In the China studies field, military and social history exist independently of one another. Michael Szonyi, however, effectively uses the former to elucidate the latter in this first detailed account in English of Quemoy. Quemoy (Jinmen) is a small island off the coast of Fujian Province that played an important role in the conflict between Mao Zedong's Communists and Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalists. Szonyi, a historian of Ming-Qing social history, does not rehash old debates over great power politics, but instead uses Jinmen—Szonyi refers to the island by that name throughout the book, despite the title—as a way to examine everyday life in a war zone. He presents the fighting of 1949 and the cross-Strait crises of 1954–55 and 1958 as the context for intensified efforts at regimentation by the state and for subtle resistance by the island's inhabitants. This study, which utilizes interviews with inhabitants of Jinmen and research on...
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Book Review| February 01 2010
Cold War Island: Quemoy on the Front Line
Cold War Island: Quemoy on the Front Line. By Michael Szonyi.
Cambridge University Press,
310pp. $81.00 (cloth); $29.99 (paper).
Journal of Asian Studies (2010) 69 (1): 237–238.
Steven Phillips; Cold War Island: Quemoy on the Front Line. Journal of Asian Studies 1 February 2010; 69 (1): 237–238. doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021911809992075
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