Papers and reactor discussion from an Institute for Policy Studies conference held in September of last year; the 18...

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PEACE WITH CHINA?

Papers and reactor discussion from an Institute for Policy Studies conference held in September of last year; the 18 participants represent ""two functional poles. . . the radical policy critic and the government servant"" and include editor Ravenal, Leslie Gelb, Morton Halperin, Richard Falk, Pierre Sprey, Seymour Melman, Richard Kaufman, and Daniel Ellsberg, obviously warming up for l'affaire Pentagon Papers with (then) cryptic references to the ""internal record,"" etc. Most of the heavy thinking centers on trying to make sense out of the amorphous Nixon Doctrine, agreed by the conferees to be the cornerstone of our current Asian policy. About the only concrete conclusion to emerge is that the Doctrine means practically anything Mr. Nixon wants it to -- a seemingly weary Ravenal epilogues it like this: ""It is difficult to discern what, if anything, it confers on the diverse and sometimes irreconcilable actions that are identified as flowing from it."" There are some useful, still pertinent pieces here -- for example Melman's polemic on the economic consequences of military disengagement and Falk's skeptical ""Never Again?"" with a lively follow-up discussion (in which pro-Nixon Gelb declares himself ""agnostic, not conservative""). But most of it is high blown, circumvolutory, veiled, excessively qualified musings by men looking through the sinological keyhole because that's the only view available. An examination of the logic of our China policy for those hands who want to feel the quintessential confusion.

Pub Date: Dec. 7, 1971

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Liveright

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1971