Hamilton Fish Armstrong underwent a serious operation almost immediately after he laid down the editorship of this magazine with the 50th Anniversary Issue last October. He died in April. He was our friend, our mentor, and the principal source of the ideals we strive to continue. We have asked three friends and associates to write of him, and we conclude with an excerpt from one of his own early articles. It sums up what he stood for.
For a full half-century Hamilton Fish Armstrong was associated with Foreign Affairs, first as managing editor and then as editor after the death of Archibald Cary Coolidge. When the journal was inaugurated by the Council on Foreign Relations, Coolidge, as a Harvard professor, remained in Cambridge, and Armstrong had to hold the little fort, then on Forty-Third Street. The two men worked admirably together and Armstrong often declared how much he gained from his all-too-brief collaboration with one of the wisest and most broad-minded unofficial statesmen this country has ever had.
When Armstrong took over the editorship in 1928, Foreign Affairs was already recognized for its authoritative and objective treatment of world affairs. But it was left for the new pilot to steer a course through the stormy seas of a world depression, and then to keep an even keel through a decade of aggression in Europe and Asia, culminating in the ordeal of the Second World War and eventually the anguish and uncertainty of the thermonuclear age.
No better guide could be imagined. He traveled widely, came to know at first hand the problems of many countries, and seized every opportunity, in New York and abroad, to assess the statesmen of foreign nations and their policies. His own writings, often full of foreboding, were nevertheless as well-balanced as they were well-informed. Under his stewardship the magazine attained a world reputation and an influence out of proportion to its circulation.
In 1925 I assumed charge of the Recent Books section of Foreign Affairs and
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