The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 39, July 1935 - April, 1936 Page: 336
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
edly sought to conceal their aggression in channels of secret in-
trigue (and publicly to deny it) or, where concealment was im-
possible, to carry it on openly but under the garb of false pro-
fessions (alleging idealistic motives), it may well be wondered if
they were conscious of the "morality" of their aggressive policy.
It seems rather doubtful.
Professor Weinberg cautions against the "superficial" tendency
to view as hypocritical the "altruistic" arguments used by Ameri-
cans in some cases to justify their expansion at the expense of
their neighbors. He tells us also that national growth, like bio-
logical growth, may be viewed as commendable. From the ex-
panding nation's point of view at least this may be true enough.
It seems to the reviewer that in most episodes in our expansion
involving aggression upon our neighbors no altruism was seri-
ously alleged, and that in cases where altruism was alleged the
sincerity of the profession (sometimes very plainly an after-
thought) by no means is ever above doubt. Though some read-
ers may dislike the apologetic tone of Professor Weinberg's work,
perhaps this tone is after all but a small matter.
The author has brought together, under logical divisions, a vast
array of expansionist ideology from the mouths and pens of
American expansionists of every time and circumstance of our
national history. While the work is not a factual survey of Ameri-
can expansionist diplomacy, it is supplementary in that it shows
American public opinion and, according to the author, the ideo-
logical "springs of action." Materialistic readers will probably
dissent from the importance which the author attaches to the
"Manifest Destiny" ideology as effective cause of expansion, and
continue to seek the basic causes and motives for expansion in
economic and sociological factors, viewing the accompanying
ideology as largely though not entirely mere epiphenomena, an
ineffectual froth, a rationalization of our expansionist cravings in
the day of our national adolescence-now of interest chiefly be-
cause of its appeal to the patriotic, rationalizing, and cynical parts
of our minds.
The value of the study in any reader's mind will depend on the
reader's view as to the true status and importance of ideas in
human life, i. e., their relation to action.
RICHARD R. STENBERG.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 39, July 1935 - April, 1936, periodical, 1936; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101095/m1/362/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.