Isolating the Enemy, based on the author's dissertation, offers a multiarchival reexamination of a critical period in the history of Sino-American encounters during the Cold War. Drawing upon deep research in archival collections in the United States, Britain, mainland China, and Taiwan, Tao Wang effectively situates decision-making in Beijing and Washington within the broader context of China's and the United States’ relations with their respective allies and provides a clearer picture than previous accounts of their perceptions/misperceptions of and actions/reactions to each other.

The three events covered in Wang's book—the Geneva Conference on Indochina, the First Taiwan Strait Crisis, and the Bandung Conference—are well chosen and highly revealing. Wang deepens our understanding of mutual perceptions and images between Chinese and American policy makers during the period and identifies a clear pattern in their confrontations. According to Wang, while US officials considered China a major threat to American interests in...

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