Engineering Asia : Technology, Colonial Development, and the Cold War Order
Weaving together chapters on imperial Japan's wartime mobilization, Asia's first wave of postwar decolonization, and Cold War geopolitical conflict in the region, Engineering Asia seeks to demonstrate how Asia's present prosperity did not arise from a so-called 'economic miracle' but from the violent and dynamic events of the 20th century. The book argues that what continued to operate throughout these tumultuous eras were engineering networks of technology. Constructed at first for colonial development under Japan, these networks transformed into channels of overseas development aid that constituted the Cold War system in Asia.
Through highlighting how these networks helped shape Asia's contemporary economic landscape, Engineering Asia challenges dominant narratives in Western scholarship of an 'economic miracle' in Japan and South Korea, and the 'Asian Tigers' of Southeast Asia. Students and scholars of East Asian studies, development studies, postcolonialism, Cold War studies and the history of technology and science will find this book immensely useful.
“[One] of the most important edited volumes to come out in recent memory … Engineering Asia represents a significant intervention in the history of science and technology, foreign relations, and economic nationalism in cold war Asia. It is essential reading for scholars and graduate students in Japanese and East Asian history ... Scholars of the postcolonial history of science and technology in Latin America, Africa, and Asia will find the volume equally thought provoking.” – The Journal of Japanese Studies
“Focusing on science and technology in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia– and in concrete rice, chemicals, highways, dams, oil, and more – this extraordinary collaboration provides a unique and critical perspective on both colonialism and its postcolonial reincarnation as Cold War developmentalism and overseas aid. While based upon meticulous empirical research, the book also provides sweeping insights into the intra-Asian connections among the major players that both depended upon and yet exceeded U.S. Cold War projects in the region. Sophisticated and yet eminently accessible, this is transnational history writing at its best and should be read by a wide audience both inside and outside of Asian Studies.” —Takashi Fujitani, Professor in Asia-Pacific Studies, University of Toronto, Canada