Academic journal article Journalism History

Book Reviews -- Joe Alsop's Cold War: A Study of Journalistic Influence and Intrigue by Edwin M. Yoder Jr

Academic journal article Journalism History

Book Reviews -- Joe Alsop's Cold War: A Study of Journalistic Influence and Intrigue by Edwin M. Yoder Jr

Article excerpt

Yoder, Edwin M., Jr. Joe Alsop's Cold War: A Study of Journalistic Influence and Intrigue. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 1995. 220 pp. $24.95,

Joseph W. Alsop was a flamboyant and idiosyncratic cold warrior, as Edwin M. Yoder, Jr. shows in this elegant study. Alsop embraced the domino theory and fretted about the strength of U.S. defenses, but condemned Senator Joseph R. McCarthy's frenzied investigations of Communist subversion. He denounced the supposed U.S. loss of China in 1949, but defended the State Department's China hands against charges of disloyalty. He endorsed the building of the hydrogen bomb and flirted with the idea of preventative war, but considered the suspension of the security clearance of Robert Oppenheimer, the H-bomb's most prominent opponent, an "ignoble act." These apparent contradictions"--militant anticommunism in foreign policy, equally militant insistence on civility and fair play in domestic politics"--are the central concerns of Yoder's engaging and well-written analysis of Alsop's Cold War journalism.

Yoder attributes Alsop's Cold War views mainly to the Progressive heritage from his uncle, Theodore Roosevelt. "A sense of civility mandated certain restraints in domestic politics; a sense of national responsibility mandated a strong hand abroad." He shows bow these twin imperatives influenced Alsop's view of Cold War issues during the twelve years (1946-58) that he and his brother Stewart wrote a regular column for the New York Herald Tribune. Finally, the final chapter provides a glimpse of Alsop's fascination with John F. Kennedy.

A friend of Alsop's and a columnist for the Washington Post Writer's Group, Yoder has written a sympathetic yet properly critical book. He demonstrates Alsop's myopia in attributing the Nationalist defeat in China mainly to the misjudgments of General Joseph W. Stilwell. He proves how Alsop was wrong in charging in 1960 that a "missile gap" had opened that gave the Soviet Union a commanding lead in intercontinental ballistic missiles. …

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.