Friday, June 17, 2011

"Profile of Europe" By: Sam Welles (1948)


 I'm in the process of writing a proper book review of my grandpa's book, Profile of Europe

In the meantime, here are some photos and excerpts:


My grandpa's book.
           
On back of book:

Sam Welles
Author of Profile of Europe is an associate editor of Time and one of its top foreign news writers. During the war he served for three years in the State Department and in our London Embassy, where he was the Special Assistant to Ambassador Winant.
            At Oxford University, on a Rhodes Scholarship after Princeton, he took an honors degree in modern history. Ever since 1935 has spent a considerable part of his time traveling over Europe. In one thirty-nine month period he logged more than 100,000 miles from Connemarra to Constantinople; and during the Conference of Foreign Ministers in Moscow he walked more than 300 miles through that city and its suburbs. In the months that followed, he visited sixteen other countries, making his way across most of them by car. His equipment-including extra cans of gas, spare tires, tools, food and mountains of documents- would almost have outfitted a polar explorer.

Here is my favorite section of the book because it gives insight into its real purpose. 
Profile of Europe is a plea to the Western world, 
a guidebook on how to avoid war with the Soviet Union. 

“Should America attack Russia?
          Lincoln's statement, "This government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free," is often quoted at you. Then the arguer adds, "Wouldn't Lincoln say that of the world today?" He would. That does not necessarily mean war. Lincoln did not say America would have to go to war with itself about slavery. He spoke in 1958, and war was very far from his thoughts. 
          If Americans, north and south, had known in advance the toll of the Civil War (from which the states that started the shooting have never completely recovered), the Civil War would almost certainly never have been fought. Most Americans now know in advance the toll another war could take. There are many Russians who do not know it because of what the Kremlin hides- on, for example, the atom.
            Fear- of Russia, of responsibility, of every tangible and intangible possibility the future may hold-leads some Americans to say, ‘Drop the atom bomb on Russia now.’ Fear has started a lot of wars. It has never finally settled anything and never will. For America to attack Russia with atom bombs or any other weapon, as Japan attacked us, would be insane. Militarily it would not be the quick, cheap victory its advocates claim. Morally it would not solve a single American dilemma. It would only pose more and worse dilemmas. If America lets its fear of Russia lead it into conquering Russia, we would then- by the insane logic of fear, fear ourselves and everything else in the world. Just as the scared men in the Kremlin, having conquered the Russian people as much as they can, now fear themselves and everything else in the world. 
          High-minded people, who want to abolish slavery in Russia and everywhere else, also quote Lincoln's sentence. They usually think the Civil War was fought over slavery. It was not. It was fought over states' rights. When Lincoln became President, some time after several southern states had seceded and formed a Confederacy, he did not advocate the abolition of slavery or suggest that as the cause for going to war. The issue was whether a state which had acceded to the union had the right to secede. Late in 1861, Lincoln removed General Fremont from his command for freeing slaves in Missouri. It was not until January 1, 1863, and only with grave misgivings about the strict constitutionality of his course, that Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves. Slavery was not settled in the Constitution until three amendments were added between 1865 and 1870. The issue of fair treatment for Negroes in America has still not been settled. 
          American's favorite fallacy is that you can legislate goodness. You can't. The Supreme Court has used those three constitutional amendments to justify the constitutionality of many things their drafters never dreamed about, but they have not brought justice for the Negro. ”





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