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Asia FirstChina and the Making of Modern American Conservatism$
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Joyce Mao

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226252711

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226252858.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Asia First

Joyce Mao

University of Chicago Press

The Introduction traces the Republican Party’s history with China, beginning with the Open Door notes and into the immediate period after World War II. In doing so it presents a prelude for the political warfare that occurred with the conclusion of the Chinese Communist Revolution and Chiang Kai-shek’s flight to Taiwan in 1949. This section also outlines the book’s historiographical intervention by challenging the prevalent assumption that the China-conservative connection was simply an example of McCarthyism. Instead, it positions Asia First within burgeoning 20th century American internationalism and theorizes rightwing interest in China as a form of orientalism particular to the United States.

Keywords:   Open Door notes, Chiang Kai-shek, McCarthyism, China lobby, orientalism

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