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Edward Lansdale and the American attempt to remake Southeast Asia, 1945-1965

Posted on:1995-02-05Degree:Ph.DType:Dissertation
University:Rutgers The State University of New Jersey - New BrunswickCandidate:Nashel, Jonathan DFull Text:PDF
GTID:1476390014491555Subject:American history
This study analyzes the variety of ways in which Edward Lansdale presented himself to Americans and to the people of Southeast Asia throughout the cold war period. I explore perceptions of Lansdale in relation to the personas that he himself adopted to wage the cold war: an advertising executive, a CIA agent, and an historian. In exploring Lansdale's celebrity, its construction, and its reception I also consider how Graham Greene's The Quiet American (1955) and William Lederer's and Eugene Burdick's The Ugly American (1958)--and their respective Hollywood movies--made Lansdale into a cold war icon.;Together, these different personas become ways to analyze the roots of Lansdale's power, that is, how he marketed himself and his policies in Southeast Asia and in Washington. Other questions that I address are how Lansdale and other Americans conceptualized peasant revolutions and post-colonial Southeast Asian societies, and conversely how these people viewed Lansdale's material and ideological intervention into their worlds.;Finally, I examine what effects Lansdale's efforts and vision have had upon the peoples of Southeast Asia. The current political instability, poverty, and devastation in the Philippines and Vietnam can not, obviously, be attributed to the workings of one man. Yet Lansdale's fervent belief in anti-communism, Americanism, and modernization theory were central to the intellectual justifications for the American commitment to intervention in Southeast Asia.
Keywords/Search Tags:Southeast asia, American, Lansdale, War
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