United States Foreign Policy in the Interwar Period, 1918-1941: The Golden Age of American Diplomatic and Military Complacency

Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001 - 230 pages

This study presents an in-depth survey of the principal policies and personalities of American diplomacy of the era, together with a discussion of recent historiography in the field. For two decades between the two world wars, America pursued a foreign policy course that was, according to Rhodes, shortsighted and self-centered. Believing World War I had been an aberration, Americans na^Dively signed disarmament treaties and a pact renouncing war, while eschewing such inconveniences as enforcement machinery or participation in international organizations. Smug moral superiority, a penurious desire to save money, and naíveté ultimately led to the neglect of America's armed forces even as potential rivals were arming themselves to the teeth.

In contrast to the dynamic drive of the New Deal in domestic policy, foreign policy under Franklin D. Roosevelt was often characterized by a lack of clarity and, reflecting Roosevelt's fear of isolationists and pacifists, by presidential explanations that were frequently evasive, incomplete, or deliberately misleading. One of the period's few successes was the bipartisan Good Neighbor policy, which proved far-sighted commercially and strategically. Rhodes praises Cordell Hull as the outstanding secretary of state of the time, whose judgment was often more on target than others in the State Department and the executive branch.


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Table des matières

United States Foreign Policy in the Inter war Period A Historiographical Overview
Wilson and Democratic Peacemaking A Tragic Beginning to the Interwar Era
Harding Hughes and Republican Moral Diplomacy
Foreign Policy Under Coolidge and Kellogg A Relative Bed of Roses
Foreign Policy Under Hoover and Stimson A Bed of Pain
Early New Deal Foreign Policy The Limits of Improvisation
The Good Neighbor Policy A Bipartisan Accomplishment
Congressional Neutrality Roosevelt the British and Bankers as Performing Circus Animals
The Shifting of the Foreign Policy Momentum
Aid to Britain Short of War
Japan and the United States Miscalculate
Selected Bibliography
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À propos de l'auteur (2001)

BENJAMIN D. RHODES is Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Rhodes is the author of The Anglo-American Winter War with Russia, 1918-1919: A Diplomatic and Military Tragicomedy (1988), and James P. Goodrich, Indiana's Governor Strangelove: A Republican's Infatuation with Soviet Russia (1996). Author of numerous articles, he has also been a Fulbright lecturer in Finland and the People's Republic of China.

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