Gordon H. Chang is a historian at the International Strategic Institute at Stanford University and Coordinator of the Project on Peace and Cooperation in the Asian-Pacific Region.
The author would like to thank Barton Bernstein, David Kennedy, and John Lewis for their helpful comments on an earlier draft of this article and the MacArthur Foundation for financial support.
1. The pinyin romanization system will be used for Chinese names in this essay, except in the title. Traditional spellings will appear in parentheses after the first use of the pinyin.
2. Robert Anderson to Eisenhower, September 3, 1954, Dwight D. Eisenhower Papers as President of the United States, 1953-1961 (Ann Whitman File), Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas, hereafter Eisenhower Papers (AW), Dulles-Herter Series, Box 3, Dulles, Sept. 1954 (2); Dwight D. Eisenhower, Mandate for Change, 1953-1956 (New York: Doubleday, 1963), p. 459.
3. Marquis William Childs, Eisenhower: Captive Hero, A Critical Study of the General and the President (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1958), pp. 188-212, 204, 291; Townsend Hoopes, The Devil and John Foster Dulles (Boston: Little, Brown, 1973), pp. 262-273; Foster Rhea Dulles, American Policy Toward Communist China, 1949-1969 (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1972), pp. 130-160; Peter Lyon, Eisenhower: Portrait of the Hero (Boston: Little, Brown, 1974), pp. 632, 637, 853-54. Other literature on the 1954-55 crisis: O. Edmund Clubb, "Formosa and the Offshore Islands in American Foreign Policy, 1950-1955," Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 4 (Dec. 1959), pp. 517-31; Morton H. Halperin and Tang Tsou, "United States Policy toward the Offshore Islands," Public Policy, Vol. 15 (1966), pp. 119-38; Alexander George and Richard Smoke, Deterrence in American Foreign Policy (New York: Columbia University Press, 1971), pp. 266-94; J.H. Kalicki, The Pattern of Sino-American Crises: Political-Military Interactions in the 1950s (London: Cambridge University Press, 1975), pp. 120-155; and Thomas E. Stolper, China, Taiwan, and the Offshore Islands (Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, 1985).
4. Leonard H. D. Gordon, "United States Opposition to Use of Force in the Taiwan Strait, 1954-1962," Journal of American History, Vol. 72, No. 3 (December 1985), pp. 637-660. See also Robert Divine, Eisenhower and the Cold War (New York: Oxford University Press, 1981); Stephen E. Ambrose, Eisenhower, Vol. II: The President (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1985); and Bennett C. Rushkoff, "Eisenhower, Dulles and the Quemoy-Matsu Crisis, 1954-1955," Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 96, No. 3 (Fall 1981), pp. 465-480.
5. Declassified material used in this essay includes memoranda of discussions between Eisenhower and his advisers and of top-level policy-making meetings, diary entries, cables, correspondence, and position papers. The federal government has released many of these documents in just the last few years, and they are kept in different locations throughout the country. The Dwight D. Eisenhower Library in Abilene, Kansas holds the Dwight D. Eisenhower Papers as President of the United States, 1953-1961 (Ann Whitman File), (hereafter Eisenhower Papers [AW]); John Foster Dulles Papers, 1951-1959 (hereafter Dulles Papers); and papers from the White House Office, Office of the Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (hereafter WHO OSANSA). The National Archives in Washington, D.C., in its Diplomatic Branch, holds papers from the Department of State and, in its Military Branch, papers from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Many State Department documents for the period covered by this essay are reproduced in Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States (hereafter FRUS). The Seeley G. Mudd Library of Princeton University holds the personal papers of John Foster Dulles (hereafter Princeton Dulles Papers), and the Karl Lott Rankin Papers.
6. George and Smoke, Deterrence in American Foreign Policy, pp. 266-74; Stewart Alsop, "The Story Behind Quemoy: How We Drifted Close to War," Saturday Evening Post, December 13, 1958, pp. 26-27, 86-88; memorandum of conversation, Yu Ta-wei, Walter Robertson and others, December 6, 1955, Office of Chinese Affairs, 1948-56, Box 53, Offshore Islands, 1955, RG 59, National Archives.
7. John Foster Dulles, "Preliminary draft of possible statement of position for communication to the Republic of China," April 4, 1955, Office...