The American Encounter: The United States and the Making of the Modern World

In This Review

The American Encounter: The United States and the Making of the Modern World

Edited by James F. Hoge, Jr. and Fareed Zakaria
Basic Books, 1997
$35.00
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These 42 essays from the past 75 years of Foreign Affairs are consistently illuminating and enjoyable. The older selections, interestingly enough, often speak most directly to the present moment. Alfred E. Zimmern's careful 1923 exploration of the relationship between nationalism and internationalism demonstrates that these concepts, like order and liberty, might better be seen as correlates than competitors. Karl Kautsky's 1922 examination of the impact of the Versailles Treaty on Germany might be read (substituting Russia for Germany) as an object lesson in the dangers of foisting on a new democracy the sins of the fathers. And Walter Lippmann's masterful 1926 portrait of William Borah (R-Idaho), then chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, just goes to show that senatorial leadership and political commentary have both suffered an ominous decline in quality.