American Images of China
Identity, Power, Policy
Routledge – 2013 – 214 pages
The United States and China are arguably the most globally consequential actors of the early twenty first century, and look set to remain so into the foreseeable future. This volume seeks to highlight that American images of China are responsible for constructing certain truths and realities about that country and its people. It also introduces the understanding that these images have always been inextricable from the enactment and justification of US China policies in Washington, and that those policies themselves are active in the production and reproduction of imagery and in the protection of American identity when seemingly threatened by that of China.
Demonstrating how past American images of China are vital to understanding the nature and significance of those which circulate today, Turner addresses three key questions:
Exploring and evaluating a wide-ranging variety of sources including films and television programmes, newspaper and magazine articles, the records and journals of politicians and diplomats and governmental documents including speeches and legal declarations this work will be of great interest to students and scholars of US foreign policy, American politics, China studies and international relations.
"This is a captivating alternative history of US-China relations that span four centuries. Skilfully weaving together two hitherto mutually neglecting literatures in this field: the imagery literature and the policy literature, this important book fills a critical gap in our knowledge of how certain American constructions of China periodically resurface across time and how US China policy is both enabled by, and reproduces, those China imageries." - Chengxin Pan, Deakin University
"The book is based on a dissertation; the research is comprehensive, and the bibliography is excellent. Scholars worldwide will find this work useful, as will policy makers in the US and elsewhere. Turner's conclusions are thoughtful and point to the need for Americans to better understand China as the two nations progress through the 21st century. A splendid addition to the reading lists of advanced seminars in Sino-American relations.
Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students, faculty, professionals."
--D. L. Wilson, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, CHOICE
1. Introduction 2. State of the Art and Theoretical Approach 3.American Images of China, 1776-1882 4.American Images of China, 1882-1949 5. American Images of China, 1949-1979 6.American Images of China, 1979-present 7. American Images of China, the Obama presidency and beyond 8. Conclusion
Oliver Turner is Hallsworth Research Fellow, University of Manchester, UK