No Clear and Present Danger: A Skeptical View of the United States Entry into World War II

No Clear and Present Danger: A Skeptical View of the United States Entry into World War II

No Clear and Present Danger: A Skeptical View of the United States Entry into World War II

No Clear and Present Danger: A Skeptical View of the United States Entry into World War II

Synopsis

There is, in a post-Cold War climate, a great need for an active, engaged U.S. foreign policy. Isolationism is not a viable solution. Yet given the limits of American power and wisdom, an engaged policy has to be conducted in a multilateral framework, informed by criticisms as well as agreement from other countries, and carried out with their active cooperation in multilateral institutions. Published at the height of the Vietnam War, No Clear and Present Danger argues that if the Vietnam War derived in substantial part from an overconfident and unilateral interpretation of history, that is a mistake from which we can still learn.

Excerpt

Re-publication of a controversial book allows the author, as well as readers, the opportunity to look both backward and forward. Looking backward offers a chance to root the text in the author's personal intellectual biography and in the context of the particular historical period and place in which the book was written. How reasonable, given that context and subsequent developments, was the argument? How might the argument have been presented differently, and how well has it held up? However one might judge it flawed, did it say something that was worth hearing at the time? Looking forward presents the chance to wonder whether elements of the argument, recognizable as such though perhaps not stated clearly or explicitly then, have something useful to say about contemporary world politics and the conditions we might reasonably expect to apply in the coming years. Both the backward and the forward look ask, in effect, does this book still have legs?

To permit a useful discussion, we must begin with the text itself. We reprint it here without any changes. Both the main body of the book and the original preface are untouched; even typographical errors have been left alone. What you see now is what you got then.

This was a controversial book, and likely remains so. It is clearly a brash book by a then relatively youthful scholar (age 35 when the writing was completed at the end of 1970). Being older now should make me more sensitive to the negative reac-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.