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>Chris Tudda wrote: > > When I reference or interpret a document, then I must cite that document. > At the same time, if I quote only a portion of a given document, or if I > use ellipses to support my thesis and either misleading or sometimes a > false impression of what the evidence *really* says is portrayed, (the > practice employed by Williams which Maddox cited in his book), then I > should be called to the floor for selectively using those sources. Chris Tudda raises an interesting point in his last sentence regarding the use or misuse of footnotes. I have always been fascinated by footnotes ever since I read all of Leo Strauss' _Thoughts on Machiavelli_. If anyone really wants to experience footnotes, I recommend that book. However, I failed to heed Willmore Kendall's warning that anyone serious about reading the book will have to devote 6 weeks to reading it. Having read it and nearly all the footnotes, I fully appreciate the warning. On reading Mr. Buzzanco's Bernarth Lecture, I came across a situation mentioned by Mr. Tudda where the material cited did not reflect what the author suggests that it does. On p. 591 in "Diplomatic History" Mr. Buzzanco makes the following statement to support his argument that the United States was pursuing hegemony abroad and suppressing any threats to that hegemony at home. "George Frost Kennan admitted in 1948 that "we have 50 percent of the world's wealth but only 6.3 percent of its population... Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships that will allow us to maintain the position of disparity." He cites FRUS 1948 for the quotation. On the surface, that seems to be a bold statement. As someone interested in footnotes from my experience with Strauss' work, I thought I should check out that particular footnote. I have found that extraordinary or bold statements are often a prelude to an even bolder statement within the source material. However, much to my surprise, and disappointment (more on that later), I found the quotation to be taken out of context. By that I do not mean that Mr. Kennan never wrote those words, I mean that the context around the quotation qualifies the quotation. The quotation is taken out of context and presented as evidence of something more sinister than was intended by Mr. Kennan. After reading the source material and the surrounding documents, I came to a different understanding of the quotation. In all fairness, I recommend that readers find the material in FRUS and judge for themselves. In the meantime, I propose a different interpretation of the evidence based on three points. The first relate to the statement and its position in the original text. The second relates to the immediate political context within the administration. The third point relates to the historical context in which the statement is made. The first point focuses on the original text. Upon reading the original, I came across a cover letter to the report. In FRUS, this cover letter immediately precedes Mr. Kennan's report. The cover letter points out that the analysis is Mr. Kennan's alone and has not been cleared or seen by anyone else. He also points out that it would change dramatically if it were presented to the whole department and made into policy. Mr. Buzzanco does not mention this point. In the 8 page document, the quotation Mr. Buzzanco cites occurs near the end. It is in the section concerning the Far East. In other words, Mr. Kennan applies the statement to that region not to the whole world. Moreover, the statement, and indeed the whole report, appears to be written to counter the belief that the United States should use its limited power for altruistic purposes. I reproduce the quotation in full so that readers may understand my point. "Furthermore, we have about 50% of the world's wealth but only 6.3% of its population. This disparity is particularly great as between ourselves and the peoples of Asia. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. (FRUS 1948 Vol. 1. p.524)" In other words, Mr. Kennan was arguing that the United States power will eventually diminish, as it has, and that if it wants to maintain that security, it must not waste its limited and diminishing power on altruistic goals. Note Mr. Kennan is not suggesting a position of hegemony or empire, but security. The word disparity simply means that the United States has to be stronger than anyone who might threaten it or its interests. The war that had just ended had demonstrated what happens to those who are weak. In sum, Mr. Kennan is making the argument that the United States must assure her security before she can think about securing altruistic goals, like human rights or the rule of law. In making this argument he was echoing advice that Aristotle or Adam Smith would have made. Aristotle, in the _Politics_, argued that a polis came together for the good life, but had to make sure that the polis was secure so that the good life could continue. Adam Smith, in _Wealth of Nations_, pointed out that prosperity without national security would be soon lost. Mr.Buzzanco does not mention this context at all even though it modifies the meaning and the intent of the statement. Moreover, Mr. Kennan was making his statement to attack those who would suggest altruistic policies and goals for the United States. This leads me to my second point, the possible political context within the administration. I say possible because I can only surmise it from the developments that followed. In the State Department around this time, there were two groups. One group represented by Kennan suggested policies and policy goals based more on realism. The other group, represented by Dean Rusk, suggested that the United States pursue policy goals based more on idealism. The comparison is very crude, and I make it only to bring out the point that Mr. Kennan was by no means in the ascendancy within the State Department. As later events demonstrated, Mr. Kennan left the State Department and Dean Rusk rose to the number three post. Thomas Shoenbaum, in _Waging Peace and War : Dean Rusk in the Truman, Kennedy and Johnson Years_ discusses the ideological differences between Rusk and Kennan and how Rusk rose in the State Department and Mr. Kennan left. The point I want to make is that even though Mr. Kennan's views are present in FRUS that does not mean that he was unopposed or that the United States followed his policy suggestions. Mr. Buzzanco does not mention this possibility. The third point is that Mr. Buzzanco overlooks or fails to mention the statement's historical setting. 1948 was a year fraught with danger. The Berlin Blockade, the collapse of China, the Stalin and the Soviet Union's apparently bellicose statements. The world did not appear all that safe and the United States had limited resources. If the United States was to survive and have a chance of promoting the altruistic ends that others wanted, then it would have to take steps to assure its security. In the Far East, the United States' foothold on the Eastern flank of Eurasia, China, was collapsing. If the United States was to protect its interests, it could not engage in policies that would expend precious resources but added little immediate benefit for national security. All of these points, made after a cursory reading of the original source, suggest something different from what Mr. Buzzanco was suggesting. If Mr. Buzzanco had simply cited a secondary source, rather than the primary source, I could understand the difference. However, Mr. Buzzanco cites the original and that has me puzzled and disappointed. I am dissapointed because checking footnotes reveals more problems. Do I have to check every footnote to make sure that the author has cited the information without leaving out or shading material? How many people do this? How many people have the time to do this beyond one or two potentially questionable footnotes. If we must check the footnotes so as to be sure they say what he author suggests they say, it will be very difficult to learn anything. As a graduate student, I have the time to check the footnotes, as I had the time to read Strauss' _Thoughts on Machiavelli_, but what about others who will not have time or even a knowledge of the source material? What makes this even more discouraging is that I often find, after going to the archives, that authors have left out or shaded the meaning of material they cited. Is it therefore necessary to double check the archives to make sure that I am reading what is exactly in the archives? If this is the case, scholarship is more difficult than any student, who seeks to be educated, can hope to achieve. In sum, are we expected to do primary research simply to make sure that the secondary literature is cited correctly? I realize that for a dissertation one must do primary research, but how can I be expected to do primary research on every topic? How can undergraduates be expected to do primary research? Lawrence Serewicz L.W.Serewicz@pol-as.hull.ac.uk