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BOOK REVIEWS193 suspicion, and ignorance. Scholars will probably not find new interpretations nor ground breaking analysis in these pages, but this handsomely illustrated, interestingly written, and forcefully presented monograph will allow readers to consider a myriad of important and compelling questions about white-black relations in the South. In doing so Professor Richardson has provided historians and general readers alike with a book of enduring significance. Loren Schweninger University of North Carolina—Greensboro Imperialism andIdealism: American Diplomats in China, 1861 -1898. By David L. Anderson. (BIoomington: Indiana University Press, 1985. Pp. ix, 237. $24.95.) David Anderson looks at the eight United States ministers to China between 1861 and 1898 and concludes they could not agree on how the United States should act toward China. Their policies ranged from Anson Burlingame's treatment of China as an equal in the family of nations to J. Ross Browne's advocating coercing concessions from China. Anderson attributes this absence of a consistent policy to the ambivalence Americans held toward China, an ambivalence arising from the dichotomy between idealism and imperialism in American foreign relations. The idealist impulse urged Americans to respect Chinese sovereignty while the imperialist impulse pushed the U.S. to force its will on China. Anderson's focus is on the ministers themselves: who they were, where they came from, and how they responded to diplomatic issues in China. All too often, this results in a tedious summarizing of diplomatic dispatches. More importantly, this approach does not provide the larger picture that would allow Anderson to substantiate his thesis that the dichotomy between idealism and imperialism caused the lack of consistency in U.S. policy. It is equally probable that the absence of a consistent policy was due to the relative insignificance and distance of China in an age when foreign policy was of minor importance to the United States. By the 1890s, when telegraphic communication brought Peking closer to Washington and American secretaries of state were actually planning a foreign policy, the State Department asserted much more control over the U.S. minister in Peking even though, Anderson argues, the idealist/imperialist dichotomy continued until it was resolved in 1900 by John Hay's Open Door note. Anderson rejects the arguments that the Open Door policy was the triumph of idealism or a first step toward "informal empire." Instead, Hay's note was an expedient attempt to meet domestic political problems "by identifying American interests and welfare with abstract ideals." The result was a twentieth-century foreign policy which some called imperialism, the U.S. government called idealism, and "in truth 194CIVIL WAR HISTORY was both idealism and imperialism" (p. 192). Yet a closer look at Anderson 's own evidence suggests that U.S. ministers to China had reconciled the idealist and imperialist impulses long before John Hay. Whatever else their disagreements, they were convinced that the more the American system could be extended to China, the better for China and the United States. Most of this book is not concerned with these interesting if debatable theses but with the diplomatic efforts of the U.S. ministers. As a result, readers will learn very little about the attitudes and activities of missionary , business, or naval personnel in China. The usefulness of this book is in its competent description of who the ministers were, what they believed , and what they did. Jonathan G. Utley University of Tennessee, Knoxville COMMUNICATIONS To the Editor of Civil War History: I am writing in response to the review of my book Travels in America which appeared in the December 1986 issue of Civil War History. Although the reviewer, Glenda Riley, generally praised the work, she provided misinformation on one count and neglected to comment on two important features of the book. First, she states that my work suffers from a "lack of an index of authors by place or origin so that one might pull out all the observers from a particular country with ease. This would facilitate research into, for example , the Polish point of view" (p. 359). On page 278 1 indexed "Travelers , Foreign." Indeed, seven Polish accounts are listed. Second, she neglected to mention two important features ofmy work: the inclusion...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 193-194
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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