[Howard Zinn raw #31]

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NYU history professor discusses 20th century East Asian history and United States foreign policy in East and Southeast Asia throughout the Cold War. Includes some footage of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

0:05 NYU history professor Marilyn Young talks about American military activity the Philippines and how it was written off as an aberration rather than a policy norm. She says that people teaching and studying the histories Latin America, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia at American universities led to the reconsideration of the relationship between the United States and other regions of the world. She talks about American foreign policy as “anti-colonial imperialism.” She discusses the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion and role of the United States in East Asian imperialism.

13:43 Young discusses Mao Zedong and the Chinese Revolution. She talks about the synthesis of nationalism and social revolution in Mao’s Chinese Communist Party.

20:15 Young talks about the United States’ choice to pick a side rather than mediate in Chinese political affairs and the financial and military support the United States offered to Chinese Nationalist Party.

22:31 Marilyn Young explains the logic behind monolithic representations of communism and global conflicts throughout the Cold War. She talks about how American analysts believed that the success of the United States depended on the restoration of healthy capitalism in Europe and the reshaping of the rest of the world to easily integrate into that system. “The United States very busily set about recreating the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, the very thing it had fought against in the Pacific War. Post-war, the United States recreated it on behalf of a Japan which was now our ally and junior partner.”

26:57 Young explains the historical forces behind the Korean War and how the plan to establish a U.N. trusteeship collapse into two competing attempts to unite Korea. She talks about the brutal bombing campaigns and the devastation in Korea. She discusses how opposition to the Korean War was less visible than it was for Vietnam.

35:24 Footage of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Some people mill about, looking at the Memorial.

 

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