Kevin Kim publishes "From Century of the Common Man to Yellow Peril"

Pacific Historical Review cover

IAS faculty member Kevin Y. Kim has published an article in the summer issue (August 2018) of Pacific Historical Review, an internationally renowned peer-reviewed journal of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association, published by University of California Press. Titled “From Century of the Common Man to Yellow Peril: Anti-Racism, Empire, and U.S. Global Power in Henry A. Wallace’s Quest for Cold War Alternatives,” this article examines U.S. Vice President Henry A. Wallace’s Cold War dissent as a window into racial geopolitics in a post–World War II era of decolonization and U.S. global power.

Focused on Wallace and the United States, the article uses a wide range of published and archival sources to argue that Wallace and U.S. anticolonial liberal elites saw anti-racist egalitarian pressures in the post-1945 international system as not only a threat, as existing scholarship suggests, but also an opportunity for U.S. global expansion—particularly in the Pacific Rim. By the 1960s, Wallace and postwar anti-racist activists diminished in influence amid global Cold War pressures reviving racial restrictions and Cold War militarization after the Korean War. Nonetheless, Wallace’s anti-racist diplomacy, stemming from long-running U.S. and global liberal debates and political struggles over race and empire, suggests the wider role of anti-racist geopolitics and the paradoxical persistence of race as a global cultural concept in the postwar era.