WASHINGTON AND OTHER MEMORIES by Sir Arthur Willert

WASHINGTON AND OTHER MEMORIES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The unpretentious, informal but well-disciplined memoirs of the London Times' chief Washington correspondent during the period from 1906 to 1920. Willert was also an aide to the British war mission which tried to increase pro-war sentiment among Americans in 1917, and after he left the Times he built a publicity machine for the Foreign Office. He knew a great many important Americans and was friendly with FDR and Frankfurter; his compatriots come across more sharply, though, in the infighting at the Times, administrative changes and appeasement policies at Whitehall, the self-inflation of Curzon and the difficulties Simon had at the Disarmament Conference. The most revelatory aspect of the book is Willert's unselfconscious account of how he and the British Ambassador and other deputies worked with Lansing, Taft, Elihu Root and others to pressure Wilson -- whose reluctance he seems to exaggerate -- into entering World War I. Other American memories range from the mass strikes of 1919 -- ""Labor conditions were worse than those of England"" -- to the anti-Nazi sentiment he found everywhere on his lecture tours in the late '30's. No special importance but a nice straightforward flavor.

Pub Date: Jan. 20th, 1971
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin