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Commands, 1821-1920. Photographs from the National Archives, including those from the U.S. Signal Corps collection, were also used.
GERALDINE N. PHILLIPS
Old Military Branch
Weird and Tragic Shores: The Story of Charles Francis Hall, Explorer. By Chauncey C. Loomis. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1971. 367 pp. Photographs, map, notes, bibliography, and index. $8.95.) Charles Francis Hall was an obscure and not particularly successful Cincinnati businessman who in 1860 left his family and career to begin the first of three expeditions to the North American Arctic. He was woefully ill prepared for his first trip to Baffin Island to determine the fate of the men lost on the Franklin expedition, but he survived by living with the Eskimos. Hall returned twice more to the Arctic, in 1864-65 and in 1871. His third and last voyage, aboard the S.S. Polaris, was aided by a $50,000 appropriation from Congress and supplies from the navy and other federal agencies. Hopes that this semiofficial expedition could reach the North Pole via the Davis Strait ended abruptly in November 1871 when Hall died under suspicious circumstances. At a navy inquiry held in 1873 there were dark hints that Hall was poisoned. With the permission of the Danish government, Loomis and three companions went to Greenland in 1968 to exhume Hall's body. An autopsy showed that Hall had ingested a fatal amount of arsenic before his death. Loomis discusses the implications of this discovery in his epilogue.
At the National Archives Loomis used the journal of Noah Hayes and the papers of George E. Tyson, members of the Polaris expedition; correspondence and notes of Rear Admiral C. H. Davis, cocompiler of the official report of the Polaris expedition; and Patent Office records.
ALISON WILSON Center for Polar Archives
The Limits of Power: The World and United States Foreign Policy, 1945-1954. By Joyce and Gabriel Kolko. (New York: Harper & Row, 1972. 820 pp. $15.00.) Although their argument that post-World War II American leaders fabricated a Russian military threat in an effort to fasten economic control on much of the world may be disputed, the scholarship of Joyce and Gabriel Kolko is certainly impressive. The Limits of Power is the product of wide research, a wealth of fresh evidence, and original interpretations. Their revisionist thesis follows from the authors' basic contention that politics in twentieth-century America result from the domination of the capitalist ruling class, a situation precluding genuine reforms in the interest of the common people.
The authors contend the Soviet Union, militarily inferior to the United States in the decades following World War II, posed no real menace to American security. But President Truman and his advisers deliberately exaggerated and misrepresented the communist threat and spurned genuine Russian offers to negotiate a détente in order to browbeat the world into semicolonial dependence on the United States. They maintain American leaders felt that only in a world economically dominated by the United States could the country sustain a level of employment and profits necessary to ensure the survival of the capitalist system. Seeking to keep the world economically subservient, the United States made alliances with reactionary leaders, bribing corrupt governments to suppress leftist movements which threatened American economic dominance.
The authors made extensive use of the resources of the Harry S. Truman Library. In addition to the White House files, they examined the papers of Stanley Andrews, Thomas C. Blaisdell, Jr., Will L. Clayton, Joseph M. Jones, Edwin A. Locke, Jr., John W. Snyder, Stephen J. Spingarn, and James E. Webb. They also consulted the records
of the President's Air Policy Commission and the President's Materials Policy Commission.
DENNIS E. BILGER Harry S. Truman Library
fear, the author contends, the administration was able to change a negative bias toward economic aid to a positive attitude within a relatively brief span of time. However, he points out, the anticommunist crusade had unanticipated consequences. Several events, notably the takeover of China by Mao Tse-tung and his followers, the explosion of the first Soviet atomic bomb, the Alger Hiss trial, and the Korean conflict, caused the president to lose control of affairs and opened the door to the excesses of McCarthyism.
During the course of his research, Freeland made extensive use of the resources of the Harry S. Truman Library. In addi. tion to the White House files, he examined the papers of Thomas Blaisdell, Will L. Clayton, Clark Clifford, George Elsey, Joseph M. Jones, Samuel I. Rosenman, John W. Snyder, Stephen J. Spingarn, A. Devitt Vanech, the records of the Committee for the Marshall Plan, and oral history interviews about the Marshall Plan.
Philip D. LAGERQUIST Harry S. Truman Library
The Truman Doctrine and the Origins of McCarthyism: Foreign Policy, Domestic Politics and Internal Security, 1946-1948. By Richard M. Freeland. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1972. 419 pp. Bibliography and index. $10.00.) This book by a member of the revisionist school of cold war history attempts an explication of the anticommunist hysteria of the 1950s in terms of the Truman administration's campaign to win support for its Marshall Plan program. The administration, the author says, was convinced that if the high level of prosperity attained by the United States during the war were to continue, the faltering economies of Western Europe would require massive infusions of economic aid. Only by such measures could the dangers of a communist takeover be averted and American economic and strategic interests in that area be secured. The administration overcame a hostile Congress and an initially apathetic public to win overwhelming approval of aid to Europe. This was achieved, the author maintains, by a propaganda effort carried on by the government between March 1947 when the president announced the Truman Doctrine and March 1948 when the Marshall Plan was approved. During this period foreign policy and international events were consistently interpreted by government leaders in terms of the anticommunist rhetoric of the Truman Doctrine. Domestically, by such means as a stepped-up federal employees loyalty program and executive support of the House Un-American Activities Committee's investigations, there was an attempt to create the impression of widespread communist subversion within the country. Thus, by deliberately creating a climate of
Kennedy Justice. By Victor Navasky. (New York: Atheneum, 1971. 447 pp. Appendixes, bibliography, and index. $10.00.) In Kennedy Justice, Victor Navasky examines decision-making in the Department of Justice under Robert Kennedy. His conclusion that the appointment of the "maximum Attorney General" did not result in the maximum performance is less interesting than his detailed exploration of the interaction of factors influencing the decisions of Kennedy and other officials in the department. These factors, in Navasky's framework, were embodied in the operation of “The Code of the FBI,” “The Code of the Ivy League Gentleman,” and “The Code of the Kennedys." To explore the influence of these "codes," Navasky looks closely at civil rights matters, reapportionment cases, and the “Get Hoffa" campaign. In his research, Navasky read nineteen oral history interviews conducted by the staff of the John F. Kennedy Library, including those with Ross Barnett, Herman Talmadge, Theodore Hesburgh, William 0. Douglas, and a number of former officials of the Department of Justice. He also interviewed a large number of individuals and used relevant, accessible files. Navasky does not footnote specific interviews or provide a list of persons (some of whom requested anonymity) he interviewed although he seems to depend heavily on them. Navasky plans to deposit his research files in the Kennedy Library and eventually to make his interviews available to researchers.
LARRY J. HACKMAN
John F. Kennedy Library The Kennedy Doctrine. By Louise FitzSimons. (New York: Random House, 1972. 275 pp. Bibliography and index. $7.95.) FitzSimons critically examines and challenges the basic foreign policy concepts of the Kennedy administration in the light of revisionist thinking about the cold war. She concludes that John F. Kennedy, while capturing the imagination of and providing inspiration for many peoples of the world, never succeeded in freeing himself from the traditional cold war ideological concept of the American struggle against a monolithic communist foe. Rather, he pursued a very active counterrevolutionary policy in his battle to contain communism, and he greatly increased the American strategic arsenal.
In this light, she asks, "Was the Cuban missile crisis necessary?" and also wonders how much of the Berlin crisis was due to the need of the new president to preserve his prestige after Vienna and the Bay of Pigs. The growing involvement of the United States in Vietnam is described, as the Kennedy administration held to the “fatal illusion" that the United States could control events in Southeast Asia through the use of counterinsurgency forces.
FitzSimons used more than forty interviews in the John F. Kennedy Library oral history collection in her research. She quotes extensively from at least twelve of them, including those with George Kennan, U. Alexis Johnson, Robert Hurwitch, Dean Acheson, Robert Lovett, George Smathers, Robert Amory, and Llewellyn Thompson.
Kennedy et la Revolution Cubaine: Un Apprentissage Politique? By Manuela Semidei. (Paris: Julliard, 1972. 284 pp. Photographs and bibliography.) The subtitle of this study of John F. Kennedy's Cuban policy poses the author's main question. Were President Kennedy's actions at the time of the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban missile crisis part of his political apprenticeship? Were his decisions forced by the bureaucratic structure and the political climate or did he overestimate the ability of the United States to act in a global context? Semidei concludes that President Kennedy, learning much from these two experiences, "firmly decided ... to defuse the Cuban bomb, in order to preserve the chances of coexistence.” Kennedy in many ways chose "the middle course"'; he did not allow the Bay of Pigs invasion to lead to all-out American support for the invaders, and he did not decide on U.S. air strikes against Cuba as a way of eliminating the threat of Soviet missiles. After the missile crisis, he "again chose the middle course: there would be neither invasion nor reconciliation”; the United States would "be content to seek to isolate Cuba."
For her study Semidei made extensive use of oral history interviews at the Kennedy Library, including those with Dean Acheson, Robert Lovett, Lyman Kirkpatrick, Arleigh Burke, U. Alexis Johnson, Robert Hurwitch, Juan Bosch, and George Smathers. Also of interest is her analysis and assessment of the Kennedy Oral History Program which appears in the introduction.
SYLVIE TURNER John F. Kennedy Library
Ira Dye is a systems analyst whose major avocation for many years has been the study of maritime history. He holds degrees in engineering, a B.S. from the University of Washington and a M.S. from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a member of the Society for Nautical Research and the Navy Records Society. His professional position is director of the Office of Systems Analysis and Information in the Department of Transportation. He earlier completed a career in the U.S. Navy, attaining the rank of captain.
Yehoshua Ben-Arieh was born in Tel Aviv and holds a Ph.D. in geography and history from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He has published several articles and books on Israeli geography and specializes in the geography of the Jordan Valley. His most recent book, The Rediscovery of the Holy Land in the Nineteenth Century, won the Ben-Zvi Prize for its outstanding contribution to the study of the Jews in the Middle East. He is associate professor of geography and director of the Institute for History, Geography, and Regional Studies at the Hebrew University.
Kenneth J. Grieb is associate professor of history and coordinator of Latin American studies at the University of WisconsinOshkosh. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Buffalo and his Ph.D. from Indiana University. He is the author of The United States and Huerta and coeditor of Latin American Government Leaders. He has also published numerous articles and book reviews in the fields of Mexican, Central American, and Caribbean history. He is president of the Midwest Association for Latin American Studies and editor of the association's newsletter.
economic and political history. Also included
conferences, and reports of research in progress.
The Historical Methods Newsletter
formative professional publications (Walter Dean Burnham.
which cross my desk."
(David Herlihy. Center for Advanced
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