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Patterns in the Dust: Chinese-American Relations and the Recognition Controversy, 1949-1950

Patterns in the Dust: Chinese-American Relations and the Recognition Controversy, 1949-1950
By Nancy Bernkopf Tucker
400 pp, Columbia University Press, 1983
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A meticulous and very heavily researched monograph which argues that almost every group with an interest in China-missionaries, businessmen, journalists, scholars-favored diplomatic recognition of the new Communist Chinese government in 1949-50. The author deprecates the influence of the China Lobby ("a dedicated few") and opposition in Congress-judgments that sometimes seem at odds with her own evidence. Thus, her conclusion is that recognition was withheld primarily because of excessive caution on the part of the Truman Administration and a low priority given to the whole question. Then, the outbreak of the Korean War slammed the door. The author probably underestimates President Truman's real antipathy to the Beijing regime.