The significance of the Far East
by Willard L. Thorp
The last two wars in which the United States has been involved began for us as Asian wars. In the last fifteen years, millions of Americans, most of them in uniform, have crossed the Pacific Ocean. Billions of dollars of goods produced in America and paid for from our national budget have been transported to the Far East. Books about the Far East, both novels and nonfiction, have begun to appear on many publishers' lists. And in recent years, our policies toward northeast Asia have provided some of our bitterest debates at home.
Willard L. Thorp, the general editor of this volume, is Director of The Merrill Center for Economics and Professor of Economics at Amherst College. After a number of years in economic research, teaching, and business positions, he entered the U. S. State Department in 1945 and was Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, 1946-1952. He served as a Special Advisor at the Paris Peace Conference and at several meetings of the Council of Foreign Ministers. He was American Representative on the United Nations Economic and Social Council, 1947-1950, and a member of the U. S. Delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in 1947 and 1948. In 1955, he spent several months in Japan under the auspices of the Japan Committee on Intellectual Interchange.