The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 85, July 1981 - April, 1982 Page: 354
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
and of the curious defeat-in-victory that was Woodrow Wilson's, and
the nation's, bitter lot" (p. vii). In a lucid, well-written study, Kennedy
develops this theme as he examines foreign and domestic events after
April 6, 1917. Over Here is a provocative and thoughtful work that
does much to remedy the persistent neglect of this conflict in the writ-
ing of American history.
The author's research takes in American and British official records
and private manuscript collections in this country. He uses these
sources to particular advantage in the chapter "The Political Economy
of War: The International Dimension." There are, however, some
apparent omissions that are puzzling. The papers of Theodore Roose-
velt, William Howard Taft, and Elihu Root are important for Re-
publican opinion and should have been used. Furthermore, since
Kennedy regards Postmaster General Albert S. Burleson of Texas as a
primary architect of the Wilson administration's deplorable record on
civil liberties, he might have examined the Burleson Papers at the
Library of Congress and in the archives of the University of Texas at
Austin. They would have revealed that Burleson was not a Populist,
but drew his biases from the conservative wing of the Democratic party.
Much of the book is so good that its periodic lapses are discordant.
Kennedy errs about the nature of the German "peace feeler" in De-
cember, 1916, and does not always make clear why reasonable people
could have regarded a German triumph with apprehension. As Wil-
liam C. Widenor has well shown, Henry Cabot Lodge's foreign-policy
views had a more complex intellectual basis than simply a distaste for
Wilson and a lust for partisan advantage. The brief discussion of the
League of Nations does not reflect the work of Ralph A. Stone and
Herbert F. Margulies on the Republican opposition to the Treaty of
Despite the book's title, some aspects of the home front in wartime
receive little notice. There is still a need for a comprehensive look at
the prohibitionist movement during the war, and more work would
illuminate the triumph of woman suffrage. The role of the states also
is given only passing mention. The Texas State Council of Defense,
for example, was important in the repression of dissent. The treatment
of the Red Scare relies on Robert K. Murray and would have gained
from a fresh look at the primary sources. Kennedy is ambivalent about
Wilson's own views on civil liberties. The evidence he presents sug-
gests strongly that the president had an intolerant administration be-
cause that policy best accorded with his own beliefs.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 85, July 1981 - April, 1982, periodical, 1981/1982; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101208/m1/400/: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.