Revisionism and the Historical Blackout - Henry Elmer Barnes

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.