A Conflict Perpetuated: China Policy during the Kennedy Years

A Conflict Perpetuated: China Policy during the Kennedy Years

A Conflict Perpetuated: China Policy during the Kennedy Years

A Conflict Perpetuated: China Policy during the Kennedy Years


The first comprehensive account of China policy during the Kennedy years, this study profiles John F. Kennedy as a man whose inner struggles and disparate characteristics made for an unpredictable foreign policy. While he was often a hostage to the Cold War, to constrictive perceptions of the domestic climate, and to the image of a predatory China, Kennedy recognized Washington's finite capacity to shape events on the China Mainland. With the possible exception of a preventive strike against China's nuclear installations, he was also reluctant to run the risk of a military confrontation with Beijing. On the eve of his assassination, Kennedy may have even contemplated a China policy departure during his second term.


Erik Goldstein, William R. Keylor, and Cathal J. Nolan

This series furthers historical writing that is genuinely international in scope and multi-archival in methodology. It publishes different types of works in the field of international history: scholarly monographs which elucidate important but hitherto unexplored or under-explored topics; more general works which incorporate the results of specialized studies and present them to a wider public; and edited volumes which bring together distinguished scholars to address salient issues in international history.

The series promotes scholarship in traditional sub-fields of international history such as the political, military, diplomatic, and economic relations among states. But it also welcomes studies which address topics of non-state history and of more recent interest, such as the role of international non-governmental organizations in promoting new policies, cultural relations among societies, and the history of private international economic activity.

In short, while this series happily embraces traditional diplomatic history, it does not operate on the assumption that the state is an autonomous actor in international relations and that the job of the international historian is done solely by consulting the official records left behind by various foreign offices. Instead, it encourages scholarly work which also probes the broader forces within society that influence the formulation and execution of foreign policies, social tensions, religious and ethnic conflict, economic competition, environmental concerns, scientific and technology issues, and international cultural relations.

On the other hand, the series eschews works which concentrate exclusively on the foreign policy of any single nation. Hence, notwithstanding the central role played by the United States in international affairs since

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