The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975

Book Reviews

but Horton rarely attempts to probe beneath the surface that Maxey's own
letters present.
If such peripheral actors in Texas history as Samuel Bell Maxey can
have a published biography, perhaps more central characters like Joseph
Weldon Bailey, Richard Coke, and Edward M. House will soon attract
adequate, book-length studies from state historians. One may hope so.
The University of Texas Press did not give this marginally useful volume
its customary careful job of proofreading.
University of Texas at Austin LEWIS L. GoULD
Essays on American Foreign Policy. By David C. DeBoe, Van Mitchell
Smith, Elliott West, and Norman A. Graebner. (Austin: University of
Texas Press, 1974. Pp. 146. Bibliography, footnotes. $5.)
In this collection, the eighth volume of the Walter Prescott Webb Memo-
rial Lectures, two essays deal with American attempts to uphold the post-
Versailles international treaty structure, one studies American roots of the
Cold War, and one examines the American role regarding emerging na-
David DeBoe, an admirer of Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson's strug-
gle to change the direction of American foreign policy at the beginning of
the I930s, challenges the thesis that the Kellogg-Briand Pact was a mean-
ingless gesture. Aware of "the pact's true potential" (p. 34), Stimson effec-
tively used the 1928 agreement as a tool during the Mukden incident and
the Geneva Disarmament Conference to move the United States away from
noninvolvement and toward collaboration with other nations. Throughout
the account, DeBoe lauds the secretary's limited success and deplores the
presidential timidity and the forces of isolationism which prevented the
United States from moving any further toward accepting its responsibilities
as a world power.
Norman Graebner, in a carefully argued essay, stresses the bankruptcy
of American policy toward Japan in the decade 1931-1941. From the
Hoover-Stimson Doctrine to Franklin Roosevelt's policy of escalation prior
to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States unrealistically
based its approach to Tokyo on the sanctity of the "outmoded treaty struc-
ture" (p. 128) of the 192os rather than its limited power and interests in
the Far East. Most historians today will agree with Graebner's conclusion
that indecisiveness, miscalculation, and inflexibility consistently marked the
United States response to Japan's imperial ambitions.
Moving beyond Pearl Harbor, Elliott West traces the changes in the


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 26, 2016.

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