The Isolationist Enigma

"We assert that no nation can long endure half republic and half empire."
—Democratic National Platform, 1900

According to Godfrey Hodgson, Henry L. Stimson—secretary of war for William Howard Taft, secretary of state for Herbert Hoover, and, again, secretary of war, this time under Franklin D. Roosevelt—"was identified with the dangerous idea that it is America's destiny to lead the world, and the drives that had led him to that conviction come from deep in the American past. But, when all else is said and done, he was one of the great guardians of the Republic, one of those to whom Plato said the fullest honor should be given because he preserved us from our enemies." If only he had preserved us from ourselves as well.

Godfrey Hodgson, who is currently foreign editor of The Independent in London, was Washington correspondent for the London Observer from 1967 to 1971; also he has taught at Harvard, Yale, and other American universities and is described by his American publisher as a frequent lecturer in the United States. Thus credentialed, he has included in his biography of this distinguished American statesman and warrior glib glosses on the topic of isolationism in the United States in the 20th century and a silly summary of American immigration reform in the 1920's; an equation of American isolationists between the two...

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