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East Asia by the Book! CEAS Author Talks ft. Covell Meyskens
"Mao's Third Front: The Militarization of Cold War China"

In 1964, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) made a momentous policy decision. In response to rising tensions with the United States and Soviet Union, a top-secret massive military industrial complex in the mountains of inland China was built, which the CCP hoped to keep hidden from enemy bombers. Mao named this the Third Front. The Third Front received more government investment than any other developmental initiative of the Mao era, and yet this huge industrial war machine, which saw the mobilization of fifteen million people, was not officially acknowledged for over a decade and a half. Drawing on a rich collection of archival documents, memoirs, and oral interviews, Covell Meyskens provides the first history of the Third Front campaign. He shows how the militarization of Chinese industrialization linked millions of everyday lives to the global Cold War, merging global geopolitics with local change.

*Koji Hirata will serve as Discussant. Dr. Hirata is a Lecturer in Modern History at Monash University.

Covell Meyskens is Assistant Professor of Chinese history in the National Security Affairs Department at the Naval Postgraduate School. He works on capitalist and anti-capitalist development in modern China, especially as it relates to building big infrastructure projects.

Initiated in 2016, this annual series showcases CEAS faculty, alumni, and special guests who provide author talks and book launches as a way to engage the broader community in conversations regarding key scholarship on East Asia.

This event is co-sponsored with the Seminary Co-op Bookstores.


Feb 11, 2021 05:30 PM in Central Time (US and Canada)

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Covell Meyskens
Assistant Professor of Chinese History in the National Security Affairs Department @Naval Postgraduate School
Professor Meyskens works on capitalist and anti-capitalist development in modern China, especially as it relates to building big infrastructure projects.
Koji Hirata
Lecturer in Modern History @Monash University
Professor Hirata studied law and political science at the University of Tokyo as an undergraduate and then completed his M.Phil in history at the University of Bristol where he began his studies on modern Chinese history. He then completed his Ph.D. in history at Stanford University. His research is in modern China, Japan, and Russia with broader research interests in the global history of capitalism and socialism.