not the contemptibly revisionist Soviet Union, would summon what Mao called "the mighty revolutionary storm" in the Third World. But Mao had never been greatly interested in affairs beyond China's borders, or he was circumspect about China's ability to control them. He did not leave China for the last twenty years of his life.

It is too much to say that he mellowed, but he nevertheless came to understand that the world was changing. The two men met on 17 February , shaking hands in front of a thicket of cameras in Mao's study. Mao apologized for his slurred speech and waved away Nixon's compliments. The policy implications of the visit were left to men other than Mao to sort out. Still, Mao enabled the meeting to take place, and he, along with Nixon, could take credit for initiating the first improvement in Sino-American relations since the establishment of the People's Republic of China.

Like other cold warriors, Mao Zedong, who died on 9 September , left a mixed legacy. He was one of those responsible for introducing ideology into the realm of foreign policy, for defining opponents as enemies, for menacing others with his rhetoric, for maintaining large military forces and authorizing construction of an atomic bomb.

Yet like the others, in the end Mao granted pragmatism primacy over ideology in foreign affairs. That he regarded the Americans as imperialists would not stand in the way of cultivating them if that proved necessary to preserve China's security and well-being in an increasingly complicated world.

By the time Mao Zedong died in the year of the U. The Soviet Union, under Khrushchev and his successors, had thrown aside the cult of Joseph Stalin and had proved willing to consider limiting its nuclear arsenal if the United States would reciprocate. The man who won the American presidency in and again in was instinctively suspicious of this effort for conciliation. Ronald Reagan was born 6 February and raised in small towns in Illinois.

He went to Hollywood in with a six-month contract from Warner Brothers studio. He became a star in B movies and took leadership of the Screen Actors Guild. He did not leave the United States during World War II , though he later claimed to have done so, even asserting that he had filmed Nazi concentration camps for the army. In fact, Reagan made war movies at home. His career in film was waning. But in the General Electric Company asked Reagan to host a weekly dramatic show on television. To promote the show Reagan went around the country talking with workers at GE plants about life in Hollywood and about the virtues of private enterprise.

In Reagan switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican, and in he surprised nearly everyone by beating the two-term Democratic incumbent for the California governorship. Reagan served two terms as governor, a tenure marked by incendiary rhetoric. He insisted that people who accepted government welfare were chiselers or cheats, and he threatened a "bloodbath" if students in Berkeley kept taking to the streets to protest against Vietnam War.

Reagan's stature grew. When Ford lost the election to Jimmy Carter , Reagan was established as the Republican frontrunner in He thrashed Carter in that election, returning to themes that had made him famous: the venality of big government, the horrors of communism, and the unique ability of Americans to overcome all their problems and secure a luminous future. He was not much interested in foreign countries. Like Mao he traveled abroad only reluctantly. Still Reagan knew what he did not like. The Soviet Union was an "evil empire," and its agents, he said at his first presidential press conference, "reserve unto themselves the right to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat," in order to foment "world revolution.

The Vietnam War had been "a noble cause. Reagan brought to office a set of convictions rather than a foreign policy.

Nicholas Eberstadt

He delegated to his advisers the task of turning his dreams and fears into directives. This might have worked if everyone agreed on how to do a thing, but as Reagan's men and women often disagreed among themselves, the result was frequently chaos. Again and again Reagan displayed an alarming ignorance of his own nation's foreign policy. He misstated the name given by the CIA to the Soviets' largest long-range missile, and when his error was pointed out to him he accused the Soviets of changing the name in order to fool the West.

He mistook defensive weapons for offensive ones, failed to understand the strategic difference between placing missiles in silos or putting them on mobile carriers, and claimed that neither bombers nor submarines carried nuclear weapons. He prepared for his summit meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev , to be held in Reykjavik, Iceland , by reading the Tom Clancy thriller Red Storm Rising — because, he said, much of it was set in Iceland.

Briefings of the president had to be short and snappy, reducible to a few small note cards or film clips. These were by definition devoid of detail or ambiguity, which tended to reinforce Reagan's black-or-white view of the world. Yet the president was not altogether without assets as a foreign policymaker.

Recent developments in Eastern Europe have led to persistent requests for aid from the United States to help with democratic reforms. Such requests are leading to increased competition for aid between Eastern Europe and long-time U. A real commitment to improving the effectiveness of U. Several specific recommendations for changes in foreign aid programs are made based on the purposes and problems they face.

Three separate and distinct purposes of the programs are identified: humanitarian aid, development aid, and security aid. The document includes a glossary, illustrations, questions for students and discussion groups, and an annotated reading list. The poverty of "the poverty rate" : measure and mismeasure of want in modern America by Nick Eberstadt Book 3 editions published in in English and held by WorldCat member libraries worldwide Eberstadt argues that the official poverty rate is incapable of accurately representing long-term trends for material want in modern America, and that standards of living for the official poverty population are far higher today than they were in or , at the start of the War on Poverty.

Fertility decline in the less developed countries by Nick Eberstadt Book 9 editions published between and in English and Undetermined and held by WorldCat member libraries worldwide. Policy and economic performance in divided Korea during the Cold War era : by Nick Eberstadt Book 8 editions published between and in English and held by WorldCat member libraries worldwide "The Korean peninsula during the Cold War provided a cruel but historically unparalleled real-world "experiment" in the relationship between polity and material advance: an ethnically and culturally homogenous nation was, in , suddenly divided by an arbitrary boundary line and then subjected to two radically different and adversarial political economies for successive decades on end.

Assessing the competition between the North and South Korean economies from partition to the end of the Soviet era, Nicholas Eberstadt argues that the storyline is not quite as simple as the now-prevailing narrative suggests that centrally-planned economies are doomed to fail against market-oriented alternatives. Rather, he suggests, the race for material progress was just that: a race, the results of which were far from preordained at the outset. By a number of indicators, Eberstadt argues, Kim Il Sung's North Korea actually outperformed South Korea for much of this period -- not only in the years immediately following partition, but perhaps also into the s.

To explain these surprising results, Eberstadt details the impact of government policies on the course of growth of both economies and offers some unorthodox observations about material performance under these two contending polities. He finds that prevailing economic development theory on such issues as planned-versus-market economies, military burden, and the relationship between material advance and poverty, may require reexamination in light of the experience of the two Koreas between partition and the end of the Cold War.

Europe's coming demographic challenge : unlocking the value of health by Nick Eberstadt Book 7 editions published in in English and held by WorldCat member libraries worldwide "For nearly a generation, economic growth in Western Europe has lagged conspicuously behind the United States. Europe's population is aging dramatically; the region's working-age population will peak in just a few years and decline indefinitely thereafter.

If Western Europeans wish to remain economically competitive and enjoy continuing improvements in living standards, they must act now to address this looming demographic challenge. A new international engagement framework for North Korea? Health and the income inequality hypothesis : a doctrine in search of data by Nick Eberstadt Book 3 editions published in in English and held by WorldCat member libraries worldwide.

Unnatural deaths in the USSR, by Iosif G Dyadkin 5 editions published between and in English and held by 37 WorldCat member libraries worldwide "This astonishing and sobering account of government- and war-induced civilian deaths in the Soviet Union calculates that Soviet loss of life between and was far higher than Western ex-perts have ever believed. Applying mathematical techniques to Soviet demographic statistics, Dyadkin shows that Stalinist repres-sion and World War II must have taken the lives of between 43 and 52 million Soviet citizens.

In the first period, , one of collectivization, Stalin control-led and eliminated classes; during the Great Purge of , mil-lions of Communist party members and bureaucrats were executed, and then the purge extended into the Red Army. Dyadkin shows that World War II took close to 30 million lives and that during another , died in prison camps.

Imjin River Last stand of the 'Glorious Glosters'. The Kinship of Secrets. Thomas McKelvey Cleaver. Joshua J. William W. Korean War in World History. Keith D. Xiaobing Li Allan R. Robert A. Bell X-1 X-Planes. Laurier illustrated by Gareth Hector. Hector illustrated by Jim Laurier. Battle For Pusan, The. Marshall Thompson. Otto F. Apel Pat Apel. Korean War-Pa. The Forgotten - Volume One.