Revisionism and the Historical Blackout - Henry Elmer Barnes

How War Has Transformed the American Dream into a Nightmare

The first World War and American intervention therein marked an ominous turning point in the history of the United States and of the world. Those who can remember "the good old days" before 1914 inevitably look back to those times with a very definite and justifiable feeling of nostalgia. There was no income tax before 1913, and that levied in the early days after the amendment was adopted was little more than nominal. All kinds of taxes were relatively low. We had only a token national debt of around a billion dollars, which could have been paid off in a year without causing even a ripple in national finance. The total Federal budget in 1913 was $724,512,000, just about one percent of the present astronomical budget.

Ours was a libertarian country in which there was little or no witch-hunting and few of the symptoms and operations of the police state which have been developing here so drastically during the last decade. Not until our intervention in the first World War had there been sufficient invasions of individual liberties to call forth the formation of special groups and organizations to protect our civil rights. The Supreme Court could still be relied on to uphold the Constitution and safeguard the civil liberties of individual citizens.

Libertarianism was also dominant in Western Europe. The Liberal Party governed England from 1905 to 1914. France had risen above the reactionary coup of the Dreyfus affair, had separated Church and State, and had seemingly established the Third Republic with reasonable permanence on a democratic and liberal basis. Even Hohenzollern Germany enjoyed the usual civil liberties, had strong constitutional restraints on executive tyranny, and had established a workable system of parliamentary government.

Experts on the history of Austria-Hungary have recently been proclaiming that life in the Dual Monarchy after the turn of the century marked the happiest period in the experience of the peoples encompassed therein. Constitutional government, democracy, and civil liberties prevailed in Italy. Despite the suppression of the Liberal Revolution of 1905, liberal sentiment was making headway in Tsarist Russia and there was decent prospect that a constitutional monarchy might be established. Civilized states expressed abhorrence of dictatorial and brutal policies. Edward VII of England blacklisted Serbia after the court murders of 1903.

Enlightened citizens of the Western world were then filled with buoyant hope for a bright future for humanity. It was believed that the theory of progress had been thoroughly vindicated by historical events. Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward, published in 1888, was the prophetic bible of that era. People were confident that the amazing developments in technology would soon produce abundance, security, and leisure for the multitude.

In this optimism in regard to the future no item was more evident and potent than the assumption that war was an outmoded nightmare. Not only did idealism and humanity repudiate war but Norman Angell and others were assuring us that war could not be justified, even on the basis of the most sordid material interest. Those who adopted a robust international outlook were devoted friends of peace, and virtually all international movements had as their sole aim the devising and implementing of ways and means to assure permanent peace. Friends of peace were nowhere isolationist, in any literal sense, but they did stoutly uphold the principle of neutrality and sharply criticized provocative meddling in every political dogfight in the most remote reaches of the planet.

In our own country, the traditional American foreign policy of benign neutrality, and the wise exhortations of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay to avoid entangling alliances and to shun foreign quarrels were still accorded respect in the highest councils of state.

Unfortunately, there are relatively few persons today who can recall those happy times. In his devastatingly prophetic book, Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell points out that one reason why it is possible for those in authority to maintain the barbarities of the police state is that nobody is able to recall the many blessings of the period which preceded that type of society. In a general way this is also true of the peoples of the Western world today. The great majority of them have known only a world ravaged by war, depressions, international intrigues and meddling, vast debts and crushing taxation, the encroachments of the police state, and the control of public opinion and government by ruthless and irresponsible propaganda. A major reason why there is no revolt against such a state of society as that in which we are living today is that many have come to accept it as a normal matter of course, having known nothing else during their lifetimes.

A significant and illuminating report on this situation came to me recently in a letter from one of the most distinguished social scientists in the country and a resolute revisionist. He wrote:

"I am devoting my seminar this quarter to the subject of American foreign policy since 1933. The effect upon a Roosevelt-bred generation is startling, indeed. Even able and mature students react to the elementary facts like children who have just been told that there is (or was) no Santa Claus." This is also an interesting reflection on the teaching of history today. The members of the seminar were graduate students, nearly all of whom had taken courses in recent American and European history which covered in some detail the diplomacy of Europe and the United States during the last twenty years.

A friend who read the preceding material suggested that laboring men would be likely to give me a "horselaugh." That some would is no doubt true, but the essential issue would be the validity of the grounds for so doing. Being a student of the history of labor problems, I am aware of many gains for labor since 1914. I can well remember when the working day was ten hours long and the pay was $1.50. But I can also remember when good steak cost fifteen cents a pound and the best whisky eighty-five cents a quart. Moreover, the father, even if he earned only $1.50 a day, had every assurance that he could raise his family with his sons free from the shadow of the draft and butchery in behalf of politicians. The threat of war did not hang over him. There are some forms of tyranny worse than that of an arbitrary boss in a nonunion shop. Finally, when one considers the increased cost of living and the burden of taxation, it is doubtful if a man who earns $8.00 a day now is any better off materially than his father or grandfather who earned $1.50 in 1900.

For the sad state of the world today, the entry of the United States into two world wars has played a larger role than any other single factor. Some might attribute the admittedly unhappy conditions of our time to other items and influences than world wars and our intervention in them. No such explanation can be sustained. Indeed, but for our entry into the two world wars, we should be living in a far better manner than we did before 1914. The advances in technology since that time have brought the automobile into universal use, have given us good roads, and have produced the airplane, radio, moving pictures, television, electric lighting and refrigeration, and numerous other revolutionary contributions to human service, happiness, and comforts. If all this had been combined with the freedom, absence of high taxation, minimum indebtedness, low armament expenditures, and pacific outlook of pre-1914 times, the people of the United States might, right now, be living in Utopian security and abundance.

A radio commentator recently pointed out that one great advantage we have today over 1900 is that death from disease has been reduced and life expectancy considerably increased. But this suggests the query as to whether this is any real gain, in the light of present world conditions: Is it an advantage to live longer in a world of "thought-policing," economic austerity, crushing taxation, inflation, and perpetual warmongering and wars?

The rise and influence of Communism, military state capitalism, the police state, and the impending doom of civilization, have been the penalty exacted for our meddling abroad in situations which did not materially affect either our security or our prestige. Our national security was not even remotely threatened in the case of either World War. There was no clear moral issue impelling us to intervene in either world conflict. The level of civilization was lowered rather than elevated by our intervention.

While the first World War headed the United States and the world toward international disaster, the second World War was an even more calamitous turning point in the history of mankind. It may, indeed, have brought us—and the whole world—into the terminal episode of human experience. It certainly marked the transition from social optimism and technological rationalism into the "Nineteen Eighty-Four" pattern of life, in which aggressive international policies and war scares have become the guiding factor, not only in world affairs but also in the domestic, political, and economic strategy of every leading country of the world. The police state has emerged as the dominant political pattern of our times, and military state capitalism is engulfing both democracy and liberty in countries which have not succumbed to Communism.

The manner and extent to which American culture has been impaired and our well-being undermined by our entry into two world wars has been brilliantly and succinctly stated by Professor Mario A. Pei, of Columbia University, in an article on "The America We Lost" in the Saturday Evening Post, May 3, 1952, and has been developed more at length by Garet Garrett in his trenchant book, The People's Pottage.

Perhaps, by the mid-century, all this is now water under the bridge and little can be done about it. But we can surely learn how we got into this unhappy condition of life and society—at least until the police-state system continues its current rapid development sufficiently to obliterate all that remains of integrity and accuracy in historical writing and political reporting.

Revisionism After Two World Wars

The readjustment of historical writing to historical facts relative to the background and causes of the first World War—what is popularly known in the historical craft as "Revisionism"—was the most important development in historiography during the decade of the 1920's. While those historians at all receptive to the facts admitted that Revisionism readily won out in the conflict with the previously accepted wartime lore, many of the traditionalists in the profession remained true to the mythology of the war decade. Not so long ago one of the most eminent and revered of our professional historians, and a man who took a leading part in historical propaganda during the first World War, wrote that American historians had no reason to feel ashamed of their writings and operations in that period. That they had plenty to be ashamed of was revealed by C. Hartley Grattan in his article on "The Historians Cut Loose," in the American Mercury, reprinted in the form originally submitted to Mr. Mencken in my In Quest of Truth and Justice, and by Chapter XI of my History of Historical Writing. In any event, the revisionist controversy was the outstanding intellectual adventure in the historical field in the twentieth century down to Pearl Harbor.

Revisionism, when applied to the first World War, showed that the actual causes and merits of that conflict were very close to the reverse of the picture presented in the political propaganda and historical writings of the war decade. Revisionism would also produce similar results with respect to the second World War if it were allowed to develop unimpeded. But a determined effort is being made to stifle or silence revelations which would establish the truth with regard to the causes and issues of the late world conflict.

While the wartime mythology endured for years after 1918, nevertheless leading editors and publishers soon began to crave contributions which set forth the facts with respect to the responsibility for the outbreak of war in 1914, our entry into the war, and the basic issues involved in this great conflict. Sidney B. Fay began to publish his revolutionary articles on the background of the first World War in the American Historical Review in July, 1920. My own efforts along the same line began in the New Republic, the Nation, the New York Times, Current History Magazine, and the Christian Century in 1924 and 1925. Without exception, the requests for my contributions came from the editors of these periodicals, and these requests were ardent and urgent. I had no difficulty whatever in securing the publication of my Genesis of the World War in 1926, and the publisher thereof subsequently brought forth a veritable library of illuminating revisionist literature. By 1928, when Fay's Origins of the World War was published, almost everyone except the die-hards and bitter-enders in the historical profession had come to accept Revisionism, and even the general public had begun to think straight in the premises.

Quite a different situation faces the rise of any substantial Revisionism after the second World War. The question of war responsibility in relation to 1939 and 1941 is taken for granted as completely and forever settled. It is widely held that there can be no controversy this time. Since it is admitted by all reasonable persons that Hitler was a dangerous neurotic, who, with supreme folly, launched a war when he had everything to gain by peace, it is assumed that this takes care of the European aspects of the war-guilt controversy. With respect to the Far East, this is supposed to be settled with equal finality by asking the question: "Japan attacked us, didn't she?"

About as frequent as either of these ways of settling war responsibility for 1939 or 1941 is the vague but highly dogmatic statement that "we had to fight." This judgment is usually rendered as a sort of ineffable categorical imperative which requires no further explanation. But some who are pressed for an explanation will allege that we had to fight to save the world from domination by Hitler, forgetting General George C. Marshall's report that Hitler, far from having any plan for world domination, did not even have any well-worked-out plan for collaborating with his Axis allies in limited wars, to say nothing of the gigantic task of conquering Russia. Surely, after June 22, 1941, nearly six months before Pearl Harbor, there was no further need to fear any world conquest by Hitler.

Actually, if historians have any professional self-respect and feel impelled to take cognizance of facts, there is far greater need for a robust and aggressive campaign of Revisionism after the second World War than there was in the years following 1918. The current semantic folklore about the responsibility for the second World War which is accepted, not only by the public but also by most historians, is far wider of the truth than even the most fantastic historical mythology which was produced after 1914. And the practical need for Revisionism is even greater now than it was in the decade of the i920's.

The mythology which followed the outbreak of war in 1914 helped to produce the Treaty of Versailles and the second World War. If world policy today cannot be divorced from the mythology of the 1940's, a third world war is inevitable, and its impact will be many times more horrible and devastating than that of the second. The lessons learned from the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials have made it certain that the third world war will be waged with unprecedented savagery.

Vigorous as was the resistance of many, including powerful vested historical interests, to the Revisionism of the 1920's, it was as nothing compared to that which has been organized to frustrate and smother the truth relative to the second World War. Revisionists in the 1920's only risked a brisk controversy; those of today place in jeopardy both their professional reputation and their very livelihood at the hands of the "Smearbund." History has been the chief intellectual casualty of the second World War and the cold war which followed.

In many essential features, the United States has moved along into the "Nineteen Eighty-Four" pattern of intellectual life. But there is one important and depressing difference. In Nineteen Eighty-Four Mr. Orwell shows that historians in that regime have to be hired by the government and forced to falsify facts. In this country today, and it is also true of most other nations, many professional historians gladly falsify history quite voluntarily, and with no direct cost to the government. The ultimate and indirect cost may, of couse, be a potent contribution to incalculable calamity.

It may be said, with great restraint, that, never since the Middle Ages, have there been so many powerful forces organized and alerted against the assertion and acceptance of historical truth as are active today to prevent the facts about the responsibility for the second World War and its results from being made generally accessible to the American public. Even the great Rockefeller Foundation frankly admits the subsidizing of historians to anticipate and frustrate the development of any neo-Revisionism in our time. And the only difference between this foundation and several others is that it has been more candid and forthright about its policies. The Sloan Foundation later supplemented this Rockefeller grant. Charles Austin Beard summarized the implications of such efforts with characteristic vigor:

"The Rockefeller Foundation and the Council on Foreign Relations . . . intend to prevent, if they can, a repetition of what they call in the vernacular 'the debunking journalistic campaign following World War I.' Translated into precise English, this means that the Foundation and the Council do not want journalists or any other persons to examine too closely and criticize too freely the official propaganda and official statements relative to "our basic aims and activities" during World War II. In short, they hope that, among other things, the policies and measures of Franklin D. Roosevelt will escape in the coming years the critical analysis, evaluation and exposition that befell the policies and measures of Woodrow Wilson and the Entente Allies after World War I."

As is the case with nearly all book publishers and periodicals, the resources of the great majority of the foundations are available only to scholars and writers who seek to perpetuate wartime legends and oppose Revisionism. A good illustration is afforded by my experience with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation which helped to subsidize the book by Professors Langer and Gleason. I mentioned this fact in the first edition of my brochure on The Court Historians versus Revisionism. Thereupon I received a courteous letter from Mr. Alfred J. Zurcher, director of the Sloan Foundation, assuring me that the Sloan Foundation wished to be absolutely impartial and to support historical scholarship on both sides of the issue. He wrote in part:

"About the last thing we wish to do is to check and frustrate any sort of historical scholarship since we believe that the more points of view brought to bear by disciplined scholars upon the war or any other historical event is in the public interest and should be encouraged."

In the light of this statement, I decided to take Mr. Zurcher at his word. I had projected and encouraged a study of the foreign policy of President Hoover, which appeared to me a very important and much needed enterprise, since it was during his administration that our foreign policy had last been conducted in behalf of peace and in the true public interest of the United States rather than in behalf of some political party, foreign government, or dubious ideology. One of the most competent of American specialists in diplomatic history had consented to undertake the project, and he was a man not previously identified in any way with revisionist writing. My request was for exactly one thirtieth of the grant allotted for the Langer-Gleason book. The application was turned down by Mr. Zurcher with the summary statement: "I regret that we are unable to supply the funds which you requested for Professor _________'s study," He even discouraged my suggestion that he discuss the idea in a brief conference with the professor in question.

A state of abject terror and intimidation exists among the majority of professional American historians whose views accord with the facts on the question of responsibility for the second World War. Several leading historians and publicists who have read my brochure on The Struggle Against the Historical Blackout have written me stating that, on the basis of their own personal experience, it is an understatement of the facts. Yet the majority of those historians to whom it has been sent privately have feared even to acknowledge that they have received it or possess it. Only a handful have dared to express approval and encouragement. It is no exaggeration to say that the American Smearbund, operating through newspaper editors and columnists, "hatchet-men" book reviewers, radio commentators, pressure-group intrigue and espionage, and academic pressures and fears, has accomplished about as much in the way of intimidating honest intellectuals in this country as Hitler, Goebbels, Himmler, the Gestapo, and concentration camps were able to do in Nazi Germany.

The mental stalemate produced by this state of mind is well-illustrated in the review by Professor Fred Harvey Harrington of Professor Charles C. Tansill's "Back Door to War" in the Political Science Quarterly, December, 1952. Harrington, in private a moderate revisionist, goes so far as to state that there is "no documentation" for Professor Tansill's statement that the "main objective in American foreign policy since 1900 has been the preservation of the British Empire." This may be compared with the appraisal of the book by a resolute and unafraid revisionist, the eminent scholar, Professor George A. Lundberg, who, in a review in Social Forces, April, 1953, said with regard to the above contention by Tansill: "This thesis is documented to the hilt in almost 700 large pages."

Moreover, the gullibility of many "educated" Americans has been as notable as the mendacity of the "educators." In Communist Russia and Nazi Germany, as well as in Fascist Italy, and in China, the tyrannical rulers found it necessary to suppress all opposition thought in order to induce the majority of the people to accept the material fed them by official propaganda. But, in the United States, with almost complete freedom of the press, speech, and information down to the end of 1941, great numbers of Americans followed the official propaganda line with no compulsion whatever. This is a remarkable and ominous contrast, especially significant because it has been the "educated" element which has been most gullible in accepting official mythology, taking the population as a whole. And this situation has continued since 1945, though of course the public has been less able to get the truth from the avenues of information since V-J Day than it was before Pearl Harbor.

The opposition to Revisionism—that is, to truth in the premises—stems in part from emotional fixation on the mythology built up after 1937 and in part from personal loyalty to President Roosevelt and the naturally resulting desire to preserve the impeccability of the Roosevelt legend. In regard to the latter, the Roosevelt adulators are much more solicitous about defending their late chief's foreign policy than they are in upholding the infallibility of his much more creditable domestic program. There is, of course, a powerful vested political interest in perpetuating the accepted mythology about the causes, issues, and results of the second World War, for much of the public policy of the victorious United Nations since 1945 can only make sense and be justified on the basis of this mythology.

In the United States it was made the ideological basis of the political strategy of the Democratic party and the main political instrument by which it maintained itself in power until 1953. It has also been accepted by many outstanding leaders of the opposition party. It has been indispensable in arousing support for the economic policies which have been used to ward off a depression, with its probably disastrous political reverberations. The eminent railroad executive and astute commentator on world affairs, Robert R. Young, has stated the facts here with realistic clarity in the Commercial and Financial Chronicle:

"The clash between a foreign policy which makes sense to Americans and a foreign policy which makes sense to those who seek to perpetuate political office (patronage or prominence) is one which will only be resolved by prohibiting re-election. We are very naive when we describe American foreign policy of recent years as stupid. Indeed, that foreign policy has accomplished its object for it has kept in power (patronage and prominence), election after election, those who conceived and facilitated it."

Powerful pressure groups have also found the mythology helpful in diverting attention from their own role in national and world calamity.

In addition to the opposition of public groups to the truth about responsibility for the second World War, many historians and other social scientists have a strong professional and personal interest in perpetuating the prewar and wartime mythology. One reason why numerous historians opposed the truth relative to responsibility for the first World War and the main issues therein was that so many of them had taken an active part in spreading the wartime propaganda and had also worked for Colonel House's committee in preparing material for the peacemaking. A considerable number of them went to Paris with President Wilson on his ill-fated adventure. Naturally they were loath to admit that the enterprise in which they had played so prominent a part had proved to be both a fraud and a failure.

Today, this situation has been multiplied many fold. Historians and other social scientists veritably swarmed into the various wartime agencies after 1941, especially the 'Office of War Information' (OWI) and the 'Office of Strategic Services' (OSS) [Editor's Note: These agencies were later combined and evolved into the CIA]. They were intimately associated with the war effort and with the shaping of public opinion to conform to the thesis of the pure and limpid idealism and ethereal innocence of the United States and our exclusive devotion to self-defense and world betterment through the sword. Hence, the opposition of historians and social scientists to truth about the responsibility for the second World War and its obvious results is many times greater than it was in the years following the close of the first World War. Since the war several corps of court historians have volunteered to work to continue the elaboration of official mythology.

In addition, the State Department and the Army and Navy have a great swarm of historians dedicated to presenting history as their employers wish it to be written, and at the present time there is a new influx of American historians and social scientists into our "Ministry of Truth."

How the Historical Blackout Operates

The methods followed by the various groups interested in blacking out the truth about world affairs since 1932 are numerous and ingenious, but, aside from subterranean persecution of individuals, they fall mainly into the following patterns or categories: (1) excluding scholars suspected of revisionist views from access to public documents which are freely opened to "court historians" and other apologists for the foreign policy of President Roosevelt; (2) intimidating publishers of books and periodicals, so that even those who might wish to publish books and articles setting forth the revisionist point of view do not dare to do so; (3) ignoring or obscuring published material which embodies revisionist facts and arguments; and (4) smearing revisionist authors and their books.

1. Denying Access to Public Documents

There is a determined effort to block those suspected of seeking the truth from having access to official documents, other than those which have become public property. The outstanding official and court historians, such as Samuel Eliot Morison, William L. Langer, Herbert Feis, and the like, are given free access to the official archives. Only such things as the most extreme top secrets, like the so-called Kent Documents and President Roosevelt's communications with King George VI, carefully guarded at Hyde Park, are denied to them. Otherwise, they have freedom of access to official documents and the important private diaries of leading public officials.

Many of these important sources are, however, completely sealed off from any historian who is suspected of desiring to ascertain the full and unbiased truth with respect to American foreign policy since 1933. The man who is probably the outstanding scholarly authority on American diplomatic history found himself barred from many of the more important documents. Moreover, many of the notes which he had taken down from those documents he had been permitted to examine were later confiscated by State Department officials.

If the complete official documents would support the generally accepted views with respect to the causes and issues of the war, there would seem to be no reasonable objection to allowing any reputable historian to have free and unimpeded access to such materials. As Charles Austin Beard concisely stated the matter: "Official archives must be open to all citizens on equal terms, with special privileges for none; inquiries must be wide and deep as well as uncensored; and the competition of ideas in the forum of public opinion must be free from political interests or restraints."

The importance of freedom of the archives to writers of sound historical material has also been commented upon by the editor of the London Times Literary Supplement of April 18, 1952, in relation to the appearance of Professors William L. Langer and S. E. Gleason's The Struggle Against Isolation, 1937-1940 which was produced by the Rockefeller Foundation subsidy mentioned above:

"Once the principle is accepted that governments grant access to their archives to certain chosen historians and refuse it to others, it would be unrealistic to ignore the temptation that may arise in the future to let the choice fall on historians who are most likely to share the official view of the moment and to yield readily to discreet official promptings as to what is suitable, and what is unsuitable, for publication. When this happens, the last barrier on the road to 'official history' will have fallen.

2. Difficulties in Publishing Revisionist Materials

Some might sense that there is a seeming inconsistency between the statement that there has been an attempt to black out Revisionism after the second World War and the undoubted fact that important revisionist books have appeared sooner and in greater number since the second World War than they did after 1918. This gratifying situation in no way contradicts what has been said above relative to the far more vigorous opposition to Revisionism since 1945. Nearly all publishers were happy to publish revisionist volumes after 1918, or at least after 1923. But not a single major publisher has issued a revisionist book since 1945; neither is there any evidence that one will do so for years to come. Had not Charles Austin Beard possessed a devoted friend in Eugene Davidson of the Yale University Press, and had not the firms of Henry Regnery and Devin-Adair been in existence, it is very likely that not one revisionist book would have come from the press following V-J Day. For not only are historians who seek to establish the truth prevented from getting much of the material which they need, they also find it very difficult to secure the publication of books embodying such of the truth as they have been able to assemble from the accessible documents.

It would, naturally, be assumed that the first book to give the full inside information on the attack at Pearl Harbor would have been an exciting publishing adventure and that the manuscript would have been eagerly sought after by any and all book-publishing firms. Such, however, was far from the facts. After canvassing the publishing opportunities, George Morgenstern found that the Devin-Adair Company was the only one which had the courage to bring out his brilliant book. Pearl Harbor: the Story of the Secret War, in 1947.

Charles Austin Beard informed me that he was so convinced that none of his former commercial publishers would print his critical account of the Roosevelt foreign policy that he did not regard it as even worth while to inquire. He was fortunate enough to have a courageous friend who was head of one of the most important university presses in the country.

The fourth important revisionist book to push its way through the blackout ramparts was William Henry Chamberlin's America's Second Crusade. The history of the publication difficulties in connection with the book showed that, in the publishing world, there was no more inclination in 1950 than there had been previously to welcome the truth with respect to President Roosevelt's foreign policy and the second World War.

Chamberlin is a distinguished author. He has written many important books and they have been published by leading publishing houses. But none of his former commercial publishers was interested in the manuscript, though it is probably the most timely and important work Chamberlin has written. The head of one large publishing house, himself a noted publicist, declared his deep personal interest in the book but stated that he did not feel it ethical to jeopardize the financial interests of his company through risking retaliation from the blackout contingent. Two university presses turned down the manuscript, though in each case the director attested to the great merit of the book. That it was finally brought out was due to the courage and public spirit of Henry Regnery, who has published more realistic books relative to the second World War than all other American publishers combined. Yet Chamberlin's work is neither sensational nor extreme. It is no more than an honest and actually restrained statement of the facts that every American citizen needs to have at hand if we are to avoid involvement in a devastating, fatal "third crusade."

A fifth revisionist book, Design for War, by an eminent New York attorney and expert on international law, Frederic R. Sanborn, appeared early in 1951. It was published by the Devin-Adair Company which brought out Mr. Morgenstern's volume.

The sixth and definitive revisionist volume, Professor Charles Callan Tansill's Back Door to War: The Roosevelt Foreign Policy , 1933-1941, was published by Regnery. Professor Tansill's previous publishers were not interested in the book.

In a trenchant article on "A Case History in Book Publishing," in the American Quarterly, Winter, 1949, the distinguished university press editor, W. T. Couch, tells of the difficulties met with in inducing commercial publishers to print revisionist books, and he goes into detail about the problems encountered in securing a publisher for A. Frank Reel's courageous book, The Case of General Yamashita.

As a matter of fact, only two small publishing houses in the United States—the Henry Regnery Company and the Devin-Adair Company—have shown any consistent willingness to publish books which frankly aim to tell the truth with respect to the causes and issues of the second World War. Leading members of two of the largest publishing houses in the country have told me that, whatever their personal wishes in the circumstances, they would not feel it ethical to endanger their business and the property rights of their stockholders by publishing critical books relative to American foreign policy since 1933. And there is good reason for this hesitancy. The book clubs and the main sales outlets for books are controlled by powerful pressure groups which are opposed to truth on such matters. These outlets not only refuse to market critical books in this field but also threaten to boycott other books by those publishers who defy their blackout ultimatum.

When such critical books do get into the bookstores, the sales department frequently refuses to display or promote them. It required the personal intervention of the head of America's largest retail store to insure that one of the leading critical volumes was displayed upon the counter of the book department of the store. In the American Legion Monthly, February, 1951, Irene Kuhn revealed the efforts of many bookstores to discourage the buying of books critical of administration foreign policy. A striking example of how blackout pressures are able to discourage the sale of revisionist books is the experience at Macy's, in New York City, with the Chamberlin book. Macy's ordered fifty copies and returned forty as unsold. If the book could have been distributed on its merits, Macy's would certainly have sold several thousand copies.

Not only are private sales discouraged, but equally so are sales to libraries. Mr. Regnery discovered that, six months after its publication, there was not one copy of the Chamberlin book in any of the forty-five branches of the New York City Public Library. Another sampling study of the situation in libraries throughout the country showed that the same situation prevailed in most of the nation's libraries, not only in respect to the Chamberlin book, but also in the case of other revisionist volumes like John T. Flynn's The Roosevelt Myth. Some of the reasons for this are explained by Oliver Carlson in an article on "Slanted Guide to Library Selections" in The Freeman, January 14, 1952. As an example, the most influential librarian in the United States has described George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four as "paranoia in literature."

The attempt to suppress or exclude revisionist materials from publication extends beyond the book-publishing trade. Whereas, in the late 1920's and early 1930's, all of the more important periodicals were eager to publish competent revisionist articles by reputable scholars, no leading American magazine will today bring out a frank revisionist article, no matter what the professional distinction of the author. Most of them, indeed, even refuse to review revisionist books. The Progressive has been the only American periodical which has, with fair consistency, kept its columns open to such material, and its circulation is very limited.

While the periodicals are closed to neo-revisionist materials, they are, of course, wide open and eager for anything which continues the wartime mythology. If the authors of such mythology did not feel reasonably assured that answers to their articles could not be published, it is unlikely that they would risk printing such amazing whitewash as that by General Sherman Miles on "Pearl Harbor in Retrospect," in the Atlantic Monthly; July, 1948, and Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison's vehement attack on Charles Austin Beard in the August, 1948, issue of the same magazine.

Now, Admiral Morison is an able historian of nautical matters and a charming man personally. But his pretensions to anything like objectivity in weighing responsibility for the second World War can hardly be sustained. In his Foreword to Morison's Battle of the Atlantic, the late James Forrestal let the cat out of the bag. He revealed that, as early as 1942, Morison had suggested to President Roosevelt that the right kind of history of naval operations during the war should be written, and modestly offered his "services" to do the job so as to reflect proper credit upon the administration. Roosevelt and Secretary Knox heartily agreed to this proposition and Morison was given a commission as captain in the Naval Reserve to write the official history of naval operations in the second World War.

If Roosevelt and Knox were alive today, they would have no reason to regret their choice of an historian. But, as a "court historian" and "hired man," however able, of Roosevelt and Knox, Admiral Morison's qualifications to take a bow to von Ranke and pass stern judgment on the work of Beard, whom no administration or party was ever able to buy, are not convincing. President Truman's announcement in the newspapers on January 14, 1951, indicated that Morison's services have been recognized and that he is apparently to be court-historian-in-chief during the opening phases of our official entry into the "Nineteen Eighty-Four" system. But Morison's various attacks on Beard were handled with appropriate severity by Professor Howard K. Beale in his address before the American Historical Association on December 28, 1952, published in the August, 1953, issue of the Pacific Historical Review.

Another example of the accessibility of our leading periodicals to anti-revisionist materials was the publication of many articles smearing the reputation of Beard at the time of his death, some of the most bitter articles appearing in journals that had earlier regarded Beard as one of their most distinguished and highly welcome contributors.

Equally illustrative of the tendency to welcome any defense of the traditional mythology and exclude contrary opinions was the publication of the somewhat irresponsible article by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., on "Roosevelt and His Detractors" in the June, 1950, issue of Harper's Magazine. It was, obviously, proper for the editor to publish this article, but not equally defensible was his inability to "find space" for the publication of an answer, even by one of the outstanding contributors to Harper's.

Most of the professional historical magazines are as completely closed to the truth concerning the responsibility for and merits of the second World War, as are the popular periodicals. Likewise, the great majority of our newspapers are highly hostile to material questioning the traditional mythology about the causes and results of this war. The aversion of the New York Times to the truth about Pearl Harbor ten years later is dealt with below.

3. Ignoring or Obscuring Revisionist Books

In case a revisionist book squeezes through the publishing blackout, almost invariably as a result of the courage of the two small publishing companies mentioned above, the blackout strategists are well prepared to circumvent the possibility of its gaining any wide circulation or popular acceptance. The most common procedure is to accord such books the silent treatment, namely, to refuse to review them at all. As one powerful pressure group has pointed out, this is the most effective way of nullifying the potential influence of any book. Even highly hostile and critical reviews attract attention to a book and may arouse controversy which will further publicize it. The silent treatment assures a still-birth to virtually any volume. The late Oswald Garrison Villard recounts his own personal experience with the silent-treatment strategy of editors today:

"I myself rang up a magazine which some months previously had asked me to review a book for them and asked if they would accept another review from me. The answer was 'Yes, of course. What book had you in mind?' I replied, 'Morgenstem's Pearl Harbor.'

"'Oh, that's that new book attacking F.D.R. and the war, isn't it?'


"'Well, how do you stand on it?'

"'I believe, since his book is based on the records of the Pearl Harbor inquiry, he is right.'

"'Oh, we don't handle books of that type. It is against our policy to do so.'"

The Henry Regnery Company of Chicago has been more courageous and prolific in the publication of substantial revisionist books than any other concern here or abroad. It has brought out such important books as Leonard von Muralt's From Versailles to Potsdam; Hans Rothfels' The German Opposition to Hitler; Victor Gollancz's In Darkest Germany; Freda Utley's The High Cost of Vengeance; Montgomery Belgion's Victor's Justice; Lord Hankey's Politics: Trials and Errors; William Henry Chamberlin's America's Second Crusade; and Charles Callan Tansill's Back Door to War. Mr. Regnery has shown me a careful survey of the treatment accorded these books by our leading newspapers and periodicals. Some have not been reviewed at all; most of them were reviewed sparingly. Almost invariably, when they have been noticed, they have been attacked with great ferocity and uniform unfairness.

The obscuring of the neo-revisionist material may further be illustrated by the space and position assigned to the reviews of Beard's American Foreign Policy in the Making, 1932-1940, and Morgenstern's Pearl Harbor in the American Historical Review and in other leading newspapers and periodicals.

Despite the revolutionary nature and vast importance of the Beard book, it was given only a page in the American Historical Review, but, amusingly enough, the reviewer used the brief space at his disposal to praise the book. This was not allowed to happen again. Though Morgenstern's book was perhaps the most important single volume published in the field of American history in the year 1947, it was relegated to a book note in the American Historical Review and was roundly smeared.

Of all the book-reviewing columnists in New York City papers, only one reviewed Morgenstern's book and he smeared it. The Saturday Review of Literature ignored it completely and so did most of the other leading periodicals. Though many infinitely less important books, from the standpoint of timeliness and intrinsic merit of content, received front-page positions therein, neither the Morgenstern book nor the Beard volume was given this place in the Sunday book-review sections of the New York Times or Herald Tribune. Had these books ardently defended the Roosevelt legend, they would assuredly have been assigned front-page positions. As Oswald Villard remarked of the Beard volume:

"Had it been a warm approval of F.D.R. and his war methods, I will wager whatever press standing I have that it would have been featured on the first pages of the Herald Tribune 'Books' and the Times literary section and received unbounded praise from Walter Millis, Allan Nevins, and other similar axe-men."

Mr. Villard's prophecy was vindicated after his death. When the supreme effort to salvage the reputation of Roosevelt and his foreign policy appeared in W.L. Langer and S.E. Gleason's Challenge to Isolation, 1937-1940, it was promptly placed on the front page of the Herald Tribune Book Review of January 20, 1952, and praised in lavish fashion.

Beard's book on President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, 1941, was so challenging that it could not be ignored. But it did not gain front-page position in either the New York Times or the Herald Tribune. Though reviewed in a number of newspapers and periodicals, the majority of the reviewers sought to discredit the book rather than to examine its facts and arguments in a spirit of fairness and integrity.

Chamberlin's America's Second Crusade was nowhere near as widely reviewed as the significance of the content of the book merited, irrespective of whether or not one agreed with all of the author's conclusions. It was the first comprehensive and critical appraisal of the nature and results of the most momentous project in which the United States was ever involved, politically, economically, or militarily. Hence, it merited careful and extended examination by every newspaper and periodical in the land. But it was reviewed in only a fraction of the leading newspapers, while most of the important periodicals, including the American Historical Review, ignored it entirely. In the 1920's periodicals like the New Republic and the Nation would have reviewed a book of this type lyrically and at great length, and, in all probability, have published special articles and editorials praising it warmly. Most reviews which the Chamberlin book received were of the smearing variety. The New York Times and Herald Tribune both reviewed the book in hostile fashion, gave it very brief reviews, and placed these in an obscure position.

Frederic R. Sanborn's able and devastating Design for War received about the same treatment as the Chamberlin volume. It was ignored by the great majority of the newspapers and by virtually all the important periodicals. The New York Times reviewed the book rather promptly, if not conspicuously, but handed it over to their leading academic hatchet man, Samuel Flagg Bemis. Though prodded by Sanborn, the Herald Tribune delayed the review from March to August and then assigned it to Gordon A. Craig, a leading anti-revisionist among the historians frequently employed by the Times and Herald Tribune in attacking books critical of Roosevelt foreign policy.

Sanborn's book was not reviewed at all by Time, Newsweek, the New Yorker, the Nation, the New Republic, Harper's, the Atlantic Monthly, or the Saturday Review of Literature, though Sanborn wrote letters of inquiry to all of them. Correspondence with the Saturday Review of Literature from April to the end of September failed to produce a review. If a comparable book had appeared at any time between 1923 and 1935, there is every reason to believe that the Nation and New Republic, for example, would have hailed it with near-hysterical joy and given excessive space to praising and promoting it. The American Historical Review did not review or even notice the Sanborn volume.

So far as can be ascertained at the time these lines are revised [December, 1952], Charles Callan Tansill's Back Door to War was treated by the press in essentially the same manner as it had handled the Chamberlin and Sanborn volumes, although it is the definitive revisionist contribution and deserves as much consideration as Sidney B. Fay's Origins of the World War received in 1928.

It received slightly more attention than did Chamberlin and Sanborn in the newspapers, perhaps because a determined effort was made to get the book in the hands of the editor of every important newspaper in the country. The majority of the newspaper reviews were of a smearing nature. As one example of such a review by an interventionist newspaper we may cite the following from the San Francisco Chronicle of July 27,1952:

"To bring forth a very small mouse, Professor Tansill has labored mountainously to assemble this helter-skelter collection of facts, documents and hearsay about America's prewar foreign policy. . . . This book is not history. It is awkward special pleading." The author of the review hid behind the initials "M. S."

The book failed to make the front page of either the New York Times Book Review or of the New York Herald Tribune# Book Review. It was reviewed on page 3 of the former (May 11, 1952) and on page 10 of the latter (June 1, 1952), rather briefly in both cases. Even so, Dexter Perkins, who reviewed the book for the Times, had to request twice the space originally assigned. Among the important periodicals only the Freeman, the Saturday Review of Literature, and the Nation reviewed the book, the latter two rather belatedly. Time, Newsweek, the Atlantic, and Harper's gave the volume the "silent treatment," ignoring it entirely. The editor of the New Republic treated the book to an almost obscene smear. In the 1920's all of these periodicals (which were then in existence) would have reviewed the book promptly and at length, and it would have evoked almost frenzied ecstasy on the part of the Nation and New Republic.

The jaundiced and biased attitude of periodicals in reviewing or ignoring such books as these was well revealed at the time of the appearance of the ardently pro-Roosevelt masterpiece by W. L. Langer and S. E. Gleason, Challenge to Isolation, 1937-1940. In this instance virtually all of the magazines which had ignored the books by Morgenstern, Chamberlin, Sanborn, and Tansill immediately rushed into print with prominent and lyrical reviews of the Langer-Gleason volume. Among all the editors of professional journals in the historical and social science field, only Professor Howard W. Odum, editor of Social Forces, has been willing to open his publication to full and fair reviewing of revisionist volumes.

One of the most impressive examples of the ignoring and obscuring of the writings of men critical of our foreign policy since 1937 is presented by the case of Francis Neilson. Mr. Neilson is a distinguished publicist and he served as a member of Parliament before he came to the United States. He was the principal 'angel' of the original Freeman and, like John T. Flynn, was once a darling of American liberals who were, in those days, revisionists and anti-interventionists. Mr. Neilson's How Diplomats Make War (1915) was the first revisionist volume to be published on the first World War, and it is still read with respect.

When Mr. Neilson opposed our interventionism after 1937, his erstwhile liberal friends fell away from him. Being a man of means, he was able to publish his gigantic five-volume work, The Tragedy of Europe, privately. It was scarcely noticed in any review, though it was praised by no less a personage than President Robert Maynard Hutchins of the University of Chicago. In 1950 Mr. Neilson published, again privately, a condensation of the more vital portions of his larger work, entitling it The Makers of War. The book contains a great amount of valuable revisionist material not embodied in any other revisionist volume on the second World War. But, Mr. Neilson assured me personally, it has never been reviewed at all.

4. Smearing Revisionist Books

When, rather rarely and for one reason or another, a newspaper or a periodical decides actually to review a revisionist book rather than to accord it the silent treatment, it has available a large supply of hatchet men who can be relied upon to attack and smear revisionist volumes and to eulogize the work of court historians and others who seek to perpetuate the traditional mythology. For example, the New York Times has its own staff of such hatchet men, among them Otto D. Tolischus, Charles Poore, Orville Prescott, Karl Schriftgiesser, Drew Middleton, and others. When these do not suffice, it can call upon academicians of similar inclination, such as Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Allan Nevins, Henry Steele Commager, Gordon A. Craig, Samuel Flagg Bemis, Dexter Perkins, and others. The Herald Tribune has Walter Millis, August Heckscher, and their associates on its staff, and also turns to such academicians as those mentioned above, whose gifts and talents are not limited to the Times.

The smearing device used almost universally in discrediting neorevisionist books is a carry-over of the propaganda strategy perfected by Charles Michelson in political technique, and extended by Joseph Goebbels, John Roy Carlson, and others, namely, seeking to destroy the reputation of an opponent by associating him, however unfairly, with some odious quality, attitude, policy, or personality, even though this may have nothing to do with the vital facts in the situation. It is only a complex and skillful application of the old adage about "giving a dog a bad name." This is an easy and facile procedure, for it all too often effectively disposes of an opponent without involving the onerous responsibility of facing the facts. The "blackout boys" have even implied that the effort to tell the truth about responsibility for the second World War is downright wicked. Samuel Flagg Bemis declares that such an excursion into intellectual integrity is "serious, unfortunate, deplorable." [Note: See John T. Flynn's "The Smear Terror" for an elaboration of some of these techniques]

Inasmuch as the Morgenstern book was the first to shake the foundations of the interventionist wartime propaganda and because Morgenstern is not a professional historian of longtime standing, his work was greeted with an avalanche of smears. Virtually the only fair reviews of the Morgenstern volume were those by Edwin M. Borchard, George A. Lundberg, Harry Paxton Howard, and Admiral H. E. Yarnell. There was rarely any effort whatever to wrestle with the vast array of facts and documentary evidence which, both Beard and Admiral Yarnell maintained, bore out all of Morgenstern's essential statements and conclusions. Rather, he was greeted with an almost unrelieved volley of smears.

Some reviewers rested content with pointing out that Morgenstern is a young man and, hence, cannot be supposed to know much, even though the New York Times handed over to Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., a younger man, the responsibility for reviewing Beard's great book on President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, 1941. Another reviewer asserted that all that needed to be said to refute and silence the book was to point out that Morgenstern is employed by the Chicago Tribune. Others stressed the fact that he is only an amateur, dabbling with documents, without the training afforded by the graduate historical seminar, though Morgenstern was an honor student of history at the University of Chicago. It was apparent to unbiased readers that most of the professors who reviewed his book departed entirely from any seminar canons of research and criticism which they may have earlier mastered. Morgenstern surely worked and wrote in closer conformity to von Ranke's exhortations than his professorial reviewers.

Other reviewers sought to dispose of the Morgenstern book by stating that it was "bitterly partisan," was composed in a state of "blind anger," or written with "unusual asperity," though it is actually the fact that Morgenstern is far less bitter, angry, or blind than his reviewers. Indeed, the tone of his book is more one of urbane satire than of indignation. Few books of this type have been freer of any taint of wrath and fury. The attitude of such reviewers is a good example of what the psychologists call the mechanism of "projection." The reviewers attributed to Morgenstern the "blind anger" that they themselves felt when compelled to face the truth.

In reviewing the book for the Infantry Journal, May, 1947, Harvey A. DeWeerd declared that it was "the most flagrant example of slanted history" that had come to his attention "in recent years," but he failed to make it clear that the uniqueness in the slanting of Morgenstern's book was that it was "slanted" toward the truth, something which was, and still is, quite unusual in historical writing on this theme. Probably the most complete smearing of the Morgenstern book was performed by Walter Millis in the Herald Tribune Book Review (February 9, 1947), though, with all the extensive space at his disposal, he made no serious effort to come to grips with the facts in the situation. He merely elaborated the smear in the caption: "Twisting the Pearl Harbor Story: A Documented Brief for a Highly Biased, Bitter, Cynical View." Gordon A. Craig, of Princeton, reviewing the book in the New York Times, February 9, 1947, rested content with stating that the book was no more than anti-Roosevelt "mythology" and completely "unbelievable," though he adduced no relevant evidence in support of these assertions.

One of the most remarkable attacks on the book was made by a onetime ardent revisionist historian, Oron J. Hale, in the Annals of the American Academy, July, 1947. After first assailing the book with the charge of bitter partisanship and asserting that the author made only a fake "parade" of the "externals of scholarship," Hale sought manfully but futilely to find serious errors in Morgenstern's materials. He then concluded that all or most of the statements in the book were true but that the book as a whole was a "great untruth." This reverses the usual line of the current apologists for the Roosevelt foreign policy, like Thomas A. Bailey and Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., who now agree that most of Roosevelt's public statements thereupon were untrue but that his program as a whole was a great truth which exemplified the desirable procedure of the "good officer"—the conscientious public servant.

The fact that Morgenstern is an editorial writer for the Chicago Tribune and that the Tribune has opened its columns to revisionist writings has encouraged the Smearbund to seek to identify Revisionism and all revisionist writers with the Tribune. Even Beard's books were charged with being dominated by the Tribune policy. Only recently a reviewer in the New Yorker linked Beard and the Tribune and referred to the "Charles Austin Beard-Chicago Tribune" view of war origins. Max Lerner wrote that "the man who once mercilessly flayed Hearst became the darling of McCormick."

No phase of the smear campaign could well be more preposterous. Aside from being willing to accept the truth relative to Roosevelt foreign policy, Beard and the Tribune had little in common. The American Civil Liberties Union once warmly praised Colonel McCormick for his valiant battle against the Minnesota press gag law. There was no attempt, then, to link the Civil Liberties Union with the total editorial policy of the Tribune. Roger Baldwin was not portrayed as a tool of Colonel McCormick, nor was there any hint of a Civil Liberties Union-McCormick axis. Those who write in behalf of freedom of the press can always gain access to the columns of the Chicago Tribune, but there is no thought in such cases of linking them with the total editorial policy of the Tribune.

Charles A. Beard: The 'Isolationist' Smear

Due to the fact that Beard was a trained and venerable scholar and, hence, obviously not a juvenile amateur in using historical documents, that he had a world-wide reputation as one of the most eminent and productive historians and political scientists the United States has ever produced, that he had served as president of the American Political Science Association and of the American Historical Association, and that he was awarded, in 1948, the Gold Medal of the National Institute of Arts and Letters for the best historical work of the preceding decade, it required more than usual gall and trepidation to apply the smear technique to Beard and his two splendid books on American foreign policy.

Yet Beard did not escape unscathed, though his facts and objectivity cannot be validly challenged. As Louis Martin Sears pointed out in the American Historical Review: "The volume under review is said to give annoyance to the followers of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. If that be true, their faith is scarcely founded upon a rock, for no more objective treatment could readily be conceived. The author nowhere injects a personal opinion." Any testimonials as to Beard's historical prowess are, invariably, a red flag to the Smearbund bull. Only this consideration makes such things as Lewis Mumford's resignation from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, because of the award of the above-mentioned medal to Beard, or Harry D. Gideonse's explosion in the New Leader, at all explicable.

The difficulty of attacking Beard relative to his status as an historian diverted most of the smearing of him into the allegation that his work is invalidated and unreliable because he was an "isolationist." The absurdity of this charge is obvious. Beard did, from 1937 onward, courageously and sanely warn against the manner in which the Roosevelt policies were deliberately leading us into a foreign war against the will of the overwhelming mass of the American people in what was supposed to be a democratic system of government. Beard's stand may not have been wise, though the facts today overwhelmingly prove its soundness, but such an attitude has nothing whatever to do with any literal isolationism unless one defines internationalism as chronic meddling abroad and unwavering support of our entry into any extant foreign war.

Any attempt to brand Beard as a literal isolationist is, of course, completely preposterous. Few men have had a wider international perspective or experience. In his early academic days he helped to found Ruskin College, Oxford. He had travelled, advised, and been held in high esteem from Tokyo to Belgrade.

The irresponsibility of this form of smearing Beard is well illustrated by the innuendo of Samuel Eliot Morison and Perry Miller that Beard was an ignorant isolationist with an archaic and naive view of world affairs because he was deaf and lived on a farm with his cows, thus implying that he had shut himself off from the world and human associations and did not know what was going on about him. That such charges were utterly without foundation is well known to anybody with any knowledge whatever of Beard and his mode of life and must have been known to be untrue by Admiral Morison and Professor Miller, themselves.

Beard provided himself with a most efficient hearing instrument which enabled him to carry on personal conversations with the utmost facility. He probably enjoyed wider personal contact with scholars and publicists than any other American historian down to the day of his death. He was visited at his suburban home constantly by a stream of prominent academic and scholarly admirers. He travelled widely and spent his winters in North Carolina. His deafness did not affect his personal relations or scholarly interests and activities in the slightest. His mode of life, at the most, only gave him the occasional quiet and detachment needed to digest and interpret the mass of information which came to him as a result of his wide reading and his extensive personal contacts with American and foreign scholars, both young and old. His dairy farm was located some twenty miles from his home.

I was present a few years ago at a conference on foreign affairs attended by about forty leading savants. Most of them wrung their hands about the sorry state of the world today, but only two or three were frank and candid enough to discern and admit that the majority of the conditions which they were so dolorously deploring stemmed directly from the foreign policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt, from his Chicago Bridge speech of October, 1937, to the Yalta Conference of early 1945. Beard was assailed for his "isolationism" and "cultural lag" by both the chairman and the chief participant for no earthly reason save that he opposed the policies which had led to the chaos over which the conference was holding the coroner's inquest—but with no intention of declaring it a homicide or seeking the culprit. They vented their spleen on a man who had advised against risking the ambuscade which led to the murder.

It is both vicious and silly to brand a person an "isolationist" merely because he opposed our entry into the second World War. Personally, I opposed our entry with all the energy and power at my command—just as vigorously as did Beard. But it also happens that I wrote one of the longest chapters in the first important book ever published in behalf of the League of Nations and that I have ever since supported any move or policy which seemed to me likely to promote international good will and world peace. Sane internationalism is one thing; it is something quite different to support our entry into a war likely to ruin civilization mainly to promote the political prospects of a domestic leader, however colorful and popular, to satisfy the neurotic compulsions of special interests and pressure groups, and to pull the chestnuts of foreign nations out of the fire.

The whole issue of "isolationism" and the epithet "isolationist" has been a very effective phase of the smearing technique invented and applied by interventionists between 1937 and Pearl Harbor, and so naively exposed and betrayed by Walter Johnson in his book, The Battle Against Isolation. The absurd character of the whole process of smearing by the method of alleging "isolationism" has been devastatingly revealed by George A. Lundberg in his article on "Semantics in International Relations" in the American Perspective. Senator Taft put the matter in a nutshell when he asserted that to call any responsible person an isolationist today is nothing less than idiocy—one might add, malicious idiocy.

The only man of any intellectual importance who ever believed in isolationism was a German economist, Johann Heinrich von Thunen (1783-1850), author of The Isolated State (1826), and he espoused the idea only to provide the basis for formulating economic abstractions. In short, isolationism is no more than a semantic smear fiction invented by globaloney addicts.

Governor Adlai E. Stevenson, of Illinois, is reported to have said in a commencement address in June, 1952, that "Isolationism has not lost all of its emotional appeal, but it has lost its intellectual respectability." Unless one is willing to lapse completely into "Nineteen Eighty-Four" doublethink, it would seem that exactly the opposite is the truth. From Woodrow Wilson's war address on April 6, 1917? to President Truman's denunciation of cuts in the 1952 European aid allotment, interventionism has rested entirely on propaganda and emotional appeals. It has never been able to stand for a moment on the ground of empiricism, logic, and fact. If results are any test of the validity of a position, no program in human history has had less confirmation and vindication than has the intervention of the United States in foreign quarrels. On the other hand, isolationism, which means no more than international sanity and the avoidance of national suicide, has never been able to appeal to war excitement, the propaganda of fear, and other emotional fictions. It has always been compelled to rely upon reason and sanity. It may be that emotionalism is a better guide for public policy than rationality, but to claim that interventionism and globaloney can claim priority in respect to rationality is palpably preposterous.

The internationalists of the earlier era, for whom I wrote and lectured from coast to coast for twenty years after 1918, were true believers in internationalism, good will, and peace, and worked to secure these objectives. The globaloney and interventionist crowd, while prating about internationalism and peace, have done more than anybody else, except the totalitarian dictators, to promote nationalism and to revive and direct the war spirit. They have created an unprecedented spirit of interventionism, militarism, and intolerance in the United States and have helped to provoke a similar development in Soviet Russia. While blatant nationalism was checked temporarily in Germany and Italy, it has been stimulated elsewhere, from England to Indochina, eastern Asia, and South Africa.

The United Nations have steadily become more nationalistic and less united, and the world trembles and shivers on the brink of the third world war before the peace treaties have all been negotiated to conclude the second. There is all too much truth in the statement of an eminent publicist that Alger Hiss's long-continued activities as an aggressive internationalist of the recent vintage did far more harm to the United States than handing over any number of secret State Department documents which he could have transcribed and transmitted to the Russians. The columnist. Jay Franklin, has given us a good summary picture of the fruits of interventionism by contrasting the twentieth-century American casualty record under five "isolationist" Republican presidents and under three interventionist Democratic presidents:

Republican Presidents Casualties
Theodore Roosevelt (1901-9) 0
William H. Taft (1909-13) 0
Warren G. Harding (1921-23) 0
Calvin Coolidge (1923-29) 0
Herbert Hoover (1929-33) 0
Total for 24 Republican years 0

Average U.S. war casualties per Republican year, 0.

Democratic Presidents Casualties
Woodrow Wilson (1913-21)   364,800
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-45) 1,134,527
Harry Truman (1945-53)   129,153
Total for 28 Democratic years 1,628,480

Average U.S. war casualties per Democratic year, 58,160.

Though Catholic circles have been unusually fair in tolerating the truth about the causes of the second World War, the pressure on the editors was so great that even the enlightened Commonweal permitted Mason Wade to attack Beard in its columns. But the most irresponsible attempt to attack Beard as an "isolationist" came with almost uniquely bad taste from the pen of Harry D. Gideonse, who reviewed Beard's President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, 1941, in the New Leader.

Beard was a native-born American who labored mightily for over fifty years to improve many phases of American intellectual and public life. No American historian, past or present, had a more honorable record as an active and effective intellectual patriot. He had never written a word which placed the interests of other nations above those of our country. Gideonse, on the other hand, is Dutch-born, surely an honorable paternity. But there is little evidence that he has ever become completely immersed in Americanism or has taken on a thoroughly American point of view. In his public statements over many years he has always given evidence of a robust internationalism which has little primary regard for American institutions or traditions. His internationalism appears to have a twofold basis: a hangover of the Dutch imperialism of the Dutch East India Company tycoons of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and the virus of current American globaloney. Anyhow, it has paid off remarkably well, for Gideonse was summoned from Chicago to Columbia University and then, to the amazement even of his friends, suddenly catapulted into the presidency of Brooklyn College in 1939.

While Gideonse finds other nonfactual grounds for assaulting Beard, he holds that Beard's alleged isolationism is all that is needed to brush the book aside. Indeed, all that is required for that is the fact, as Gideonse tells us twice in the course of his review, that it has been praised as a very great book by the "isolationist" Chicago Tribune. It might be cogently observed that the Tribune has also praised the Bible, Shakespeare's works, and Einstein's writings on relativity. But Gideonse has not laughed this off yet. If praise by the Chicago Tribune were not enough to destroy the validity of Beard's book, then, in Gideonse's view, it would be amply disposed of by the fact that he quotes, even sparingly, statements by eminent "isolationists" like Senators Burton K. Wheeler and Gerald P. Nye. Not even the fact, which Gideonse concedes, that he also cites Eleanor Roosevelt frequently and with respect, could redeem Beard after he had revealed his acquaintance with the statements of allegedly nefarious "isolationist" personalities.

Though, as we have made clear, reviewers have, naturally, been a trifle hesitant in daring to minimize Beard's status as an historian, Walter Millis and Gideonse have not been dismayed or sidetracked even here. In his review of Beard's President Roosevelt and the Coining of the War, 1941, in the Herald Tribune Book Review, Millis contended that Beard is not entitled to rank as an objective historian according to formal academic fictions, but really belongs back with Tertullian, Orosius, Gregory of Tours, and other "Dark Age" exemplars of the "Devil theory of history."

But it remained for Gideonse to sail in and seek to divest Beard of all claims to any standing as an historical scholar. Just why Gideonse should presume to pass on questions of historiography and to grade historians is not quite evident, though he has been doing so for some years. Professionally, though admittedly a very talented classroom orator and an effective "rabble-rouser" of the student body, he was only a somewhat obscure economist when he strode into Flatbush with his mace. But Gideonse did not hesitate to administer a sharp slap to the members of the American Historical Association, who elected Beard to their presidency in 1933, by pooh-poohing the general scholarly opinion that Beard was the "dean of living American historians." This notion and pretension, says Gideonse, is purely "fictitious." Actually, according to Gideonse, Beard has only been a lifelong pamphleteer, and his books on Roosevelt's foreign policy are cheap journalism.

In the light of all this, one could read with considerable amusement and sardonic humor an announcement in the New York Times of September 8, 1948, that Gideonse opened the college year at Flatbush with an address to entering Freshmen in which he gravely and sternly asserted that "truthfulness" is a main and indispensable quality of a college teacher; one which does not, perhaps, extend to college presidents.

There were many other attacks on Beard's last two great books. They usually took one of two forms. First, there were efforts to dispose of them by brief, casual Jovian or flippant smears, without giving any attention whatever to the facts or meeting the arguments of the books. Such was Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.'s smear in the Partisan Review, implying that Beard sought to justify collaboration with the Nazis; Max Lerner's slur to the effect that they were "two rather weird affairs"; Perry Miller's description of them as "two frenetic indictments of Franklin Roosevelt" (implying, if Miller knew the meaning of the words he was using, that Beard must have been insane); and Quincy Wright's even briefer disposition of them as "a strange argument" (strange, presumably, to Wright in that the argument was based on facts).

The other type of approach has been to smother the book under a vast welter of side issues, non sequiturs, and irrelevant scoldings. This was well illustrated by the procedure of Charles C. Griffin, an expert on Latin American history, who was selected to review Beard's last book for the American Historical Review. He buried the book under four and a half pages of impenetrable, irrelevant, and disapproving fog, rarely coming to grips with the essential facts and arguments. About the only fair and scholarly review that the book received was by the chief authority in the field, Charles C. Tansill, in the Mississippi Valley Historical Review.

On the occasion of Beard's death one might have supposed that the opportunity would have been taken to pay a tribute to his greatness as a teacher, historian, political scientist, and liberal, at least in those journals to which Beard had been for years one of the most honored contributors, and that there would have been articles by writers who had long been admirers of Beard, until he began to examine Roosevelt's foreign policy. Instead of this we were treated to an obscene performance which reminded fair observers of jackals and hyenas howling about the body of a dead lion. Especially in point were the articles by Max Lerner in the New Republic, October and November, 1948; by Perry Miller in the Nation, September 1948; and by Peter Levin in Tomorrow, March 1949.

In these articles most of the smears which had been irresponsibly thrown at Beard during the previous several years were amalgamated and he was portrayed as a senile, embittered, and confused "isolationist" and a traitor to the liberal cause. There was even an effort to undermine confidence in Beard's monumental books which had preceded his volumes on the foreign policy of President Roosevelt. Lerner held up to ridicule Beard's social and civic ideal: "A continental economy, spaciously conceived, controlled in a common-sense way, yielding a gracious life without all the horrors of foreign entanglements." As of 1953, such an ideal might well evoke the heartiest enthusiasm on the part of any thoughtful American. Lerner characterized Roosevelt's foreign policy as a consistent attempt to promote "the collective democratic will reluctantly having to shape a world in which it could survive." How well it succeeded in achieving this result will be apparent from an examination of Chamberlin's America's Second Crusade, and Chapter 8 of this volume.

The campaign of vilification and distortion against Beard has continued long after his death. One of the most absurd attacks appeared in 1952 in a book by John B. Harrison, a teacher of history at Michigan State College, entitled This Age of Global Strife. Harrison writes:

"This prominent historian undertook in the last days of his eccentric old age to prove by ponderous documentation that President Roosevelt set out from the beginning of the war in Europe to stealthily and deceitfully maneuver the United States into a war whose outcome was of no real concern to the American people. It is a deplorable collection of half-truths and distortions. Anyone who reads it should read also Samuel E. Morison's brilliant analysis of it in the Atlantic Monthly, August, 1948."

A book containing material of this sort could be published by the old and reputable firm of Lippincott seven years after V-J Day.

Smearing Chamberlin's Second Crusade

The reception accorded Chamberlin's America's Second Crusade was in keeping with the blackout procedure and in line with that given to the Morgenstern and Beard volumes. Chamberlin was a too-important and well-known author to be given the silent treatment by all newspapers and periodicals, though the leading liberal periodicals tended to ignore his book. It was, naturally, glowingly praised in the Chicago Tribune, and equally lavishly smeared by the New York Post.

The New York Times treated the book about as badly as feasible under the circumstances. While it placed a long review of a slight book by the elder Schlesinger on page 3 of the Sunday Book Review, it relegated Chamberlin's striking volume to page 34. It chose as the reviewer of the book Samuel Flagg Bemis, well known as perhaps the bitterest critic of revisionist writing among the historians.

But even Bemis was unable to make much headway against Chamberlin' facts and logic. He frankly admitted that he would not "argue the case with Mr. Chamberlin." In reviewing the Morgenstern book, Bemis had written that the American situation in late 1941 constituted "the most awful danger that ever confronted our nation." He still stuck to this thesis, despite his admission that there is no factual basis for it:

"That captured Nazi archives do not reveal any actual plans to attack the New World, as Mr. Chamberlin repeatedly stresses, does not make any difference. The intention was there."

Bemis pictured Germany and Japan as "the two colossi whose power in victory would have closed on our freedom with the inexorable jaws of a global vise." Therefore, our second crusade was a success and a necessity, even though Bemis admits that Russia is now more powerful than Japan and Germany combined could ever have become, and its power is concentrated in one nation rather than being divided among two, who might often have clashed:

"Stalin has stepped into everything that Hitler and Japan first started out to get, and more. Soviet Russia has rolled up an agglomeration of power greater than ever menaced the United States, even in 1941."

Bemis concluded his review with what is possibly the most incredible example of "foot-swallowing" in the whole history of book reviewing:

"One thing ought to be evident to all of us: by our victory over Germany and Japan, no matter what our folly in losing the peace, we have at least survived to confront the second even greater menace of another totalitarian power . . . We might not stand vis-a-vis with the Soviets today if President Roosevelt had not entertained a conviction that action against the Axis was necessary."

In other words, all the physical, financial, and moral losses of the United States in the second World War were justified and well expended in order that we might face another world war against a far stronger enemy. With these comments we may well leave Bemis to the logicians.

The New York Herald Tribune Book Review handled the Chamberlin book much as did the Times. It placed the review on the twelfth page, following reviews of many relatively trivial volumes. It did not seek out a professorial critic, but assigned one of its own "hatchet men," August Heckscher, to write the review. While the book was smeared as a revival of "pre-war isolationism," Heckscher was not able to succeed any better than Bemis in disposing of Chamberlin's material and arguments. He had to rest satisfied with espousing the "perpetual-war-for-perpetual-peace" program of our current internationalists. If the first and second crusades have failed to provide peace, security, and prosperity, we can "keep on trying." Other and more bloody crusades may turn the trick, though even Arnold J. Toynbee has admitted that any further crusades may leave only the pygmies—or, perhaps, only the apes or ants—to wrestle with the aftermath.

Perhaps the most remarkable example of smearing the Chamberlin book was the review which was published in the New Leader, written by our old friend, Harry D. Gideonse.

The New Leader is a sprightly journal controlled mainly by Socialists and ex-Socialists who deserted Norman Thomas in his brave stand against our entry into the second World War, and by totalitarian liberals. Both groups were fanatically in favor of our intervention in the second World War and are now in the vanguard of those who wish us to enter a third crusade in the interest of perpetual war for perpetual peace and the suppression of Red sin throughout the world. Chamberlin writes for this periodical, though his presence seems somewhat incongruous in such an editorial group.

But the fact that Chamberlin is a regular contributor to the New Leader weighed less heavily with the editor than his offense in debunking our first and second crusades and his warning against our entering a third. Therefore it was decided that Chamberlin's book must be smeared, and a man was chosen to do it who could be relied upon. There was no doubt about Gideonse's dependability for the task, both from his well-known general attitude toward interventionism and from his earlier elaborate smearing of Beard in the New Leader.

Gideonse did not let the editor down, except that he was only able to bring to bear against Chamberlin the same threadbare smears that he had used against Beard. He led off with a blanket condemnation: "This is a bitter and unconvincing book." The worthlessness of much of Chamberlin's book, according to Gideonse, required nothing more in the way of proof than to show that he agreed with Colonel McCormick and the Chicago Tribune: "At least half of the contents of Mr. Chamberlin's book is another rehash of the Chicago Tribune history of World War II." Gideonse repeated the old alarmist dud to the effect that, if we had not gone to war against Hitler, he would have made a vassal of Stalin and Soviet Russia and would have controlled the Old World "from the English Channel to Vladivostok." In the December 18, 1950, issue of the New Leader, Chamberlin submitted a crushing answer to Gideonse and other smearing reviewers.

The New York Post called Chamberlin a "totalitarian conservative" and painted him as a special favorite of the McCormick-Patterson axis. The overwhelming majority of the reviews of the book did not rise above the level of smearing, the lowest point of which was reached in the review by James M. Minifie in the Saturday Review of Literature.

That the progress of disillusionment with respect to the results of the second crusade and the shock of the Korean war may have made a few editors a trifle more tolerant of reality in world affairs was, possibly, demonstrated by the fact that Chamberlin's book was warmly praised in the review in the Wall Street Journal and was accorded fair treatment in the interventionist Chicago Daily News.

Smears of Sandborn and Tansills

Frederic R. Sanborn's concise, elaborately documented, and closely reasoned volume, Design for War, devoted chiefly to an account of President Roosevelt's secret war program after 1937, was treated much like the Morgenstern and Chamberlin books, though it was more extensively ignored in the press. When not ignored, it was smeared in most of the reviews. The New York Times thought that it had taken care of the matter by handing the book over to Samuel Flagg Bemis for reviewing. By this time, however, Bemis had read the latest edition of my Struggle Against the Historical Blackout, with its account of his foot-swallowing feat in his Times review of the Chamberlin volume. So Bemis, while rejecting Sanborn's version of American diplomacy from 1937 to Pearl Harbor, was relatively cautious and respectful.

Months after the book appeared, the Herald Tribune finally and reluctantly reviewed it, after much prodding by Sanborn. It handed it over to another warhorse among the hatchet men, Gordon A. Craig, of Princeton. He indulged mainly in the shadow-boxing for which Walter Millis had shown such talent. The review, while of the smearing variety, was evasive, as had been Craig's review of Morgenstern's book in the Times years before. He refused to confront the facts and even went so far in historical humor as to accept Cordell Hull's statements at their face value.

The Sanborn book was smeared in most of the Scripps-Howard papers that reviewed it at all (vide the Rocky Mountain News , February 18, 1951), though this chain had been in the vanguard of prewar "isolationism." A characteristic newspaper slur was that of the Chattanooga Times, which proclaimed that the Sanborn book was "as impartial as the Chicago Tribune or Westbrook Pegler."

Felix Wittmer reviewed the book in the New Leader (March 26, 1951). The editors had, apparently, become bored themselves with the monotonous uniformity of the unvaried dead cats thrown at revisionist books by Harry Gideonse. The Wittmer review was a masterpiece of "doublethink." He smeared the book as "a sad spectacle," and "a biased and myopic account of diplomacy in the guise of objectivity." He accused Sanborn of "amazing ignorance of modern Japanese policies." Yet, a little later on, he expressed himself as in almost complete agreement with Sanborn's account of the crucial Japanese-American negotiations in 1941: "It is perfectly true—as Dr. Sanborn proves—that in 1941 the Japanese seriously wanted peace and that Roosevelt and Hull used every possible device to forestall it, and to provoke an open attack by Japan." He even admits that Roosevelt and Hull anticipated this attack. He excuses all this on the ground that our entry into the war was obligatory for American security from Nazi invasion and for the salvation of humanity, and that the provocation of the Japanese was only "penetrating foresight," because Hitler and Mussolini were just mean enough not to rise to Roosevelt's war bait in the Atlantic. Hence, we had to incite Japan to attack us in order to get into the war through the Pacific back door. Even the New Leader felt impelled to publish a rejoinder by Sanborn.

We have already pointed out that virtually all the important periodicals—Time, Newsweek, the New Yorker, the Saturday Review of Literature, the Nation, the New Republic, Harper's, and the Atlantic Monthly—had wisely decided that they could protect the Roosevelt and interventionist legend better by ignoring the book entirely than by smearing it in reviews. The American Historical Review did not even mention the volume in a book note.

The reviewing of the book by Charles Callan Tansill, Back Door to War, ran true to the form established with reference to revisionist volumes. The Tansill tome is more outspoken and more heavily documented than any other revisionist treatise. So, while it more violently enraged interventionist reviewers, it intimidated and restrained them in some cases. At least they were more restrained than they would have been if the book were not so formidable an exhibit of arduous and exhaustive scholarship.

Dexter Perkins reviewed the book about as gingerly and cautiously in the New York Times Book Review (May, 1952) as, earlier, Bemis had handled the Sanborn volume. He was, apparently, also somewhat concerned about a possible comment on his review in future editions of my Historical Blackout. Aside from reiterating his well-known theme, to the effect that President Roosevelt was reluctantly pushed into war by the force of an ardent and alarmed public opinion, Perkins mainly contented himself with berating the "animus" and "bitterness" shown by Mr. Tansill. This bitterness appeared to consist, actually, in producing documentary proof that the Roosevelt-Hull diplomacy constituted one of the major public crimes of human history.

The review by Basil Rauch in the Herald Tribune Book Review (June 1, 1952) was as brash and reckless as was Rauch's own book, Roosevelt from Munich to Pearl Harbor. It was not unfairly referred to by one reader as "a masterpiece of misrepresentation," As the Byzantine emperor, Basil II, earned the title of "Basil the Bulgar-Slayer," so Rauch can surely be awarded the title of "Basil the Creator." As I have shown in my brochure, Rauch on Roosevelt, Professor Rauch, in his book, created for Mr. Roosevelt a foreign policy which bore very slight resemblance to the one which the President actually followed. So, in his review of the Tansill volume, he created a book which had little relationship to the one he was supposed to be reviewing. The book and the review must both be read to allow one to become fully aware of the extent to which this is true. Rauch accused Tansill of making statements and drawing conclusions which had no documentary support whatever, though in the book itself hundreds of footnotes and references to acres of documents were presented to buttress Tansill's statements.

Back Door to War was tardily and loftily smeared in the Saturday Review of Literature of August 2, 1952, by Professor Lindsay Rogers of Columbia University. Professor Rogers is not a "court historian," but he was the leading court political scientist and court jester in the original New Deal "brain trust." He pays tribute to "the enormous industry of five years which this ponderous tome required." But he tells the reader that it has been "largely wasted" because Professor Tansill has outdone the late Dr. Beard in espousing the "devil theory of history" and has interlarded his book with distressing diatribes.

The devil theory of history appears to reside in the fact that Professor Tansill adopts a critical attitude toward the Roosevelt foreign policy and that he assigns considerable personal responsibility to President Roosevelt for the course of our foreign affairs after 1933. The "diatribes" are occasional penetrating comments on Roosevelt and his foreign policy which, had they been directed against the critics of Mr. Roosevelt, would have been praised by Professor Rogers as distilled wisdom and brilliant bons mots.

The Tansill book was belatedly reviewed at length in the Nation (October 4, 1952) by Professor Charles C. Griffin, who had reviewed the Beard volume in the American Historical Review. It is evident from the opening sentences of the review that Professor Griffin regards any comprehensive marshalling of the facts relative to Roosevelt foreign policy as a "Violent attack" upon them. The gist of the review was much the same as that by Professor Rogers in the Saturday Review of Literature. Both reviewers are compelled to recognize the vast amount of research which went into the preparation of the Tansill book, but Professor Griffin, like Professor Rogers, holds that all this is vitiated by Professor Tamili's cogent and penetrating characterizations, which are variously described as "opprobrious and objectionable terminology," "invective," "innuendo," "insinuation," and the like. Doubtless Professor Griffin, like Professor Rogers, would have regarded this material as brilliant and praiseworthy verbiage if it had been written in praise of the Roosevelt policy. But, at least, Professor Griffin's presentation of his views on the Tansill volume constitutes a formal and ostensible review, not a brief and casual smear, and he does concede at the end of his review that the Tansill volume has value in that it corrects the fantastic mythology which prevailed during the second World War.

The review by Arthur Kemp in the Freeman, May 19, 1952, was friendly and commendatory.

Professor Tansill's book was harshly reviewed in the American Historical Review, October, 1952, by Dean Julius W. Pratt. That the latter had lined up with our "Ministry of Truth" could have been ascertained in advance of the review by comparing his early, trenchant, anti-imperialist writings, in his books and in his articles in the American Mercury, with his recent America's Colonial Experiment. The flavor of his review could readily be anticipated. However, Dean Pratt did concede that the book was the most "weightily documented" of the revisionist works on the second World War and that "Professor Tansill has produced a book of great learning."

One statement in the review calls for corrective comment:

"The fact that a scholar with Professor Tamili's well-known views on American foreign policy was allowed the free run of confidential State Department files should lay at rest the theory that there exists a favored group of 'court historians' who speak only kind words of Rooseveltian diplomacy."

While Professor Tansill did examine more documents than any other revisionist historian, he had nothing like the free access to archives and diaries which was accorded to men like Professors Langer and Gleason and Dr. Herbert Feis. Dr. Beard's attacks on the State Department favoritism eased his entry, and some of his former graduate students were in charge of important sections of the documents. Even so, he was barred from many, his notes subjected to scrutiny, and some of them confiscated.

One of the most extreme smears of the book was written by a professional historian, Professor Richard W. Van Alstyne of the University of Southern California, and published in the Pacific Historical Review, November, 1952. Van Alstyne concluded that Back Door to War is "a striking monument to pedantic scholarship, but it is built on a tiny mound of historical understanding" He did, however, make one sound point: that the book has a misleading title, in that it is more a study of the origins of the second World War than specifically of Roosevelt foreign policy.

The New Republic did not review the book, but the editor, Michael Straight, subjected it to the lowest and most amazing smear that any revisionist book has yet received. In the issue of June 16, 1952, Straight delivered himself of the following material, suitable for presentation by the late Mr. Ripley:

"This book is part of the devious attack on American diplomacy directed by Dr. Edmund Walsh, S.J., from Georgetown University. Tansill argues that the U.S., not Germany or Japan, was the aggressor in the Second World War. . . . These are the superstitions that occupied Beard in his senility and focused John T. Flynn's mania for hatred. It would be easily dismissed, were it not such useful material for demagogues in the 1952 campaign."

Nothing better illustrates the shift in attitude on the part of the New Republic since the 1920s, when it took the lead in promoting Revisionism under Herbert Croly and Robert Littell, even though Mr. Straight's mother was also financing the journal at the time.

Very interesting and relevant, as bearing on Mr. Straight's charge that Professor Tansill's book was the product of a Catholic plot to smear Rooseveltian foreign policy, is the fact that the Catholic periodical, America, reflecting the interventionist wing of American Catholic opinion, published a rather bitter attack by Father William A. Lucey upon the Tansill volume in its issue of June 14, 1952.

A very amusing and instructive example of the length to which interventionists will go in quest of smears of revisionist books is provided in the case of the Christian Register. This periodical is edited by Melvin Arnold, a liberal Unitarian and the head of the Beacon Press which has published the books by Paul Blanchard that have so vigorously attacked Catholic political power. Yet, being an ardent interventionist and adulator of Roosevelt foreign policy, Mr. Arnold reached out eagerly for this hostile review of the Tansill book by Father Lucey in one of the leading political organs of Jesuit Catholic journalism and reprinted it in the December, 1952, issue of his own magazine.

Professor Tansill's book was reviewed in the Mississippi Valley Historical Review, December, 1952, by Professor Ruhl Bartlett. Professor Bartlett had been put on the program of the American Historical Association at Chicago in December, 1950, to criticize the paper presented at that time by Professor Tansill on the background of the American entry into the second World War. He was somewhat roughly handled by Professor Tansill in the discussion that followed. All this was well known to the editor of the Mississippi Valley Historical Review. Nevertheless, he chose Professor Bartlett to review Professor Tansill's book, and the result was just what could have been expected. The flavor of the review is shown by the closing lines: "The book is unredeemed by humor, art or insight. To read it and to write about it are unrewarding tasks."

Thus far, the Journal of Modern History has not reviewed the book.

In the criticisms of the Tansill volume by such professional historians as Professors Harrington, Pratt, and Van Alstyne, there is one slightly humorous item, namely, the charge that Tansill does not support all of his contentions by citations from confidential archival material. As a matter of fact, the only honest and fair criticism of Tansill's procedure is that, like so many professional diplomatic historians, he relies too much on archival and allied materials when other sources of information are often far more illuminating and reliable. Nevertheless, his professorial critics contend that he never proves an assertion unless he brings archival material to his support, even though he may cite scores of more important types and sources of evidence. One might be led to suppose that Tansill could not prove the guilt of President Roosevelt relative to Pearl Harbor unless he could produce from the archives a confession signed in the handwriting of the late President.

From what has been set forth above, it is evident that not one professional historical journal has provided readers with a fair and objective appraisal of Professor Tansilbs monumental volume, Back Door to War.

The majority of the newspaper reviews smeared the book, though it was warmly praised not only by the Chicago Tribune but by some other papers like the Indianapolis Star. In the newspaper reviews the dominant note was Tansill's alleged bias and bitterness—in other words, his devotion to candor and integrity. Interestingly enough, the editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer was apparently so displeased by the unfair reviews that he wrote an editorial (June 8, 1952) praising the Tansill volume and commending Revisionism in general.

Attacks on John T. Flynn and Upton Close

Probably the most extreme job of smearing ever turned in on a liberal who attacked the foreign policy of Roosevelt was done on John T. Flynn, whose revisionist writings were limited to two brochures on Pearl Harbor and to a few passages in his book, The Roosevelt Myth. Flynn had long been a special favorite of the liberal journals. He was probably the leading specialist for the New Republic in exposing the evils of finance capitalism. His Security Speculation was a masterpiece in this field. His Graft in Business was, perhaps, the ablest indictment of the business ideals and methods of the Harding-Coolidge era. He was one of the staff who 50 aided Pecora in his investigation of the sins of Wall Street. He was also an assistant to Senator Gerald P. Nye in the famous munitions and armament investigation. He was at one time a member of the Board of Higher Education in New York City and a lecturer at the New School for Social Research. Few men rated higher in the esteem of eastern Liberals.

But when Flynn became a leading member of the America First movement and began to oppose President Roosevelt's war policy, his erstwhile liberal admirers, who had taken to war-mongering, turned on him savagely. Their animus increased when Flynn revealed the fascist trends in our war policy in his book, As We Go Marching, and when he told the truth about Pearl Harbor in two trenchant brochures. Since that time he has been the victim of incessant smearing by the totalitarian liberals and the interventionist crowd. They have done their best to drive him into penury and obscurity. Only his fighting Irish spirit has enabled him to survive. Even the Progressive, despite its anti-war policy, joined in the smearing.

A good sample of the irresponsibility in smearing Flynn is the statement of Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., in the New York Post, to the effect that the Yalta Conference will redound to the honor of Franklin D. Roosevelt "unless a Fascist revolution installs William Henry Chamberlin and John T. Flynn as official national historians." It so happens that Flynn has, for more than a decade now, been recognized as one of our most stalwart libertarians and individualists, and has even been smeared for being such by persons in Schlesinger's intellectual circle. One of the reasons for their frenzied hatred of him is his revelation of fascist trends in Roosevelt foreign policy and its political results. Chamberlin is also conspicuous for his libertarian trends and his protests against military state capitalism.

The blackout contingent was even more successful in their attacks on Upton Close. As a result of his candid radio broadcasts on our foreign policy he was driven off the air, from the lecture platform, and out of the press, and his books on the Far East were virtually barred from circulation.

Though I have personally written nothing on Revisionism relative to the second World War beyond several brief brochures seeking to expose some of the more characteristic methods of the blackout contingent, the Smearbund has gone to work on me far more vigorously than was the case following all my revisionist articles and books combined after the first World War. The silent treatment has been comprehensively applied to anything I have published recently, in whatever field. When my History of Western Civilization appeared, in 1935, it was very glowingly reviewed on the front page of the New York Times Book Review, of the Herald Tribune Books, and of the Saturday Review of Literature. The American Historical Review gave it a long and favorable review by the foremost American authority in the field. When my Society in Transition was published, in 1939, the Times accorded it the unique honor of reviewing a college textbook on the first page of its Book Review. But when my Survey of Western Civilization and Introduction to the History of Sociology were published in 1947, and my Historical Sociology in 1948, none of the above-mentioned publications, so far as could be discovered, gave any of them so much as a book note. Apparently the movement has gone so far that authors are being suppressed or given the silent treatment for fear that they might, later on, publish some little truth on world affairs. The author of this chapter was, naturally, suspect because of his writings on the first World War.

The sub rosa activities of the blackout Smearbund have gone much further. I have been smeared as both an extreme radical and an extreme reactionary and as everything undesirable between these two extremes. One historian smeared me as a "naive isolationist" though, in actuality, I was working for sane internationalism at the time of his birth. The Smearbund has not only condemned my books to the silent treatment, barred me from all leading periodicals, and sought to dissuade publishers from accepting my books on any subject, but its members have also carried on extensive subterranean intrigue seeking to discourage the use of my textbooks in the fields of the history of civilization and sociology, where the content of my tomes does not touch even remotely on the issues of Revisionism. Going beyond my writings, the blackout "Gestapo" forced the most powerful lecture manager in the United States to drop me from his list of lecturers.

The blackout boys have not rested content with smearing those who have sought to tell the truth about the causes of the second World War. They have now advanced to the point where they are seeking to smear those who told the truth about the causes of the first World War. At the meeting of the American Historical Association in Boston in December, 1949, two papers were read by Richard W. Leopold and Selig Adler that endeavored to undermine the established revisionist writings regarding the prelude to that conflict. Adler implied that Revisionism, after 1918, was, in its origins, a sort of Bolshevik plot, and that revisionist writers were, consciously or unconsciously, dupes of the Bolsheviks and unrepentant Germans. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., in an article in the Partisan Review, 88 has even gone so far as to attack those who have written in a revisionist tone on the causes of the Civil War. The next step will be to attack the revision of historical opinion relative to the causes of the American Revolution and to find that, after all, "Big Bill" Thompson was right in his views of that conflict and in his threat to throw George V into the Chicago Ship Canal. In other words. Revisionism, which only means bringing history into accord with facts, now seems to be rejected by the blackout boys as a mortal sin against Clio, the Muse of their subject. This attack on Revisionism, even with respect to the first World War, is now creeping into the routine college textbooks. It provides the leitmotiv of Harrison's above-mentioned book, This Age of Global Strife.

Not only are books concerned primarily with an honest account of the diplomacy connected with the coming of the second World War ignored and smeared, but similar treatment is accorded to books which even indirectly reflect on the official mythology in this area. For example, A. Frank Reel's splendid and courageous book on The Case of General Yamashita was rather generally attacked, and outrageously so by John H. E. Fried in the Political Science Quarterly, September, 1950. W. T. Couch, who had done splendid work as head of the University of Chicago Press, was relieved of his post in part because of criticism of his publication of this book. The best book on Japan which has been published since Pearl Harbor, Mirror for Americans: Japan, by Helen Mears, was allowed to die quietly by its publishers after the blackout contingent began to exert pressure against it.

While the Smearbund has usually rested content with an effort to defame and impoverish those of whom it disapproves, it went even further in the case of Lawrence Dennis and sought to jail him on the charge of "sedition." Dennis, a brilliant Harvard graduate, had served in important posts in the American diplomatic service for eight years. He had been one of the first to enlist in the Plattsburg training experiment before the first World War (1915) and had served with distinction as an officer in the war. After retiring from the diplomatic service, he was employed by leading banking and brokerage firms as an expert on foreign bonds. Like John T. Flynn, he was then a favorite of left-wing American liberals and had exposed the foreign bond frauds in the New Republic at about the same time that Flynn was doing a comparable piece of work on the investment trusts.

He incurred the wrath of the liberals by bringing out a book in 1936 entitled The Coming American Fascism. Here he predicted that the New Deal would wind up in a system of Fascism, whatever the name given to it, and described what the system would probably be like. The interventionists were enraged by his Weekly Foreign Letter, which opposed our entry into the second World War, and by his The Dynamics of War and Revolution, the best book written in the United States on the institutional forces pushing us into war and on the probable results of such a war. The pro-war forces induced Harper & Brothers to withdraw the book almost immediately after publication.

Though Dennis is, actually, an aggressive individualist, he was accused of being an ardent fascist and was railroaded into the mass sedition trial in Washington in 1944. That the trial ended in a farce was due mainly to the fact that Dennis personally outlined and conducted the defense. But, though surely one of the most talented writers and lecturers in the United States today, he has been driven into complete obscurity; not even Regnery or Devin-Adair dares to bring out a book under his name.

Global Crusading and the Historical Blackout are Undermining Historical Integrity

The revisionist position bearing on the second World War is more firmly established factually, even on the basis of the materials which revisionist scholars are permitted to examine, than the Revisionism of the 1920 was by the revelations produced after 1918. But the effective presentation of revisionist contentions is frustrated, so far as any substantial influence is concerned, over any predictable future.

Certain revisionist scholars, led by the late Charles Austin Beard, have justly protested the fact that they are not permitted anything like the same access to the relevant documents as is the case with the so-called "court historians."

This is true and deplorable, but it is not a consideration of major importance with respect to Revisionism today. Revisionists already have plenty of facts. It may be safely assumed that any further revelations will only more firmly establish the revisionist position. Otherwise, all the archives and other still-secret materials would, long since, have been made available to reputable scholars, so that President Roosevelt and his administration might be cleared of unfair and inaccurate charges, founded upon limited and unreliable information. If there were nothing to hide, then, there would, obviously, be no reason for denying access to the documents.

In short, the revisionist position is not likely to be shattered by any future documentary revelations. There is every prospect that it will be notably strengthened thereby, and this assumption is confirmed by some recently edited documents on the Far Eastern situation in 1937. These show that China and Japan were growing tired of friction and conflict and were about to agree that they should get together and oppose the Communists as the chief common enemy. But the American authorities looked askance at this. Instead, they encouraged and made possible the resumption of war between China and Japan.

The development of Revisionism in connection with the second World War is placed in jeopardy mainly by the hostile attitude which exists on the part of both the general public and the historical profession toward accepting the facts and their implications with respect to world events and American policies during the last fifteen years.

The attitude and emotions of the public during wartime have been maintained without notable change by means of persistent propaganda. There has been no such disillusionment and reversal of attitude since 1945 as took place rather rapidly after 1918. The United States seems all too likely to undertake a third bloody crusade before it is fully aware of the real causes and disastrous results of the second.

The factual justification for a reversal of public attitudes and emotions is far more extensive and impressive than was the case following the first World War. But the party which was in power during the war continued to hold office until 1953, and the potency and scope of propaganda have so increased that the emotions and convictions of wartime have been perpetuated for more than a decade after Pearl Harbor. Incidentally, this is ominous evidence of our susceptibility to propaganda as we approach the "Nineteen Eighty-Four" way of life.

The historical profession is, perhaps, even less tolerant of Revisionism than is the general public. Most of those who had been leading revisionists during the 1920's espoused our second crusade, even before it exploded into war at the time of Pearl Harbor. Great numbers of historians entered into war propaganda work of one kind or another after Pearl Harbor and thus have a vested interest in perpetuating the myth of the nobility of the cause which enlisted their services. Therefore, the historical profession is oriented and powerfully fortified against any acceptance of revisionist scholarship. A number of the leading revisionists of the 1920's have now become court historians, and most of the other erstwhile revisionists refuse to admit that we were as thoroughly misled by the second crusade as by the first.

As a result of all this and numerous other factors and forces hostile to Revisionism, the situation is not encouraging to any historians who might otherwise be inclined to undertake honest research in the field. To do so would mean departmental antagonism, loss of promotion, and possibly discharge from their posts. Those not dissuaded by such considerations have to face irresponsible smearing. The very idea or concept of Revisionism is now anathema and is actually under fire at the hands of a number of prominent historians.

In case a few historians are not discouraged or intimidated by professional hostility or the prospect of irresponsible smearing, and remain determined to do substantial work on the actual causes and merits of the second World War, there is every likelihood that their efforts will prove futile so far as publication is concerned. Forthright revisionist material, however scholarly, is, for all practical purposes, excluded from publication in the great majority of our newspapers and periodicals. Only two small publishing houses in the United States have been willing to publish books embodying revisionist facts and conclusions, and they often require subsidies beyond the resources of the average private scholar. Few historians are going to be lured by the prospect of devoting years of research to a project and then be compelled to store away their completed manuscripts in a filing cabinet. They are more likely to be "practical" and fall in line with the court historians, which is the path to professional prestige and prosperity today.

When any scholar defies professional hostility and successfully gambles upon the slight prospect of publication for the results of his labors, there is little likelihood that his book will have anything like the same influence on the modification of public opinion as did the outstanding revisionist volumes of the 1920's and early 1930's. The probability is that any substantial and meritorious revisionist volume will be given the silent treatment—that is, it will not be reviewed at all in the majority of newspapers and periodicals.

When a newspaper or a periodical decides actually to review a revisionist book, it has available, as we have noted, a large corps of hatchet men, both on its own staff and drawn from eager academicians, who can be relied upon to attack and smear revisionist volumes and to eulogize the works of court historians who seek to perpetuate the traditional mythology.

There is, thus, very little probability that even the most substantial and voluminous revisionist writing on the second World War can have any decisive impact upon public opinion for years to come. One only needs to contrast the enthusiastic reception accorded to Walter Millis's The Road to War in 1935 with the general ignoring or smearing of the much more substantial and meritorious volume by William Henry Chamberlin, America's Second Crusade, in 1950.

The probability is that Revisionism, in relation to the second World War, will never be widely accepted directly on the basis of its factual merit. It will only become palatable, if ever, after we have suffered some devastating economic or political disaster which causes the American public to reverse its attitudes and policies on world affairs and to seek an ideological justification through espousing revisionist contentions. But it is obvious that it will probably require a tremendous shock—a veritable military and political catastrophe—to bring about the degree of disillusionment and realism required to produce any such result.

There is infinitely greater cause for a reversal of public attitudes today than there was in 1923, when Woodrow Wilson remarked to James Kerney: "I should like to see Germany clean up France, and I should like to see Jusserand [the French ambassador] and tell him so to his face." But, as indicated above, this ample factual basis for a comparable revision of public opinion has produced no substantial public or historical disillusionment with respect to our second crusade. Disillusionment has not even gone far enough to produce tolerance toward those who seek to explain realistically the historical basis of the transformation of Stalin from the "noble ally" of a decade ago into the current incarnation of Satan himself.

As is implied above, even though the tenets of Revisionism, with respect to the second World War, may at some distant time achieve popular acceptance in the wake of overwhelming national disaster, this will not necessarily mean any reinstatement of objective historical scholarship. The probability is that any such future period may also be one in which we will have completed the transition into "Nineteen Eighty-Four" society, which will crush out all semblance of historical freedom and objectivity. As we shall point out in a moment, ominous trends in this direction have already set in.

What we may conclude from all this is that both the public and the historians seem quite likely to be effectively protected against any immediate ravages at the hands of Revisionism. But what they will pay for this "protection" may be the greatest disaster which historical science has ever encountered since the era of the cave paintings of the Stone Age.

However much we may recoil from the prospect, there seems a strong probability that we are now entering the twilight of historical science. This is the penalty which has been exacted, so far as history and historians are concerned, for ballyhooing and defending crusades rather than seeking the truth. History has been an intellectual casualty in both World Wars, and there is much doubt that it can be rehabilitated during the second half of the century. Indeed, there is every prospect that it will become more and more an instrument and adjunct of official propaganda—a supine instrument of our "Ministry of Truth."

Many will counter these assertions by contending that the elaborate development of the methodology of historical research and exposition in our day is an adequate safeguard against the eclipse of historical integrity, prestige, and independence. But technical methodology is of little significance if those who utilize it are dominated by intense emotions or personal ambition rather than by a desire to ascertain the facts. Ample footnotes are no guarantee of accuracy or objectivity. They may only document falsehood. Formal compliance with technical methodology may only enable an historian to distort or falsify material in more complicated and ostensibly impressive fashion. If one does not wish to ascertain or state the facts, then the most effective methods of locating, classifying, and expounding the facts are nullified and of no avail.

Only a generation or so ago it was believed by most thoughtful historians that nationalism and militarism were the chief obstacle and menace to historical objectivity. It was assumed that an international outlook would make for truth and tolerance. It was held that, if we understood the extensive and complicated international contributions to all national cultures, most forms of hatred and bias would disappear. Internationalists then stressed the blessings of peace. The great majority of them were pacifists, admired peace, meant peace when they said peace, and repudiated all thought of military crusades for peace.

Had internationalism retained the same traits that it possessed even as late at the mid-30's, these assumptions as to the beneficent impact of internationalism upon historical writing might have been borne out in fact. But, during the years since 1937, the older pacific internationalism has been virtually extinguished, and internationalism has itself been conquered by militarism and aggressive globaloney.

Militarism was, formerly, closely linked to national arrogance. Today, it stalks behind the semantic disguise of internationalism, which has become a cloak for national aggrandizement and imperialism. Programs of world domination by great powers that would have left Napoleon, or even Hitler, aghast are now presented with a straight face as international crusades for freedom, peace, sweetness and light. Peace is to be promoted and ultimately realized through bigger and more frequent wars. The obvious slogan of the internationalists of our day, who dominate the historical profession as well as the political scene, is "perpetual war for perpetual peace." This, it may be noted, is also the ideological core of "Nineteen Eighty-Four" society.

Borne along by an irresistible tide of crusading fervor for over a decade and a half, most historians have fallen in line with this ominous revolution in the nature, influence, and goals of internationalism. Among well-known historians, this transition is probably most perfectly exemplified by the ideological shift in the thinking and writings of Carlton J.H. Hayes, once an able and eloquent critic of militarism, imperialism, and international meddling. The majority of our historians now support international crusades—the "saviour with the sword" complex—with far more vehemence, obsession, and intolerance than were exhibited by the most ardent nationalistic historians of the past. In my opinion, Droysen, Treitschke, Lamartine, Michelet, Macaulay, and Bancroft were calm scholars and pacific publicists compared to our present-day historical incitors to global crusades such as James Thomson Shotwell, Edward Mead Earle, Thomas A. Bailey, Samuel Flagg Bemis, Henry Steele Commager, Allan Nevins, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., and the like. To resist the saviour-with-the-sword program today is akin to treason, politically, and professionally suicidal for any historian. He is immediately smeared as an "isolationist," which is today a far worse crime before the bar of historical judgment than overt forgery of documents.

Some historians admit that this crusading by the nationalistic and militaristic wolf in the sheep's clothing of internationalism and its global wars for peace may eliminate objectivity from the history of recent events. But they contend that historical serenity may, nevertheless, survive when treating more remote eras and personalities. This is unlikely, because the emotions that have nullified historical objectivity in dealing with the history of the last twenty years are projected back into our portrayal and interpretations of the more distant past.

Germans from Arminius onward are now interesting chiefly as precursors of Hitler in one way or another. Since Hitler was a neurotic, and perhaps a paranoid, all German history is portrayed as a product of paranoia, and the only real solution is the elimination of all Germans. Paul Winkler has written about a "thousand-year conspiracy" of the Germans to incite wars against civilization, and Lord Robert Vansittart would, according to his Lessons of My Life, extend the period of plotting to nearly two thousand years. William M. McGovern, in his book From Luther to Hitler, has already implied that everything in German history since Luther is mainly significant as preparing the way for Hitler. Bishop Bossuet, actually the great ideological apologist for paternalistic absolutism, becomes the first French fascist because his doctrines were the chief political inspiration of Marshal Petain. Proudhon, about whom historians long wrangled as to whether he is to be most accurately classified as an anarchist or as a socialist, is now revealed by J. Salwyn Schapiro to be a father of French Fascism. At present it seems impossible to write a biography of Ivan the Terrible without indicating the deep similarity between Ivan and Stalin, and devoting as much attention to the latter as to the former. The menace of Genghis Khan and Tamerlane has become historically important mainly as a warning against the current challenge of the Kremlin. Serious scholars have even sought to interpret Socrates, long supposed to have been the first martyr to the freedom of thought and expression, as the father of Fascism. Plato, of late, has frequently been described as the outstanding Greek fascist. Even the great warriors of mid-Eastern antiquity are portrayed as prototypes of Hitler and Stalin. The conquering heroes of the Sung, Tang, Ming, and Manchu dynasties of China only prepared the way for Mao Tse-tung. Indeed, Richard Match, in the New York Times, December 30, 1951, suggested that the vicissitudes of Jade Star, the favorite concubine of Kublai Khan, hold many lessons "for troubled China today."

Some concede the current dangers to historical science which lie in the factors briefly described above. But they gain solace and reassurance from the assumption that the strong emotions which have gripped historical science for several decades will soon subside and that the objectivity and tolerance that preceded the first World War will ultimately reassert themselves.

Unfortunately, all the main political, social, and cultural trends of our time point ominously in the opposite direction. The discovery of politicans that the "giddy-minds-and-foreign-quarrels" strategy is the most certain key to political success and extended tenure of office is rapidly forcing the world into the pattern of "Nineteen Eighty-Four" society, if, indeed, this has not already been achieved. Historical writing and interpretation are rapidly being brought into line with the needs and mental attitudes of such a political regime.

The rhetorical basis of the global crusades of our day—"perpetual war for perpetual peace—is the most gigantic and ominous example in all history of the "Newspeak" and "doublethink" of "Nineteen Eighty-Four" semantics. We have already pointed out that it is also the cornerstone of "Nineteen Eighty-Four" ideology. The security measures alleged to be necessary to promote and execute global crusades are rapidly bringing about the police state in hitherto free nations, including our own. Any amount of arbitrary control over political and economic life, the most extensive invasions of civil liberties, the most extreme witch-hunting, and the most lavish expenditures, can all be demanded and justified on the basis of alleged "defense" requirements, without even examining the validity of the need for such defensive measures. This is precisely the psychological attitude and procedural policy which dominates "Nineteen Eighty-Four" society.

The emotional tensions essential to the support of perpetual global crusading have facilitated the dominion of propaganda over almost every phase of intellectual and public life. The books by James Burnham, The Managerial Revolution, The Machiavellians, The Struggle for the World, The Coming Defeat of Communism, and Containment or Liberation? have helped to prepare us ideologically for the reception of "Nineteen Eighty-Four" institutions, political techniques, and mental attitudes. They "soften us up" for the more willing reception of a system of military managerialism.

The hysterical reaction following Orson Welles' bogus radio broadcast on October 30, 1938, depicting an invasion from Mars, emphasizes the American capacity for credulity and shows how wartime propaganda in the next war, whether cold, hot, or phony, can readily duplicate anything of the kind portrayed in Nineteen Eighty-Four. Those who are skeptical on this point will do well to read Hadley Cantrirs book, The Invasion from Mars.

The fact that our propaganda agencies have been able to hold public opinion fairly well within the confines of the illusions of wartime for over eight years is sufficient evidence that our propaganda machinery is equal to all the emergencies and responsibilities likely to be imposed upon it by "Nineteen Eighty-Four" conditions. From five to seven years is as long as Oceania can maintain fever hatred of either Eurasia or Eastasia in Nineteen Eighty-Four.

We have already richly developed the "Newspeak" and the "doublethink" semantics of Nineteen Eighty-Four where the War Department is known as the "Ministry of Peace," the propaganda and public lying are conducted by the "Ministry of Truth," the espionage system and torture chambers are administered by the "Ministry of Love," and the department which is entrusted with the problem of keeping the masses subdued by attributing their drab life and grinding poverty to the need for defense is known as the "Ministry of Plenty."

Thomas A. Bailey approvingly warns us that, unless we wish to have greater deception of the public by the executive department of the Federal government, we must free the Executive of hampering congressional control in foreign affairs: "Deception of the people may, in fact, become increasingly necessary, unless we are willing to give our leaders in Washington a freer hand." We appear likely to get both greater deception and more executive irresponsibility.

These ominous trends have their clear implications for the future of historical science. In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell portrays it as necessary to intimidate and hire servile bureaucrats to falsify current history. This may not be necessary for a time, as we ourselves enter the "Nineteen Eighty-Four" way of life. Indeed, the writings and intrigues of our interventionist and war-minded historians have been a powerful force propelling us in this direction. In the opinion of the writer, James Thomson Shotwell, who has been the most influential of our interventionist historians for more than a third of a century, has done more than any other American intellectual figure to speed us on our way into the "Nineteen Eighty-Four" pattern of public life. Edward Mead Earle, Henry Steele Commager, Allan Nevins, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., and a host of younger men are now following enthusiastically in his footsteps.

Among other things, Shotwell was one of the chief inventors of the myth and fantasy of an "aggressive nation" and "aggressive war," which have become a basic semantic fiction and instrument of "Nineteen Eighty-Four" international jargon, policy, and procedure. It has been adopted enthusiastically by Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia. This phraseology has now lost all semblance of ethics, realism, logic, and consistency, however effective it may be in international propaganda. Indeed, as Henry W. Lawrence pointed out nearly twenty years ago, the concept of "aggressive war" never possessed any historical realism:

The harmonizing of national policies must deal with fundamentals; with the things that commonly have caused wars.

The moral right to keep on possessing the best regions of the earth is directly balanced by the right to fight and capture them. It is amazing that so few people will admit this axiom of international morality. Popular opinion is widely befogged in the more comfortable countries by the childish notion that an aggressive war is wicked but a defensive war is righteous. They are, of course, precisely equal in moral quality, as long as war is the only adequate instrument by which vested wrongs can be righted and national needs supplied. The next rational step toward a tolerable world peace would be the broadcasting of this truth throughout Great Britain, France, and the United States. It is already familiar to the peoples of Germany, Italy, and Japan.

Since 1929, and especially since 1937, the "aggressor myth" has been made the basis of the unrealistic and hypocritical international ethics and jurisprudence associated invariably with "Nineteen Eighty-Four" semantics and propaganda in which the enemy is always an aggressor and wars are fought to stop aggression. Since the second World War the "aggressor" has become the nation or coalition that is defeated in war, whatever the responsibility for starting hostilities. Being defeated, it must be punished and its leaders exterminated. Driven home by the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials, this subterfuge has given advance notice to leaders in any future wars that they must not take the risk of being defeated, no matter what horrors they have to unleash to assure victory. In this way the internationalists who falsely pose as protagonists of peace have not only produced a condition of more or less permanent war but have also made it certain that future wars will become ever more savage and devastating. No possible means of destruction can be spared to assure victory.

The majority of the writings of our historians on recent world history during the last decade and a half could be warmly accepted by an American "Ministry of Truth." The presidential address of Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison, given before the American Historical Association at Chicago on December 29, 1950, with its eulogy of war and the myth-mongers, could easily have been an official assignment executed for such a Ministry. He even preferred to provide a picture of himself in a naval uniform to be used for the program rather than to have himself portrayed in the lowly and pacific garb of a scholar. One of the most eminent of our diplomatic historians has actually proclaimed that the most commendable result of the second World War was that it provided us with a new and stronger opponent after Hitler had been overthrown. Even our court historians work without compulsion.

Few historians have been critical of the trend toward the "Nineteen Eighty-Four" patterns, and probably many of them, suffering from autointoxication with globaloney, have not even recognized the trend. Some who do recognize it are so obsessed that they eulogize it. Such is the case with Henry Steele Commager in his article, "The Lessons of April 6, 1917," appearing in the New York Times Magazine of April 6, 1952; and with Waldo G. Leland, who proudly details the services of American historians in our "Ministry of Truth" from the first World War to the present time in an article on "The Historians and the Public in the United States" in the Revista de Histori a de America, June, 1952. Those who have sought to spread the alarm have been slapped down and smeared.

The impact of "Nineteen Eighty-Four" pressures on our historical writing now appears to have become more rapid and impressive than was apparent in the years immediately following the war. The newspapers on January 14, 1951, announced that President Truman was establishing a corps of court historians to prepare an acceptable official history of world events and American policy. 52 The avowed purpose was to protect American citizens from the lies to be found in historical works written by "Communist imperialist historians." It was implied that Admiral Morison would have general direction of the group. They would operate in conjunction with the official historians already at work within the Armed Services and the State Department. It may fairly be assumed that any historians who differ with the official texts and interpretations will be regarded as agents of "Communist imperialism," whatever their prior record of hostility to the communist way of life. It is only a step from this to the rewriting of the newspapers, which was the task of Winston Smith, the central figure in Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four.

There is, of course, an element of sardonic humor in all this. Actually, the "Communist imperialist historians" of Soviet Russia are almost fanatical partisans of the Roosevelt foreign policy which brought us into the second World War to aid Russia. Hence, if any American historians might be suspected of "Communist imperialist" attitudes and tendencies, it is the interventionist group who operate the blackout and oppose Revisionism.

Though this program and trend constitute probably the greatest threat to freedom and objectivity in historical writing in modern times, there has been no evidence of any alarm or protest on the part of the leading American historians. Indeed, on January 29, 1951, the New York Herald Tribune announced that some 875 historians and other social scientists had joined in a public statement warmly endorsing the cold war and Secretary Acheson's policy:

"We support the present policy and insist that it be continued and developed without flinching. Actually, it is neither more nor less than the world-wide application of the principles of the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address, and the other basic policy declarations."

This statement not only points up the apathy of historians to the threat to their professional independence but also emphasizes their levity in regard to historical accuracy. The authors of the Declaration of Independence and of the Gettysburg Address were both inveterate opponents of our being involved in "foreign entanglements."

The statement also serves potently to illustrate the transformation of the mental attitude of the members of the American Historical Association who listened with respect and warm approval, in 1916, to the noble address of its president, George Lincoln Burr, on "The Freedom of History." Indeed, there is a well-founded rumor that the idea of creating an official corps of court historians did not originate with President Truman but was passed on to him by influential anti-revisionist historians who envisaged the program as an effective way to check and intimidate revisionist scholars. That some English historians are aware of the danger is evident from the recent book of Herbert Butterfield, History and Human Relations, in which he criticizes the "independent" historians who are hired by the Foreign Office and other governmental departments but claim to set forth the record with complete detachment.

It is quite apparent that what our officialdom fears are not the lies of "Communist imperialist historians," which could scarcely reach, much less influence, the mass of American citizens, but the truth that might be told by native American historians of long lineage, the highest patriotic motives, and complete loyalty to the American way of life as it existed before 1937. Incidentally, this trend also means that, whereas Revisionism after the second World War is difficult and frustrated, it may be nonexistent and outlawed after the third world war.

That the new policy started bearing fruit immediately was amply demonstrated at the meeting of the American Historical Association in New York City in December, 1951. The official historians were present in large numbers and some fourteen of them were on the program. The Army historians were the most conspicuous, with eleven men on the program as compared with two for the State Department and one for the Navy. This was in addition to the quasi-official court historians, and the blackout contingent among the civilian historians, who dominated most of the programs devoted to diplomatic history.

Not only is there to be an official history of the United States and its foreign policy, conceived in terms of the wisdom and necessity of current "Nineteen Eighty-Four" trends, but there is also planned a history of all mankind along similar lines for "Oceania" (the United States, the Atlantic Pact Nations, and Latin America). The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has recently announced the plan to prepare a six-volume history of mankind at a cost of $400,000, to be directed by Julian Huxley and edited by Ralph E. Turner. There can be no doubt from the prospectus that the gigantic work will have an international slant. Such an historical treatise might well be a great contribution to human knowledge and international understanding. But the auspices and sources of support will create great difficulties for Huxley, Turner, and their associates in preventing the book from falling into a frame of reference designed to show that mankind has been moving ahead from the days of Pithecanthropus erectus in order to evolve the form of the world policy which is hastening us into the "Nineteen Eighty-Four" system of life.

Occasionally, if very rarely, the ghost of Charles Austin Beard comes forth to stalk through the historical council chambers and to rebuke historians for their voluntary servitude in the "Ministry of Truth." A notable example was the paper read by Professor Howard K. Beale before the American Historical Association in Washington on December 28, 1952, on "The Professional Historian: His Theory and His Practice."

It is obvious that our historians, even those today most congenial to the global crusading which is leading us into the "Nineteen Eighty-Four" setup, may well take warning. If the transition is followed by severe disillusionment and a reversal of existing public attitudes, the now popular trends in historical writing may be sharply curtailed or even become the vestibule to torture chambers.

Even though current trends in our world policy continue during the early stages of our entry into the "Nineteen Eighty-Four" regime, our historians who now warmly embrace militarism, the crusading spirit, and war hysteria, may be over-confident. In a harsh, totalitarian society, even slight ideological deviations become heresies punishable by liquidation. General sympathy with the system does not assure safety. One has only to recall Hitler's purge of June and July, 1934, and Stalin's purges of Trotskyites and his later purges even of Stalinites who did not become sufficiently aware in time of the latest interpretations of Soviet philosophy and strategy.

Henry Steele Commager, one of our most ardent interventionist historians, and, hence, one of the profession most responsible for the current intellectual atmosphere of this country, has recently protested against the growing intellectual intolerance and witch-hunting, especially in the field of education. Commager may well be reminded that such a protest may furnish the basis for his liquidation. In a totalitarian society one cannot pick and choose which elements of totalitarianism he will accept and which he will reject. All phases must be accepted with enthusiasm and without protest.

Another important fact to remember is that the mature "Nineteen Eighty-Four" society is highly hostile to the very conception of history. The public must be cut off from the past so that there will be no feeling of nostalgia for the happier times of previous eras. Our first stage of "Nineteen Eighty-Four" experience may only extinguish honest historical writing, but the fully developed "Nineteen Eighty-Four" regime will obliterate history entirely.

Many will doubtless regard the prediction of any imminence of our entry into "Nineteen Eighty-Four" patterns as completely fantastic, somewhat akin to astrological forecasts. The fact is, however, that, in many basic essentials, we have already arrived. With a third world war we shall be there completely and inescapably. Even the fear of a third world war may suffice. As Lewis Mumford well warned us in Air Affairs, March, 1947, the fear of atomic warfare may suffice to impose on us a military regime more obstructive to freedom of thought and action than either World War was able to create. By 1953 we seemed to have arrived, earlier than anticipated by most, at the precise condition that Mumford predicted. The only way of averting such a calamity both to all human decencies and to the very existence of historical science, is to reveal the facts before the chains are fastened on us and the lock is closed.

This is only another way of stating that a robust Revisionism is our only hope of deliverance, if there be one, at this late date. For this reason one may safely maintain that Revisionism is not only the major issue in the field of historical writing today but also the supreme moral and intellectual concern of our era. Those who oppose it, whether historians or others, are only hastening and assuring their own destruction.

But I believe that few revisionists could be so devoid of decent sentiments that they would welcome vindication at the hands of the ruthless bureaucrats of a "Nineteen Eighty-Four" regime. Most of them would prefer timely repentance on the part of the blackout boys and the global crusaders rather than a form of vindication which would seal their own doom as well as that of their current opponents.

Notes on 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' Conceptions of History

In that portion of his book, Nineteen Eighty-Four, dealing with the ideology of the totalitarian system into which the world is now slipping, Orwell describes the conceptions of history and the attitude toward the past which dominate that regime. It is obvious that these require the complete obliteration of accurate historical writingp—the elimination of the very conception of any truthful history. To adopt even an historical attitude or perspective is seditious and not to be tolerated. This is the social system and intellectual pattern toward which our interventionist and global-crusading historians are rapidly, heedlessly, and recklessly driving us. Orwell thus sets forth the ideas that dominate the attitude toward history in "Nineteen Eighty-Four" society:

". . . orthodoxy in the full sense demands a control over one's own mental processes as complete as that of a contortionist over his body. . . . Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as doublethink."

"The alteration of the past is necessary for two reasons, one of which is subsidiary and, so to speak, precautionary. The subsidiary reason is that the Party member, like the proletarian, tolerates present-day conditions partly because he has no standards of comparison. He must be cut off from the past, just as he must be cut off from foreign countries, because it is necessary for him to believe that he is better off than his ancestors and that the average level of material comfort is constantly rising.

"But by far the more important reason for the readjustment of the past is the need to safeguard the infallibility of the Party. It is not merely that speeches, statistics, and records of every kind must be constantly brought up to date in order to show that the predictions of the Party were in all cases right. It is also that no change in doctrine or in political alignment can ever be admitted. For to change one's mind, or even one's policy, is a confession of weakness. If, for example, Eurasia or Eastasia (whichever it may be) is the enemy today, then that country must always have been the enemy. And if the facts say otherwise, then the facts must be altered. Thus history is continuously rewritten. This day-to-day falsification of the past, carried out by the Ministry of Truth, is as necessary to the stability of the regime as the work of repression and espionage carried out by the Ministry of Love.

"The mutability of the past is the central tenet of Ingsoc [English Socialism, as fully developed in the "Nineteen Eighty-Four" regime]. Past events, it is argued, have no objective existence, but survive only in written records and in human memories. The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon. And since the Party is in full control of all records, and in equally full control of the minds of its members, it follows that the past is whatever the Party chooses to make it. It also follows that though the past is alterable, it never has been altered in any specific instance. For when it has been recreated in whatever shape is needed at the moment, then this new version is the past, and no different past can ever have existed. This holds good even when, as often happens, the same event has to be altered out of recognition several times in the course of a year. At all times the Party is in possession of absolute truth, and clearly the absolute can never have been different from what it is now. It will be seen that the control of the past depends above all on the training of memory. To make sure that all records agree with the orthodoxy of the moment is merely a mechanical act. But it is also necessary to remember that events happened in the desired manner. And if it is necessary to rearrange one's memories or to tamper with written records, then it is necessary to forget that one has done so. . . ."

How these ideals and principles in dealing with the past were applied in the actual practices of the Ministry of Truth in Nineteen Eighty-Four is thus portrayed by Orwell:

". . . This process of continuous alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound tracks, cartoons, photographs—to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance. Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct; nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record.

"All history was palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary. In no case would it have been possible, once the deed was done, to prove that any falsification had taken place. The largest section of the Records Department, far larger than the one in which Winston worked, consisted simply of persons whose duty it was to track down and collect all copies of books, newspapers, and other documents which had been superseded and were due for destruction. A number of the Times which might, because of changes in political alignment, or mistaken prophecies uttered by Big Brother, have been rewritten a dozen times still stood on the files bearing the original date, and no other copy existed to contradict it. Books, also, were recalled and rewritten again and again, and were invariably reissued without any admission that any alteration had been made. . . "

Such are the "historical" ideals and practices of the "Nineteen Eighty-Four" regime for which our court historians are preparing us. In another portion of his book Orwell shows how well they worked out in obliterating all memory of the past. At the risk of his life, Winston Smith, the central character in the book, decided to interview an aged man in the effort to find out what the actual conditions of life had been before the "Revolution" which instituted the "Nineteen Eighty-Four" era. After prolonged questioning of the old gentleman it became apparent to Winston that this was futile. Years of subjection to totalitarian propaganda, regimentation, and thought control had obliterated all capacity to remember the general patterns of life in the earlier and happier days. All that could be recalled were trivial snatches of petty personal experiences. The past, as a social and cultural reality had disappeared forever:

"Winston sat back against the window sill. It was no use going on. . . . Within twenty years at the most, he reflected, the huge and simple question, "Was life better before the Revolution than it is now?" would have ceased once and for all to be answerable. But in effect it was unanswerable even now, since the few scattered survivors from the ancient world were incapable of comparing one age with another. They remembered a million useless things, a quarrel with a workmate, a hunt for a lost bicycle pump, the expression on a long-dead sisters face, the swirls of dust on a windy morning seventy years ago; but all the relevant facts were outside the range of their vision. They were like the ant, which can see small objects but not large ones. And when memory failed and written records were falsified—when that happened, the claim of the Party to have improved the conditions of human life had got to be accepted, because there did not exist, and never again could exist, any standard against which it could be tested."

Many will contend that nothing like this could happen in the United States, but the fact is that the process is well under way. Much of the material in the preceding pages of this chapter shows how it is being promoted. We have noted that there is already a veritable army of paid official historians assigned to write current history as the administration wishes it to be written, to say nothing of the many historians who voluntarily falsify the historical record, especially that of the last quarter of a century. The destruction and hiding of vital documents has already begun.

The Army and Navy put great pressure upon witnesses to have them change their former testimony when appearing before the congressional committee investigating Pearl Harbor. Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson sent Colonel Henry C. Clausen on a 55,000 mile junket to induce officers to distort or recant the evidence they had given previously on the Pearl Harbor tragedy. The vital "East Wind, Rain" message and other incriminating documents were removed from official files and presumably destroyed. The secret and all-important Roosevelt-Churchill exchanges, transcribed by Tyler Kent, have been hidden away and possibly destroyed. Legislation has been passed which would make it illegal to divulge their contents, even if the full record could be found. Once basic integrity is abandoned, there are no lengths to which falsification cannot easily and quickly proceed as the occasion and political expediency may demand. There is already a marked trend toward the rewriting of textbooks in the field of history, particularly with respect to the alteration of their treatment of the causes of the first World War and the entrance of the United States therein. Since few of the textbooks have told the truth about the events leading to the second World War and Pearl Harbor, there has been no need to alter this material.

An English View of the Historical Blackout

The editor sent copies of his brochures on The Struggle Against the Historical Blackout, The Court Historians versus Revisionism, and Rauch on Roosevelt to one of the most distinguished of English publicists, authors, and military historians, who wrote me the following letter relative to the historical blackout in general and in England in particular. Being aware of the retaliation which might be meted out to him in the American scholarly and book world, I am withholding his name, but it is one that is internationally known and respected:

"Thank you for your very kind letter and the pamphlets, which I have read with enthusiastic interest. I love your phrases: "The Court Historians" and "the Blackout Boys." How delightfully descriptive! But what a revelation these last seven years have been of the strength and power of both these classes of people and their myriad supporters in the Press and among the people.

"To you and me, who lived in the mentally-free world of pre-1914, the determined rush of the historical Gadarenes into the sea of falsehood and distortion has been an astounding phenomenon. Which of us would have believed, in that first decade of the century, that the values which then seemed so firmly established in the historical profession could disappear so easily and rapidly, leaving only a tiny company of unheeded and derided protestors to lament their loss? And I must admit that the protestors in the U.S.A. are more numerous and courageous than they are in this blessed land of freedom which used to make such a fuss about its Magna Carta, the execution of Charles I, and other so-called landmarks in dealing with tyranny.

"Here we are, a nation of 50,000,000. Our official historian has just published his first book on the Norwegian campaign which shows, with official authority, that we were planning exactly the same aggression against Norway as the Germans, for which later the wretched Admiral Raeder was given a life sentence. But not one voice has been raised in England to say that, now that it is known that we were just as bad as he was, he might be let out. And I know that, if I wrote to the Times, it would not go in. I will not deny that there are a few Beards, Chamberlins, Tansills and Barnes over here. But they do not find publishers here as they do with you, for which I give yours full marks. In this blessed sceptical isle and ancient land of the free. Revisionism is gagged. You must keep yours going at all costs or the darkness descends."

My correspondent's impressions need correction in one respect: apparently he imagines that American publishers are more hospitable toward revisionist books than the English. He does not realize that, aside from Dr. Beard's books, all the revisionist volumes thus far published in the United States have been brought out by two small publishers. No large commercial publisher has brought out a revisionist volume since Pearl Harbor.