A very important publication, but a book that is virtually impossible to assess from the angle of immediate sales value....


TURBENT EAR: A Diplomatic Record of Forty Years, 1904-1945

A very important publication, but a book that is virtually impossible to assess from the angle of immediate sales value. Undoubtedly, it provides vital evidence at primary source level of actual step by step procedure during key periods and at key points (Germany- Switzerland- Turkey- Japan, to name the five most important assignments). For this is the day by day diary, kept over many years; it includes formal and informal communications between Mr. Grew's posts and Washington; it ranges from official documents to personal letters, from expanded commentary and frequently criticism, to public speeches. The first decade of a young diplomat's career- 1904-14 -- reflects a vanished age when the kid glove era of polite diplomacy was more a social responsibility than one involving world shaking decisions. Mr. Grew brought more to it than that, using his posts (Egypt, Mexico, St. Petersburg, Berlin, Vienna) to interpret the significance of events. That he confessedly missed proper interpretation at times was inevitable, as was his acceptance of Germany's statement of her own position in the early months of war, when the diplomatic corps was cut off from direct contact with the outside world. Following the defeat of Germany, Mr. Grew's experience was drawn upon for the laborious, heart-breaking months of negotiation and the tragic finality of the so-called peace, with all the seeds of future war. Posts in Denmark and Switzerland (where he negotiated the abortive Turkish pact)- then an interesting five years in Turkey, in the first flush of youth of the new regime -- and back to the United States, as Under Secretary, first under Rughes, then Kellogg. His best known assignment came next- ten years in Japan, ten pregnant years, which have been briefly assessed in Report from Tokyo and Ten Years in Japan (Simon & Schuster). In this definitive work, those years are presented step by step. Finally, his service in the years of war and the negotiations for peace.... Not demand reading for the layman, but virtually a concentrated course in what constitutes the making of a diplomat- for professionals.

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 1952


Page Count: -

Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1952