A Dual Heritage: The Public Career of Oscar S. Straus

By Naomi W. Cohen | Go to book overview

twelve
THE FIGHT FOR THE LEAGUE

Oscar Straus had seen his long cherished hopes for international peace crumble before his eyes. But convinced that America had chosen the only righteous alternative, he went along wholeheartedly with her entry into the war. He interpreted her belligerency in light of her age-old mission: the United States sought to preserve world liberty and to lead the nations in their quest for peace. " America is ready to march through hades if she can assist in a permanent peace founded on right and justice." A bright post-war world fashioned according to these precepts beckoned pacifists like Straus and explained their defection from the peace ranks. As Straus himself said: "Many of our wise pacifists have developed into belligerent pacifists. I confess I belong to that school myself. Before the war began, the proposition presented itself in the glaring phrase, 'Utopia or hell! Can you blame us for choosing Utopia? We did not realize that we had to wade through the jaws of hell to reach Utopia."1


I

Once having equated the war effort with righteousness, Straus behaved like any active patriot. He spoke frequently at recruitment drives and bond rallies, conforming to the general pat

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A Dual Heritage: The Public Career of Oscar S. Straus
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • One - The Emergence Of a Liberal 3
  • Two - Minister To Turkey 21
  • Three - A Merchant In Politics 39
  • Four - Communal Stewardship 55
  • Five - Second Mission To Turkey 74
  • Six - In the Paths Of Peace 102
  • Seven - Humanitarian Diplomacy 121
  • Eight - Secretary Of Commerce And Labor 145
  • Nine - The Taft Years 174
  • Ten - "The Future Belongs To Progressivism" 199
  • Eleven - Peace And War 228
  • Twelve - The Fight For The League 252
  • Thirteen - End Of An Era 284
  • Fourteen - In Perspective 295
  • Notes 303
  • Bibliography 365
  • Acknowledgments 379
  • Index 381
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