© 2018

Eisenhower and American Public Opinion on China


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Mara Oliva
    Pages 1-14
  3. Mara Oliva
    Pages 15-47
  4. Mara Oliva
    Pages 49-83
  5. Mara Oliva
    Pages 155-181
  6. Mara Oliva
    Pages 183-211
  7. Mara Oliva
    Pages 213-218
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 219-223

About this book


In the 1950s, most of the American public opposed diplomatic and trade relations with Communist China; traditional historiography blames this widespread hostility for the tensions between China and the United States during Dwight D. Eisenhower’s presidency. In this book, Mara Oliva reconsiders the influence of U.S. public opinion on Sino-American relations, arguing that it is understudied and often misinterpreted. She shows how the Eisenhower administration’s hard line policy towards Beijing had been formulated in line with U.S. national security interests, not as a result of public pressure. However, the public did play a significant role in shaping the implementation, timing and political communication of Washington’s strategy, ultimately hampering relations with the Communist giant and seriously heightening the risk of nuclear conflict. Drawing together an extensive array of published and unpublished sources, this book offers a new prism for understanding one of the most difficult decades in the history of both countries.


Eisenhower Administration Dwight D. Eisenhower Eisenhower foreign policy Cold war People's Republic of China Sino-American relations US presidency foreign policy cold war propaganda American public opinion US-China policy Communist China Asia-first policy US national security Eisenhower-Dulles Strategy 1952 Presidential Campaign Geneva Conference South East Asia Treaty Organisation

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HistoryUniversity of ReadingReadingUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Mara Oliva is Lecturer in U.S. History at the University of Reading, U.K.

Bibliographic information