The pages of “The Browser” book blog feature an appreciation of Owen Lattimore from Michael Dillon, author of “Xinjiang: China’s Muslim Far Northwest.” Dillon discusses Lattimore’s never surpassed writings on China’s inner-Asian frontiers and Xinjiang The Browser interviews an area expert touting five books in their field, and Lattimore accounts for two of Dillon’s five.
Dillon mistakenly has Senator Joseph McCarthy chairing the House Un-American Activities Committee and poking Lattimore from that venue, but otherwise seems a sound fellow. If anything I think he kind of undersells Pivot of Asia, Lattimore’s Xinjiang book issued as McCarthy’s fraud was beginning to unfold in 1950. The book figured in the many investigations, with FBI wiretaps picking up conversations in Mongol between Lattimore and Mongol scholars he’d brought to Johns Hopkins to work on the book project. Also involved on the book was the Chinese scholar Chen Hansheng, whose Comintern affiliation played a role in the McCarthy and McCarran hearings.
The Browser shares with us an image they appeared to have lifted from Amazon of a snappy 60s paperback cover for “Inner Asian Frontiers Of China,” Amazon’s coming from a bookseller offering pricey editions of the tome. The other Lattimore book mentioned, “Pivot of Asia,” is available free online.