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A foreign policy for Americans

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding: 127 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (1952)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0007FQCF0
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,407,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
A week or so ago, the editor of a well-known antiwar site published an article titled "Why is John McCain Running Against Robert A. Taft?", citing the presumptive GOP nominee's fulminations against Ron Paul and other "isolationists." Given that Paul's "Revolution" has brought so many new "isolationists" into the party, it might be a good time to review one of the important political statements of the man that editor identified as one of the fathers of modern anti-interventionism, Senator Robert A. Taft.

"A Foreign Policy for Americans" was published in 1951, when Taft was the leading representative of (what we now call) "the Old Right" in Congress and seen as a frontrunner for the GOP's presidential nomination the following year. By then, he had already built his reputation as an anti-interventionist by opposing American entry into world war two as well as Lend-Lease and other support for the combatant nations. By the time of this book, Taft was grappling with the onset of the Cold War, the need to address the "Russian menace," and the proper role of America in international pacts and organizations. On the whole, his position is much more nuanced than the "raise the drawbridge" caricature painted of "isolationists" today. On page 87, for example, he writes "I supported the bills for the arming of Greece and Turkey. I am quite willing to support arms aid to Great Britain and France to the extent that they are not able to arm themselves, although the providing of such arms should be a first call on their own budgets, and arms aid should not be provided by the United States simply to prevent some slight reduction in their civilian standard of living."

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Format: Unknown Binding
I have often wondered why Robert Taft was unable to gain the republican nomination for President in 1952. Readers will recall that Eisenhower, whose party affiliation had previously been unknown, was nominated by the republicans that year. But Taft was the traditional, and natural, leader of the party. So, why, I wondered, was "Ike's" insurgent campaign successful. Perhaps this short and otherwise unremarkable book provides the answer.

If we can judge a man's thinking by what they write, Robert Taft was no intellectual giant. He was rather just another pedestrian politician. His remedy, relative to foreign policy in the 1950's herein recorded, was pretty much to do whatever the democrats were not doing. Now, this could, we grant, make for a decent platform, in some cases. But we really would expect some original ideas out of the natural leader of the GOP. And, in this short and entirely forgettable book, we get none.

The writing is fairly decent. And it is interesting, at least, to grasp what a sad state foreign affairs had then fallen into in the US after the disastrous presidencies of Roosevelt and Truman. But seek not innovative ideas here. They are, sadly, not to be found.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
a must read for every American!
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