The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980

Book Reviews

dealing with Russo-American and Sino-American relations in the 1950s,
even if he follows the recent tendency to play down the role of Secretary
of State John Foster Dulles and to emphasize Eisenhower's decisive role
in the conduct of foreign and military policy. But in the final analysis,
in Richardson's judgment, Eisenhower demonstrated that the presiden-
cy's "great storehouse of power was surely beyond his grasp" (p. 195).
Richardson seems to feel that while Eisenhower was not as strong a pres-
ident as he should have been, he was not as bad as he might have been.
Richardson writes learnedly about resource use and conservation pol-
icies, the area of specialization in which he has previously published two
worthy books. About many other matters, though, he is remarkably care-
less, repeatedly making errors which could have been avoided by a
quick check in any good college-level United States history text. Among
his more glaring faux pas are assertions that in the 1952 election "four
Border States" went Republican for the first time since the end of Re-
construction (p. 21); that the CIA's intervention in Guatemala in 1954
marked the first time the agency "went beyond its job of gathering and
analyzing information" (p. 75); that in late 1957 Secretary of Defense
Neil H. McElroy concentrated all efforts in missile development on the
Jupiter rocket (p. 132); that by the spring of 1958 employment had
fallen 30 percent (p. 134); that the American naval force stationed in
the Formosa Strait was the (non-existent) Fifth Fleet (pp. 78, 158-159);
that Francis Gary Powers's U-2 aircraft took off on its fateful May 1,
196o, flight from Pakistan (p. 173); and that somehow, after Nikita
Khrushchev excoriated Eisenhower and aborted the Paris summit con-
ference, Eisenhower still had the option to visit the U.S.S.R. (p. 176).
These and a plethora of other errors-some major, some fairly insignifi-
cant-consistently undermine the usefulness of Richardson's book and
indeed raise doubts about whether it should have been published at all.
Ben K. Green: A Bibliography. By Robert A. Wilson. (Flagstaff, Ari-
zona: Northland Press, 1978. Pp. 158. Foreword, preface, illustra-
tions. $10.50.)
The late Ben K. Green has occasionally been referred to, literarily, as
"a unique figure." Joe B. Frantz characterized him, personally, as "a
maverick." Whatever else might be said of him, there can be little doubt
that he was a colorful character and of a genre not usually associated, in
the public's mind, with the fuzzy-browed or the writers of books. Yet, he


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 28, 2016.

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