ELIHU ROOT AND THE CONSERVATIVE TRADITION by Richard W. Leopold

ELIHU ROOT AND THE CONSERVATIVE TRADITION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A succinct biography of Root relates his career to the evolution of American foreign and domestic policy since 1900 and pays tribute to him as a maker of machinery for honest government, effective military administration, pan-Americanism and realistic diplomacy. The study follows his career chronologically, first picturing him as a natural product of 19th century conservative tradition. His importance began when he was appointed Secretary of War for McKinley in 1899 and during his tenure reorganized the army and advocated a limited colonialism in Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Philippines. Later as Secretary of State he started the consular system in diplomacy, saw the United States' important stake in world peace- though his vision, a life-long one, was of international law and arbitration more than a league of states to keep balance. During the progressivism from 1910 on Root went through a conflict of loyalties, but emerged as a champion of conservatism which if it did not endorse the League of Nations idea, took full part in a struggle for a more balanced internationalism. The remainder of his active career bears this out. A study that looks to his ideals as reminders for the present.

Pub Date: May 3rd, 1954
Publisher: Little, Brown