Book Reviews : Revolution and Chinese Foreign Policy. By PETER VAN NESS. (Berkeley: Univer sity of Califiornia Press, 1970. Pp. 266. $6.50.)

Date01 December 1970
Published date01 December 1970
Subject MatterArticles
versy of the sixties or of the Indian-Japanese incompatibilities, and the reader is
bound to be struck by the profundity of his observations and simplicity of the lan-
guage in which they are presented.
Despite his consistent adherence to the canon of objectivity and emotional
detachment, the reader will also detect some fleeting evidence of his deep human
sympathy for Japanese and other Asians alike, as in his description of the Japanese
contributions to a damning project in Malaysia. I have seldom, if ever, found this
kind of unadorned personal sympathy, understanding, and commitment in the
writings of American specialists on Japan and Asia or Japanese on Southeast Asia.
I disagree with several of the author’s specific observations. For example,
I consider as an unnecessary and unwarranted oversimplication his statement that
the &dquo;critical frame of reference&dquo; of Japanese intellectuals is still &dquo;heavily influ-
enced by German historicism and Marxism,&dquo; or that the conservative leaders of the
Liberal-Democratic party are the &dquo;best things in sight on the horizon of Japanese
politics.&dquo; More seriously, I find it both disappointing and disturbing that, despite
his extraordinary sensitivity to the psychological and political dimensions of the
Asian drama and dream, Olson displays no concern at all for the possibilities of
an alternative long-range perspective of a truly open system of mutual accommo-
dation and cooperation for survival and peace among the Asian peoples, including
the communist Chinese, North Koreans and North Vietnamese. However, this
latter point probably relates to our temperamental and ideological difference,
corresponding in a way to the idealist-realist differences in the controversy of the
sixties. In raising the first two points, on the other hand, I was objecting primarily
to the aspects of overstatement rather than questioning the general validity or
relevance of his observations.
All in all, I regard the book as...

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