THE REMNANTS OF POWER by Richard J. Walton


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Walton begins with the Macbird satire of Adlai Stevenson's fatal flaw, ""working within"" the councils of state for policy change. The book is the first to deal at length with Stevenson's last years, a sordid story from the point of view of his admirers. Walton is an admirer, also a U.N. broadcaster and a liberal who insists that the ""realists"" have produced one disaster after another. He admires Stevenson so much, in fact, that he confesses he'd rather say Adlai ""departed from the truth"" on the U.N. floor, than that he lied. But it isn't hagiography. Walton analyzes Stevenson's uncomfortably uninformed role as apologist for the Bay of Pigs, his aggressive response to the Cuban missile crisis, his contribution to the general Congo ""botch,"" as well as his disapproval of the Dominican intervention and his uniquely earnest advocacy of disarmament. The main issue is, of course, his true position on Vietnam. Walton weighs conflicting post mortem ascriptions. He concludes that Stevenson ""knew that the Johnson Administration not only did not want negotiations but would not admit that the possibility of talks existed."" And ""knew he was powerless to do anything about it."" But ""would have gone on playing the game,"" in his hypocritical, humiliating role as ""defense lawyer for the cold warriors."" A reliable readership here.

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 1968
Publisher: Coward-McCann