THE WEST AT BAY by Barbara Ward
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I found this exciting reading -- and would like to make it imperative reading for all intelligent world citizens. There's much in it that is unpalatable, straight from the shoulder; but even in her indictments she is so logical, so free of scareheads, so constructive, that her book should help clarify our thinking and formulate the direction of our action. Acknowledging that history is in the making and her very contentions may be past history, she presents -- with clarity and precision- her analysis of the basic causes in past and present of the dollar crisis in the world, the loss of productivity, the dislocation of trade, the cutting off of supplies from eastern Europe -- all symptoms of a deeper rooted dislocation. She examines the building of British supremacy in the 19th century -- and the subsequent dissolution of forces, the passing of an era, while American tariff walls created the initial dollar problem, a permanent shift in economic balance. She charts the critical collapse of Germany:- (a) war devastation; (b) the Potsdam agreement, with all their contradictions. The upset of Europe's colonial empire in the Far East and the awakening conscience towards the natives and their rights mean that old relationships cannot-and should not- be restored. In Europe itself the Communist challenge must be met. The old order failed because the shift in political and economic balance left a vacuum, and close association over a continued period of building for peace is essential to still Russian fears, save her pride. A Western Union is possible; criticism against it not valid when related to a free trading area, coordinated full employment, regional defense, establishment of regular organs of consultation. She analyzes, too, America's role -- going back to the painful readjustment of her isolationism, the acceptance of the Marshall Plan as a positive project in distinction to the negativism of the Truman Doctrine. She denies the charge of imperialism against America, the fear that the European Recovery Program is a spearhead, and proves her point. She frankly faces Britain's dilemma, charging the necessity of rising to the opportunity, the responsibility of leadership, the inevitability of each nation sacrificing something of sovereignty for the cause of survival. She points out some of the difficulties already encountered in leveling trade barriers, in fluctuating currencies, and she warns that American public opinion must be educated to the meaning of the dollar shortage- and its cure. While her emphasis is on economic union, she goes briefly into political aspects -- and the need for vision -- with complete assurance that it can be achived....A heartening and challenging book, which I hope will be widely read, widely discussed. It needs your aid.

Publisher: Norton