JOURNEY TO THE FAR PACIFIC by Thomas E. Dewey

JOURNEY TO THE FAR PACIFIC

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Newsworthy, this thoughtful analysis of his findings on a ""journey to the Far Pacific"" in 1951. Governor Dewey was on an ""unofficial mission"", but was everywhere received as was fitting his position as leader of his party in the United States. In final summing up, one major recommendation and warning emerges:-""We cannot make Asia over in our image"". We've been told this repeatedly; perhaps from Thomas Dewey the word will carry weight. Indo-China, Malaya, Burma, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Formosa, Indonesia -- a far flung area, paralleling to a large extent that compassed by Michener (The Voice of Asia). The approach is quite different, for Dewey talked almost entirely with the heads of government:- Emperor Bao Dai in Indo China, also President Hun and General de Lattro; Malcolm MacDonald, Commissioner General of the United Kingdom for Southeast Asia in Malaya; numerous top officials, including General Chiang Kai-shek in Formosa; Ambassador Sebald, the Emperor and others in Japan; Ambassador Cochran in Indonesia -- these are a few of the many interviewed. He gives thumbnail impressions, attempts to convey their points of view, and- all in all -- gives an impression that, despite the incredible difficulties, poverty, want, hardship, the march of nationalism goes on. Our aid and support is needed. Point Four, to be of value, must send capable and earnest workers and leaders as well as funds; we must cease to pillory out public servants if we are to get the kind of men we need; we must recognize that the cold war can go by default to Russia if we permit her to dominate the propaganda war. Despite a note of challenge and courage and idealism, the overall picture is grim:- shortage of raw materials, discrepancy between earnings and costs as inflation spirals, the grim aftermath of war in devastation, disintegration, and so on. But here and there is a gleam of light, if only we can see it through Asiatic eyes. Some of his comments will shock his adherents; it is a realistic, unpretty record. No particular fire in the writing, but sincere, competent piece of perceptive reporting.

Pub Date: July 14th, 1952
Publisher: Doubleday