Cover image for Odd man out : Truman, Stalin, Mao, and the origins of the Korean War
Odd man out : Truman, Stalin, Mao, and the origins of the Korean War
Thornton, Richard C.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : Brassey's, [2000]

Physical Description:
xiii, 448 pages : map ; 25 cm
Format :


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DS918 .A555 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Based on newly available post-Cold War documentation, this analysis by a Georgetown U. professor of history and international affairs reassesses the American, Soviet, and Chinese decision- making processes culminating in the Korean War and the ensuing New World Order. Mao was the odd man out in th

Author Notes

Dr. Richard C. Thornton is professor of history and international affairs at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Table of Contents

Mapp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. 1
Part I Three Alternative Futures
1 Truman and the "Wedge" Strategy in 1949p. 9
The Attempt to Keep the Chinese and Russians Apartp. 9
The Soviet Atomic Bomb Complicates American China Policyp. 15
The Crumbling of American Strategyp. 18
The Sino-Soviet Alliance Defeats the Wedgep. 22
2 Mao and Stalin: A Modus Vivendi?p. 24
Stalin Attempts to Retain World War II Gains in Chinap. 26
Liu Shaoqi's Trip to Moscowp. 33
Mao Zedong Goes to Moscowp. 39
Stalin's Decision for War in Koreap. 46
3 Truman Increases His Offerp. 51
A Proposal for Chinap. 52
Washington Begins to Show Its Cardsp. 60
A Desperate Attempt to Strike a Dealp. 65
The New York Times and Acheson's Speechp. 70
The Prospect of Negotiations Evaporatesp. 74
Part II Mao's Choice and Its Consequences
4 Mao Wants It Both Ways, But First the Treatyp. 81
Stalin Sets the Stagep. 81
The Korean Factor Entersp. 86
The Treaty Negotiations Beginp. 90
Stalin's "Second Group" of Issuesp. 95
5 Stalin Versus Mao, Korea or Taiwan: The Race to Strike Firstp. 101
Stalin Plots Preemptive Warp. 101
Kim Il-sung and Mao Zedongp. 106
Mao: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Straitp. 113
6 Truman's Dilemma and the Decision to Change Strategyp. 119
Strategy and Consequencesp. 119
The Question of Foreknowledgep. 122
The United States Changes Strategyp. 127
Washington Girds for Confrontationp. 132
The Problem of Japanp. 135
The Problem of Taiwanp. 141
7 Korea and Containmentp. 146
South Korea in U.S. Strategyp. 147
Tethering the South Korean Goatp. 150
Muccio's and Roberts's Pleas for Assistance Ignoredp. 154
Washington Gives Muccio the Runaroundp. 164
The Tank Threat Emergesp. 170
Discovery and Responsep. 177
Part III Korea: A War of Surprises
8 The First Week: June 25-June 30p. 185
Initial Assault: The First Surprisep. 186
The First Blair House Meetingp. 187
The Second Blair House Meetingp. 200
Truman Prepares to Commit Ground Forcesp. 211
The Argument over Forward Defensep. 215
9 Stalin and Truman: Different Means to the Same Endp. 227
Stalin's "Preemptive Strike Operational Plan,"p. 228
Plan "B": The Drive Southp. 236
Truman Builds a Nutcrackerp. 240
10 Mao Attempts to Avoid Entrapmentp. 247
Mao's Fundamental Miscalculationp. 248
Early Wartime Discussions with Stalinp. 249
Initial Sino-American Interactionp. 257
Mao Decides against Early Involvementp. 265
Mao Probes Unsuccessfully for a Diplomatic Settlementp. 266
Mao's Trial Balloonsp. 270
Part IV Emergence of a New World Order
11 Truman: From Deterrence to Compulsionp. 277
Mao, Stalin, MacArthur, and Inchonp. 279
U.S. Deterrence Prior to Inchonp. 287
The Debate over War Aimsp. 293
Defense Presses for Unificationp. 299
The Allies Alter the Policy Equationp. 304
NSC-81, the Joint Chiefs, and MacArthurp. 307
Stalin, Kim Il-sung, and Inchonp. 311
12 Mao and the Decision to Enter the Korean Warp. 316
Truman Unwraps His Package of Compulsionp. 317
Stalin Intensifies the Pressure for Commitmentp. 321
MacArthur's "Wonsan Gambit,"p. 327
Mao Attempts to "Negotiate" Chinese Entryp. 333
Stalin Calls Mao's Bluffp. 341
13 Truman and the New World Orderp. 348
The SIGINT Conundrump. 349
MacArthur Will Share Blamep. 353
The Wake Island Meetingp. 358
On to the Yalup. 362
The November 9 Meeting: Maintaining Coursep. 370
Proposals, Counterproposals, and Warp. 374
Conclusionp. 380
Notesp. 383
Indexp. 431