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

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

American public's images of the Soviet Union during the critical years I94I
to I947. From a detailed investigation of newspapers and magazines, he
concludes that Americans retained deep-seated suspicions of the Soviet
system even during the war against Germany, and postwar disagreements
confirmed these suspicions, making the Cold War virtually inevitable.
Operating on the assumption that public opinion helps to define "the pa-
rameters of this country's diplomatic policies" (p. 84), West implicitly
places much of the responsibility for the onset of the Cold War on oversim-
plified popular perceptions.
Finally, Van Mitchell Smith provides a sympathetic treatment of John
F. Kennedy's foreign policy approach to Africa. Instead of criticizing the
disparity between the young president's rhetoric and actions or his view of
Africa as a new prize in the struggle between democracy and communism,
Smith applauds his skilful combination of ideas and practical considerations
in policy-making. Throughout this study, which relies mainly on earlier ac-
counts by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and Theodore Sorensen, Kennedy ap-
pears as a sensitive leader wisely trying to find a middle course toward
Africa acceptable to America's western allies and the Africans.
These essays are worth reading.
University of Georgia RICHARD EUBANKS
San Francisco, 1846-1856: From Hamlet to City. By Roger W. Lotchin.
(New York: Oxford University Press, 1974. Pp. xxvi+406. Illustra-
tions, notes, index. $12.50.)
In the ten years that followed California's seizure by the United States,
San Francisco multiplied its under-a-thousand population by a factor of
fifty; outlasted invasions of miners, doxies, and vigilantes; built saloons,
theaters, and churches; shot, hung, and elected to public office some of its
less worthy citizens; survived the boom of the Gold Rush and the weariness
of the mid-fifties depression; and emerged one of the few unique cities in
this nation. Such a tumultuous decade left a confusing heritage to which
Roger Lotchin brings order and coherence in the latest volume of Oxford
University Press's The Urban Life in America Series.
San Francisco was no preordained city. Better sites existed on the bay
toward which land speculators such as Thomas O. Larkin and Robert
Semple unsuccessfully tried to divert development. While beating back such
competition, the Bay City experienced explosive growth that compounded
the problem of creating a viable economy in a city without an accessible
hinterland. Housing a polyglot population from Europe, Asia, and North

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117149/. Accessed January 26, 2015.