PEACE AND COUNTERPEACE: From Wilson To Hitler by Hamilton Fish Armstrong


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Through his family, his father's diplomatic ties, school, the New York Evening Post, and his own talents, Armstrong had a great many connections when he became assistant editor on the new journal Foreign Affairs in 1922. This unpretentious memoir is largely a scrapbook of travels and acquaintances between the World Wars, which wilt appeal to diplomacy buffs and general readers in history. Armstrong knew or met with Smuts, Harry Luce, Count Sforza, Poincare, Lord Bryce, Clemenceau, Balfour, Lindbergh, Quintillana, Bibesco, FDR, Lady Astor, and a whole slew more; in 1033 Hitler talked at him, and in a real conversation Mussolini expressed his reservations about Hitler. Armstrong's special interest is Eastern Europe: one witnesses his long friendship with King Alexander of Yugoslavia; Bulgarian terrorism; Count Karolyi and Marie of Rumania; talks with Benes and reverence for Masaryk: Italian designs on Albania; Paderewski; and Sarajevo background. The most detailed American passages recount the postwar years of Colonel House and his reflections on his split with Wilson. Armstrong writes with patrician simplicity and informality, in a good-natured pictorial style, largely refraining from first-hand analysis; he is no Nicolson, but lets the protagonists speak for themselves, revivifying the historical morgue rather than sorting it out. The book has its flavor to recommend it -- it's hard to see Armstrong as the Dulles supporter he became, given this benign era of liberal internationalism. when Republicans were isolationists and Foreign Affairs printed Dewey, Laski, Kautsky, Radek, and Bukharin.

Pub Date: June 16th, 1971
Publisher: Harper & Row