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Race, Ralph Ellison and American Cold War Intellectual CultureIntroduction: From Popular Fronts to Liberal Conspiracies

Race, Ralph Ellison and American Cold War Intellectual Culture: Introduction: From Popular Fronts... [It was on the USS Missouri that World War II finally came to an end. Her deck, once a theater of war, was the stage for World War II’s final act: the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender. Waving in the brisk winds that September day were two American flags. One was a fresh set of stars and stripes from the many spare flags onboard the ship. The other was the flag that had waved from the mast of Admiral Matthew Perry’s ship, the USS Mississippi, when it entered Tokyo Bay in 1853. Presiding over the signing in 1945 was General Douglas MacArthur. As the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces and a direct descendant of Perry’s family, MacArthur was styled as the second “opener” of Japan. On VJ Day MacArthur had this past in mind and it weighed heavily on his present. But what sort of American past did Perry represent to MacArthur? After the ceremony, MacArthur approached a microphone to address the Americans who had tuned in to listen to the event on the radio. His comments give us some insight into how MacArthur understood Perry’s role in American history: We stand in Tokyo today reminiscent of our countryman, Commodore Perry, ninety-two years ago. His purpose was to bring to Japan an era of enlightenment and progress, by lifting the veil of isolation to the friendship, trade, and commerce of the world. But alas the knowledge thereby gained of Western science was forged into an instrument of oppression and human enslavement. Freedom of expression, freedom of action, even freedom of thought was denied through appeal to superstition, and through the application of force. We are committed by the Potsdam Declaration of principles to see that Japanese people are liberated from this condition of slavery. (316)] http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png

Race, Ralph Ellison and American Cold War Intellectual CultureIntroduction: From Popular Fronts to Liberal Conspiracies

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Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright
© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2013
ISBN
978-1-349-34043-9
Pages
1 –25
DOI
10.1057/9781137313843_1
Publisher site
See Chapter on Publisher Site

Abstract

[It was on the USS Missouri that World War II finally came to an end. Her deck, once a theater of war, was the stage for World War II’s final act: the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender. Waving in the brisk winds that September day were two American flags. One was a fresh set of stars and stripes from the many spare flags onboard the ship. The other was the flag that had waved from the mast of Admiral Matthew Perry’s ship, the USS Mississippi, when it entered Tokyo Bay in 1853. Presiding over the signing in 1945 was General Douglas MacArthur. As the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces and a direct descendant of Perry’s family, MacArthur was styled as the second “opener” of Japan. On VJ Day MacArthur had this past in mind and it weighed heavily on his present. But what sort of American past did Perry represent to MacArthur? After the ceremony, MacArthur approached a microphone to address the Americans who had tuned in to listen to the event on the radio. His comments give us some insight into how MacArthur understood Perry’s role in American history: We stand in Tokyo today reminiscent of our countryman, Commodore Perry, ninety-two years ago. His purpose was to bring to Japan an era of enlightenment and progress, by lifting the veil of isolation to the friendship, trade, and commerce of the world. But alas the knowledge thereby gained of Western science was forged into an instrument of oppression and human enslavement. Freedom of expression, freedom of action, even freedom of thought was denied through appeal to superstition, and through the application of force. We are committed by the Potsdam Declaration of principles to see that Japanese people are liberated from this condition of slavery. (316)]

Published: Oct 26, 2015

Keywords: Double Sense; Popular Front; White Folk; Partisan Review; Negro Problem

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