Connecting With Eastern Europe

Americans have always sympathized with the Eastern European countries in their struggles for democracy, but for two centuries we haven’t been able to help much. Do we have a chance now? A distinguished expatriate looks at the odds.

Even in these days of nine-hour airplane journeys and instant telephony, the United States and Eastern Europe are very far apart. When it comes to the places and shapes of nations and states east of Germany and west of Russia, there occurs in the eyes of most Americans an instant blur. There are obvious reasons for this. One of them is the plain reality of perspective.Read more »

As Well As The Art Of Diplomacy, There Are Also The Arts Of Diplomacy

On any list of events that have altered the course of history the opening of Japan to foreign trade in 1854 must surely rank high. While the United States was pushing its boundaries westward to the Pacific and reaching the early stages of industrialization, Japan lay cradled in the tight shell of its own seventeenth century. Under an absolute ban on intercourse with the rest of the world imposed in 1638, Japanese citizens could not leave the islands, and foreigners could not enter them.Read more »

A Cycle Of Cathay

President Nixon’s visit to Peking starts one more surprising turn in an American-Chinese “affair” nearly two centuries old

Richard Nixon’s twenty-thousand-mile pilgrimage to the center of Chinese civilization—“the week that changed the world,” as he put it—may not actually have changed the world, though it quite probably did turn a new page in world history by making it unlikely that the international politics of East Asia, at least, will ever be the same again. Read more »

Full House At Yalta

Vodka at breakfast was only one of the minor problems when Russians entertained Americans

It was 5 P.M. on Sunday, the fourth of February, 1945. After seven months of dispatches and a month of frantic preparation by the Soviets, the Big Three conference at Yalta on the Black Sea was about to commence.Read more »

Disarmament Conferences: Ballets At The Brink

“Almost every time a serious disarmament effort got under way, it barely managed to move forward an inch or two before a great world cataclysm intervened”

As spring moved northward over Europe in 1970, a familiar scene was enacted in Vienna, a city where diplomacy is as much a part of the civic tradition as steelmaking in Pittsburgh. In April, Soviet and American officials exchanged greetings, drank champagne, smiled at news cameras, and then settled down to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, known to headline writers as SALT . So, with the opening of the 1970’s mankind’s long dream of disarmament once more cast its spell. It is a compelling vision.Read more »

Where Ignorant Armies Clashed By Night

In the summer of 1918, with Russia removed from World War I as a result of the Bolshevik Revolution, the United States sent troops into Russia at two points. It did so only after the greatest soul-searching on the part of President Wilson, who had said that “the treatment accorded Russia by her sister nations … will be the acid test of their good will …” Two factors influenced the decision. In the Far East, Japan had made a move to occupy Siberia, apparently threatening America’s “open door” policy for China. In North Russia, English and French leaders had hopes of reviving the eastern front against Germany. In addition, large stores of Allied war supplies had been left at the port of Archangel. The expedition to North Russia resulted in fierce combat between American and Soviet soldiers and throws significant light on the forty years of difficult relations between the United States and the Soviet Union that were to follow.