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Navigating the Ruins of Pax Americana

Navigating the Ruins of Pax Americana A. J. YUM I LEE Christine Hong, A Violent Peace: Race, U.S. Militarism, and Cultures of Democra- tization in Cold War Asia and the Pacific . Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2020. xi + 320 pp. $30.00. lthough the United States has been engaged in con- tinuous, escalating military conflict around the globe since the Second World War, a mistaken view per- sists in the US of the post-1945 period as an era of rel- ative world peace: our overseas military conflicts are depicted in mainstream discourses as minor and peripheral, prophylactic if not benevolent, reactive rather than aggressive, a means for main- taining world peace rather than violent interventions that gener- ate new enemies. Meanwhile, in Americanist scholarship, studies of Cold War culture still tend to imaginatively center the white middle-class family amid a domestic atmosphere of prosperity fostered by this so-called “long peace.” Accordingly, the cultural productions we associate with the Cold War tend toward paranoia and kitsch, focusing on Americans’ (read: white Americans) feel- ings of existential dread evoked by the potential threat of nuclear weapons rather than acknowledging the real, horric fi losses that the use and testing of these weapons inflicted on their racialized http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Literature University of Wisconsin Press

Navigating the Ruins of Pax Americana

Contemporary Literature , Volume 62 (1) – Mar 10, 2022

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Publisher
University of Wisconsin Press
Copyright
Copyright © Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin.
ISSN
1548-9949

Abstract

A. J. YUM I LEE Christine Hong, A Violent Peace: Race, U.S. Militarism, and Cultures of Democra- tization in Cold War Asia and the Pacific . Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2020. xi + 320 pp. $30.00. lthough the United States has been engaged in con- tinuous, escalating military conflict around the globe since the Second World War, a mistaken view per- sists in the US of the post-1945 period as an era of rel- ative world peace: our overseas military conflicts are depicted in mainstream discourses as minor and peripheral, prophylactic if not benevolent, reactive rather than aggressive, a means for main- taining world peace rather than violent interventions that gener- ate new enemies. Meanwhile, in Americanist scholarship, studies of Cold War culture still tend to imaginatively center the white middle-class family amid a domestic atmosphere of prosperity fostered by this so-called “long peace.” Accordingly, the cultural productions we associate with the Cold War tend toward paranoia and kitsch, focusing on Americans’ (read: white Americans) feel- ings of existential dread evoked by the potential threat of nuclear weapons rather than acknowledging the real, horric fi losses that the use and testing of these weapons inflicted on their racialized

Journal

Contemporary LiteratureUniversity of Wisconsin Press

Published: Mar 10, 2022

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