In This Review

American Power: The Rise And Decline Of U.S. Globalism, 1918-1988
American Power: The Rise And Decline Of U.S. Globalism, 1918-1988
By John Taft
HarperCollins, 1990, 321 pp

This lively book deals with the ideas and behavior of nine well-known diplomats: Bullitt, Murphy, Welles, Kennan, Harriman, Bowles, John Foster Dulles, Bunker and Lodge. The author describes a generation of liberal internationalists who, despite an isolationist public, engineered world supremacy for the United States, then lost their nerve. His attitude toward them, and what he sees as resurrected isolationism, is ambivalent. The biographical approach is readable, but exaggerates the influence of personal characteristics.