Purity and Order: Toward Social-Cultural Understandings of the Cold War

Wed, Nov 18, 2015, 4:30 pm


Hajimu Masuda

National University of Singapore

Purity and Order: Toward Social-Cultural Understandings of the Cold War

What was the Cold War? Masuda Hajimu's Cold War Crucible: The Korean Conflict and the Postwar World inquiries into the peculiar nature of the Cold War through examining not only centers of policymaking, but seeming aftereffects of Cold War politics: Suppression of counterrevolutionaries in China, the White Terror in Taiwan, the Red Purge in Japan, and McCarthyism in the United States. Such purges were not merely end results of the Cold War, Masuda argues, but forces that necessitated the imagined reality of the Cold War in attempts at restoring purity and tranquility at home. Revealing social functions and popular participation, Masuda highlights ordinary people's roles in making and maintaining the "reality" of the Cold War, raising the question of what the Cold War really was.


Masuda Hajimu (family name Masuda) is a historian whose work concerns the history of American foreign relations, the modern history of East Asia, and the social and global history of the Cold War. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 2012, and currently is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the National University of Singapore. He is the author of Cold War Crucible: The Korean Conflict and the Postwar World (Harvard University Press, 2015), and has published a number of book chapters and articles which can be found in Foreign Policy, Diplomatic History, Journal of Contemporary History, Journal of Cold War Studies, and Journal of American-East Asian Relations, as well as IIAS Newsletter and History News Network.

202 Jones Hall

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