Mar. 26th, 2017

nightdog_barks: (Facepalm)
The China that existed in the minds of millions of Americans was the most illusory of countries, filled as it was with dutiful, obedient peasants who liked America and loved Americans, who longed for nothing so much as to be like them. It was a country where ordinary peasants allegedly hoped to be more Christian and were eager, despite the considerable obstacles in their way, to rise out of what Americans considered a heathen past. Millions of Americans believed not only that they loved (and understood) China and the Chinese, but that it was their duty to Americanize the Chinese. "With God's help, we will lift Shanghai up and up, ever up until it is just like Kansas City," said Senator Kenneth Wherry of Nebraska, one of the Republicans who would become a particularly bitter critic of the administration for its China policies (and who once referred to French Indochina as Indigo-China).

~ David Halberstam, The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War, "The Politics of Two Continents," page 223

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