Politics forgotten -- or set aside --, Willkie resurveys his round the world mission with a wholly human objectivity, and...



Politics forgotten -- or set aside --, Willkie resurveys his round the world mission with a wholly human objectivity, and presents the panorama of his journeyings through thirteen war-circled countries, and his findings. The result is easy reading, and -- in its very earnestness and simplicity and directness, he will reach a broad level of readers that a more profound book might miss. Egypt -- the Near East -- Turkey- Russia -- Iraq -- Yakutsk (in Siberia) -- into China via the little known northwest provinces (Eastern Turkistan), these were the high spots, and some of this territory has been untouched by other visitors, and all of it is seen with fresh viewpoint of a man who is strongest in his ability to touch human emotions. Occasionally, he strays from the subject uppermost in his mind, -- the war, and the interrelations of warring (and neutral) nations, and discusses the problems of the future welfare of backward countries. He senses the ferment in the lower classes in countries of the Near East, where there is no middle class and where the Soviet experiment is having profound repercussions. He goes to Russia, prepared to be immune to Soviet propaganda, and is convinced in spite of himself that here is perhaps the biggest single factor of today and tomorrow, -- an effective society in a country now our ally, ultimately our partner in shaping a postwar world. He has a profound regard for Stalin, and a clarity of understanding of the challenge we must meet, and a hope that a basis for better understanding car be found. This book should go far towards meeting that hope. His visit to China brought out many interesting points of a China of which we hear little, a China taking slow but sure steps towards industrialisation, a Chinese Communism that is a national and agrarian awakening rather than a proletarian conspiracy, a China that has its own western frontier for ultimate expansion and development. The last quarter of the book presents his conclusions. Our ""reservoir of good will"" is immense but not inexhaustible; it has had heavy drains, in the inadequacy of our fulfilment of promises in our policy of expediency in North Africa, in Spain, in our uncertainty about expressing our postwar aims, in our lack of unity at home and lack of a common council through the United Nations. We must accept the challenge of economic plus political cooperation; we must fight bigotry and persecution on the home front; we must canalise and stabilize a foreign policy and take it out of politics, we must plan for peace on a world basis -- now not tomorrow, we must know this is ""One World""....The publishers are backing this with their usual vigor. It will sell!

Pub Date: April 15, 1943


Page Count: -

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1943