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The Other Cold War (Columbia Studies in International and Global History) Hardcover – December 1, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


The Other Cold War is a fascinating investigation of the very meaning of the Cold War. Given its brevity, it can only be suggestive-this is not a comprehensive history of the postwar era but a primer on how to reimagine what we have long taken for granted. it is as brilliant as it is iconoclastic.

(Andrew Preston International Affairs 1900-01-00)

Brilliant and timely

(Mark Philip Bradley H-Diplo Roundtable)

The Other Cold War should quickly become necessary reading for all those interested in the global historiography of the late twentieth century.

(Jeffrey James Byrne Pacific Affairs 1900-01-00)

Kwon's focus on the local experience of the Cold War is a valuable contribution to the scholarship of Cold War studies and helps readers to better connect with the violent upheaval that the Cold War created in the lives of many in the world.

(Javan D. Frazier H-War)


A history, not of the end of the cold war, but of the process of its ending, both locally and globally. A rich and compelling account of that complex period.

(Marilyn B. Young, New York University)|

Sophisticated and original. Deploying his ethnographer's insights into modern Korea, Vietnam and Indonesia, Heonik Kwon pays special attention to the local fall out of the East-West confrontations and in particular to the fiercest of the cold war battle-fronts, in post-colonial Southeast Asia, and to the aftershocks, which have not come to an end. The Other Cold War will renew the great debates on the cold war, postcolonialism, and the modern history of Southeast Asia.

(Adam Kuper, Fellow of the British Academy)|

Heonik Kwon is an ethnographer, and ethnography is a way of understanding peoples and events by composing their stories. Kwon's book recomposes the standard, essentially pacific story of the cold war by taking as equal protagonists with Europeans and Americans the peoples like the Koreans and Vietnamese among whom an 'other cold war' raged violent and deadly. This is new historical knowledge that arises from a new formal sophistication.

(Myra Jehlen, Rutgers University, author of Readings at the Edge of Literature)|

A spectacular achievement from one of the most creative and theoretically sophisticated scholars writing about the cold war. While many authors have called for a truly global conception of the cold war, Kwon actually achieves it, ranging broadly across the world, time, and the range of human experience. In the process, he convincingly questions much of the received wisdom about the second half of the twentieth century and offers arguments that any serious student of the cold war will grapple with for years to come.

(Mark Atwood Lawrence, University of Texas at Austin)

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