Ethnicity, Race, and American Foreign Policy

In This Review

Ethnicity, Race, and American Foreign Policy

By Alexander Deconde
Northeastern University Press, 1992
270 pp. $32.50
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One of America's senior diplomatic historians, DeConde provides a two-century survey of the impact of ethnic interest groups on U.S. foreign policy. This is a balanced and scholarly book that manages both to cover the various incidents in those 200 years and provide a theoretical framework. His general conclusion is that ethnic groups can have a limited effect on policy toward a specific country or region, but their effectiveness depends on many factors. American Jews obviously have a much greater impact on policy toward Israel than Afro-Americans have with respect to South Africa. Most refreshing in this thought-provoking volume is DeConde's inclusion of Anglo-Americans as an ethnic interest group supporting British interests, and by far the most successful, with Jewish-American support for Israel a distant second.