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History Response Papers

Garrett Moritz IN SEARCH OF A SUMMA DIPLOMATICA Henry Kissinger was a star academic at Harvard and Secretary of State. Yet, neither he nor anyone else has written a Summa Diplomatica presenting all sides of international relations. In Power and Interdependence, Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye modify Kissinger-type "realist" interpretations of international relations. Though the "complex interdependence" they develop initially seems to be at odds with the "realism" described by Kissinger, the two can be complements from the right perspective. To compare Kissinger's realism with complex interdependence, we must first understand something of Kissinger's view.1 It is founded on the idea of "World Orders." In every age, says Kissinger, a hegemonic regime has emerged. The Rome of the Augustan Principate, the Pax Britannica of the 19th century or the United States in the current century all determined the "World Order" in their respective eras. What exactly that "World Order" was may not always be formally defined, as in the case of the US. Debate over the international duties and interests of America, for instance, fluctuated in the early decades of the "American Century" between Theodore Roosevelt's aggressive New Nationalism and Woodrow Wilson's ideologically-founded New Freedom. Our readings from Kissinger focus on the regime shift from the increasingly inflexible Concert of Europe, Balance of Power scheme to a more Americandominated regime. The old order, adequate since 1815, became obsolete in an era of rapid mobilization and total war. The rigid alliance system created a "zero-sum game" which made World War I inevitable. Kissinger's analysis leaves several questions unanswered. For instance, how does one measure power? What constitutes power certainly changes over time. For instance, industrial and military capacities, common measures of power in the Victorian era, are largely insufficient indexes in a modern era where media and information processing are increasingly important. Another unanswered question is who has power? For Kissinger it is enough to assume that governments have power, and that they are unified enough to exercise it. In essence, Kissinger's presentation of international relations is a "realist" one. In Power and Interdependence, Keohane and Nye are unwilling to leave these questions unanswered. For them, realism is only a model, imperfect in some

this is not necessarily true. Sometimes. While it may appear that Kissinger's realism is at odds with complex interdependence. power in one issue does not translate into power in all issues (Keohane 43). realism is sufficient for understanding international relations. Complex interdependence emphasizes (1) the existence of multiple channels of communication. Keohane and Nye point out that the simpler explanation is often best. The traditional gold standard (1925-1931) gave way in the 1940s to a quasi-regime which emerged in the Bretton Woods Agreement. the development of modern extractive economies. Two case studies of the complex interdependence model. led to the partitioning of large amounts of sea in an oceanic "Enclosure Movement." that is. Undeveloped countries often gained coastal zones of 200 or 300 miles from shore. Military force was even less important in the Money issue. giving weak nations increased power through the one-nation-one-vote rule. And Kissinger himself accepts some of complex interdependence. Under such a model. Under the Pax Britannica and continuing until 1945. the Oceans and Money issues." is often more realistic than "realism" itself. power is not "fungible." Later. they admit. Keohane and Nye conclude that the complex interdependence model is becoming more and more relevant over time (Keohane 161). The power of small nations and the insignificance of force made complex interdependence accurate for explaining the Oceans issue. Although postwar American dominance was clear in the Money issue.2 Although neither of these two issue areas conformed to complex interdependence in all situations. and informal groups of transnational economic schools of thought held enormous sway. highlight the model's success. While realism holds to an "overall structure model.situations. . Even Iceland challenged Britain in the so-called "Cod Wars" (Keohane 96). with complexity added as needed. rather than military power. (2) the absence of a clear hierarchy of issues and (3) the irrelevance (in many cases) of military force. They argue that an alternative model. "complex interdependence. a traditional "freedom of the seas" regime existed which treated the seas like an international "commons. By 1976." complex interdependence often emphasizes an "issue structure" where linkages cannot easily be drawn between areas." Much of the deliberation on the Oceans issue took place in the UN. including informal ties between foreign policy elites. such as mining and offshore oil drilling. the International Monetary Fund had evolved into a system of highly flexible exchange rates controlled by central government banks. Keohane and Nye argue that this was due to America's strength in the issue area.

New York: Simon and Schuster. While Kissinger examines regime changes in overall structure. Diplomacy. 1994. there does not seem to be any fundamental conflict between Kissinger's realism (as applied to epochal events such as World War I) and complex interdependence (applied to smaller. Endnotes 1 This understanding will necessarily be spotty. Diplomacy. Besides reconciling the two views. In the end.) Bibliography Henry Kissinger. Second Edition. Even Keohane and Nye would not claim that the Oceans or Money issues were as momentous as World War I. Keohane and Nye use narrower issues to develop their theories of complex interdependence. the issues the writers choose dictate the seeming conflict between their views. it is also important to note that the subjects they are based on are tremendously different.evident in his discussion of the overlapping and conflicting agendas of the Russian Chancery and Asiatic bureaucracies (Kissinger 174). Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye." Thus. The imperfection of any one model reveals that a perfect description of human behavior in international relations has yet to be found. as it is quite possible that military power and financial strength are related in some respects. The conflict then. it is unlikely that they would quibble as much over the "fungibility of power. (Thank goodness for that. though undeniably important issues). as it is based only on a few chapters of his book. Harper-Collins Publishers. exists when the less experienced apply realism to inappropriate situations. 2 Such questions of causality are blurry at best. Kissinger had at least an intuitive understanding of complex interdependence. . In discussing world war. Used together wisely. This defense of the complex interdependence nature of the Money issue thus seems tenuous. because otherwise there would be very little to say. 1989. Power and Interdependence. the two models may be more effective than applying either one in all situations. As revealed by his discussion of the Chancery and Asiatic bureaus.

THE GREAT IDEOLOGY HUNT According to Michael H. It is hard therefore to even imagine a foreign policy approach in any historical period not influenced by some kind of ideology. This idea grew as the nation grew. but racism was largely ubiquitous. The salient question then is not whether ideologies have influenced history. through the annexation of vast territories including the Louisiana and Gadsden Purchases in 1803 and 1853. the new nation was not completely unique.S. The ultimate expression of American faith in its own greatness was probably John L. author of Ideology and U." (29-31) Such examples describe a nineteenth century in which this first core idea was present in U. such as the decision to think of the world as made up of national entities rather than billions of unique individuals. are ideologies of a sort. the most fundamental choices. favoring Anglo-Saxons followed by Germans. respectively. . From Jackson's extermination of the Creek and Seminole Indians (54) to Mahan's advocacy of cooperation with Anglo-Saxon nations (79). and blacks at the bottom (48). was just as much a part of the Founding Fathers' mindsets as the importance of life. Revolt against Britain required a belief in the country's special nature apart from Britain. put whites on top." which held that the U. This second core idea. The racial hierarchy. liberty and the pursuit of happiness. S outhern Europeans and finally Jews (78). ideology as it applies to international relations is "an interrelated set of convictions or assumptions that reduces the complexities of a particular slice of reality to easily comprehensible terms and suggests appropriate ways of dealing with that reality. Among whites there also was an ethnic hierarchy. Hunt's example is Benjamin Franklin. The American vision of greatness appeared in the very founding of the Republic.S. racial hierarchy. "yellow" and "red" skinned races next.S. However. A seemingly timeless ethnocentric idea. Hunt. foreign policy ideology. but which ideologies have influenced history. evidenced by the popularity of Thomas Paine's message of American uniqueness in Common Sense (19). O'Sullivan's concept of "Manifest Destiny. Hunt asserts that three core ideas have influenced American foreign policy over the years: (1) A belief in national greatness coupled with liberty (2) a well defined sense of racial hierarchy and (3) a suspicion of revolution (17-10). in its nineteenth century formulation. permeated foreign policy ideology." (Hunt xi) With ideology defined in so broad a sense.S. this second idea was all too significant in U. was "the nation of human progress. foreign policy. common throughout Europe. Slavs. Foreign Policy.

The reason is that each of the three core ideas is a double-edged sword that can be interpreted in several ways. their application was not. Rousseau-derived realism. a proponent of order above almost everything else. on the other hand. For instance. The views of John Adams. optimism and pessimism may be regarded as high-level ideologies. an antirevolutionary stance evolved in U. it is possible to agree on the goal of national greatness without agreeing on what "greatness" actually means. denies the possibility of progress. these ideologies made few things inevitable. How could the U. such as in the Greek Rebellion. Hierarchy of States. Jacobin excesses coupled with insult in the XYZ Affair soured initially enthusiastic American support for the French Revolution (97).S. Ian Clark describes a utopian optimism associated with Kant and a pessimistic realism associated with Rousseau. encapsulated this third core idea (92)." (56) An example of a twentieth century neo-Kantian is Woodrow Wilson. There is a paradox of realism as well: it is founded upon a conviction that politics behaves in a certain way. pervasive rationalism. takes a more deterministic view. The . The optimistic view is based on belief in progress. denies a universal harmony of interests. including attitudes as fundamental as pessimism and optimism. The importance of these ideas was definite. As other revolutions failed to live up to America's high standards. itself a young revolutionary nation. Though the ideologies Hunt presents were central to the nineteenth century. Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson were a similar case in the early twentieth century (127-129)..The third core idea seems an unusual one. who sought to bring a utopian League of Nations out of the adversity of the first world war. become suspicious of revolution? This was largely a product of experience. As for revolutions. but waned over time.S. and the assumption of a natural harmony of interests between states (Clark 51-54). Race hierarchy can work two ways as well--it explains the colonizing impulse as well as the eugenicist aversion to having anything to do with "lesser races". Hamilton pursued a European style of greatness in foreign policy while Jefferson advocated an aloof isolationism (22-23). yet its emphasis on worst-case planning hinges on uncertainty (86). nondeterminism. In a way. In his book. eschews the power of rationality. This leads to some interesting assertions. The application depended on other factors. The Jeffersonian view (94) that revolution was necessary and could not be carried out "in a feather-bed" remained. Americans have often wanted to support them. especially the paradoxical one that "progress is created by adversity. ideology. makes a distinction between individual and state use of morality and holds that states are perpetually locked in combat (68-72).

hypocrisy concerning some African countries reveals that the racial hierarchy is all too real. with "traditional imperialism" consisting of "sovereignty. Geopolitics contributed to ideas such as Cold War "Containment" and the "Domino Theory. According to Hunt. even Woodrow Wilson allowed the anglophile leanings of advisors such as Colonel Edward House to push him towards siding with the British over the Germans in World War I (133). ignored South African apartheid. though the picture remains complex. The "great-cycle" theory emphasized U. In many cases. All three remained factors in the twentieth century. whether in ." The racial hierarchy also has stood the test of time.S.S. Climatically..." Nonetheless. In the twentieth century. Even without obscuring jargon. In this way. The even more recent concept of "Geopolitics" asserts that technology has made the world so small that every event is a security concern (152). all three core ideas applied in the Vietnam War.interaction of the two with Hunt's core ideas may partially explain why the three ideas have been applied differently. with Dean Rusk ironically saying. the U. The realist tradition of pessimism would suggest that this is wishful thinking. the CIA did not hesitate to assassinate nationalists in the Congo when insurgency led to anti-white violence (166). Hunt suggests that in the wake of traumatic failure in Vietnam. "We are not the self-elected gendarmes for the political and social problems of other states. American attempts to modernize Vietnamese politics and win "hearts and minds" reflected the civilizing impulse associated with racial hierarchy. began in 1898.over numerous territories. Social Scientists now use neutral terms such as "modernization" and "economic efficiency" to clothe racism in pseudoscientific vocabulary (160). For years after World War II. the old ideologies have been recast in an updated vocabulary. 1898: A HISTORICAL HEADACHE American imperialism. And the efforts to support dictator Ngo Dinh Diem over Ho Chi Minh showed the aversion to leftist revolutions. Hunt's core ideas have proven remarkably resilient. Ideas of American greatness and suspicion of revolution have perhaps become even stronger in the age of American hegemony. the core ideas have faded (170). duty to the world following World War II (Hunt 151). The war was perceived as a contest of greatness with the USSR. in the traditional sense. This justifies worldwide intervention.

As a result of the treaty." To these theories. Guam and the Philippines to the United States. Spain promptly surrendered. Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt's 1897 preemptive plan for war with Spain went into effect. Though lacking . and Commodore George Dewey engaged and destroyed the Spanish fleet at Manilla. Samuel Flagg Bemis described 1898 as the "great aberration. The Founding Fathers would likely have been very surprised to know that a little more than a century after the signing of the Constitution America would have colonies of its own. Ernest May approaches the question by examining the opinions of the "foreign policy elite. Mommsen's Theories of Imperialism. Some of these theories dovetail nicely with those listed in Wolfgang J. Puerto Rico. intellectuals.S. the defining international issue was the SpanishAmerican War. how they even could happen. The U. and in April of 1898 declared war on Spain in the wake of the USS Maine's sabotage.Europe or overseas. officially annexed Hawaii. Founded in response to perceived British tyranny. Spain ceded Cuba. and why they happened specifically in that year are perplexing questions which inspire pages of verbiage while providing little confidence in any one answer." (Mommsen 5) Although 1898 was also the year the U.S. businessmen. Using the foreign policy elite as a microscope on public opinion in general." May cites four possible reasons for the foreign policy elite's "swing": (1) Walter LaFeber's explanation in terms of economic motivation (2) Frederick Merk's view that imperialism was a continuation of "Manifest Destiny" (3) Julius Pratt's justification by "Social Darwinism" and (4) Richard Hofstadter's "Psychic Crisis. the nation not only lacked an imperial tradition--it had a distinctly anti-imperialist one. An example is LaFeber's economic thesis concerning the importance of foreign markets for prosperity. The creation of U. May adds a fifth molding influence on the foreign policy elite--the influence of European examples (May 5-10). newspaper reporters. Why the events of 1898 happened. May asks: "Why did American public opinion swing around during the 1890s on the subject of whether or not the United States should possess a colonial empire?" (May xxxiv) The very question he asks implies that he accepts that public opinion did in fact "swing around." a group of opinion-makers consisting of politicians." and in some ways he was right (May 4). colonies seems counter to much of American history. and the Treaty of Paris brought the war to a close by December.S. in the Philippines. writers and clergymen (May x). In American Imperialism. ushering in the era of American imperialism. moved to intervene in reaction to anti-Spanish insurrections in Cuba.

seem more applicable to Europe than to the U. his 1867 purchase of Alaska was part of a plan for global economic expansion (LaFeber 24-26).1 describes 1898 as the culmination of a longer trend.. LaFeber's intellectual gymnastics are skillful. such as "atavism. rather than colonies that were the markets themselves (LaFeber 60-61). 1860-1898. The nation.. LaFeber gives many examples of pre-1890s imperialist thinking. It is thus unlikely that the European influence was weak. LaFeber also questions May's assertion that American imperialism was largely based on European examples. notably John Kenneth Galbraith's "turbulent frontier" (Mommsen 105). Similarly. Other theories. From the most formal perspective. and will be. LaFeber's idea is not far from earlier theorists like John Atkinson Hobson. and send them forth to the East. exemplified by William Henry Seward. who holds that capitalism cannot continue expanding indefinitely without imperialism (Mommsen 9). quickly stopped grabbing island . Merk's stress on "Manifest Destiny" echoes the concept of imperialism as extreme nationalism. since Galbraith's emphasis on peripheral events is valuable in this case.S. This is unfortunate. As Grant's Secretary of State. the greatest power of the earth. An extension of the question of whether American imperialism was a "great aberration" is to ask if it continued after 1898. The New Empire: An Interpretation of American Expansion. the answer is no. Furthermore." LaFeber's book. perhaps approaching William L. The U. seem to have been left out of May's explanation. Seward preached that the battle for world power would happen in Asia: "Multiply your ships. As early as 1853. was around even before the civil war. While May emphasizes the "great aberration. Despite May's references to LaFeber. May's assumption that public opinion did in fact "swing around" deserves some examination.any particular socialist moral slant. Langer's equation of imperialism with jingoism (Mommsen 70-71)." Joseph Schumpeter's idea that imperialism was a vestigial remnant of pre-industrial warring states (Mommsen 22). especially Asia's supposedly vast markets. Other theories. the foreign policy elite in 1898 was a voracious consumer of European news (May 86). the two disagree on some points." (LaFeber 27) The emphasis on foreign markets.S.that sells the most of productions and fabrics to foreign nations. This makes the idea of a sudden "swing" somewhat suspect. must be. as the sinking of the Maine galvanized public opinion perhaps more than any long-term trends. yet the difference is likely too subtle to have been appreciated by everyone in the foreign policy elite. He describes it instead as a "New Imperialism" in which the goal was colonies that kept foreign markets accessible.

This is like changing the rules in the middle of a game. world opinion has retrospectively viewed Hitler as a bogeyman. 1 LaFeber. Ronald Robinson and John Gallagher's recent theories of "informal imperialism" (Mommsen 87) suggest that American imperialism may have continued in the form of economic mastery of increasingly large regions of the world. the U." it is interesting to note that in the year after unabashed imperialist Great Britain relinquished its last colony. was a thirteen year-old left home alone with the liquor cabinet unlocked.S." (May 214) John Hay's "Open Door" policy concerning China was further evidence of the changing current against imperialism (May 210). And evil he was. His policy of genocide today seems so universally abhorrent that even historians. Clearly no theory is perfect for describing 1898. but none is the last word. with naval bases in Cuba and the Philippines. 1860-1898. But before wholeheartedly accepting Bemis's "great aberration. making him responsible for all the evils of World War II. Hong Kong. the pursuit of the complex issue of American imperialism has left this writer with little more than a headache. Hitler was in many ways not so much an anomaly as some might like to think. As the British historian AJP Taylor points out. since it . Perhaps there was indeed some element of the liquorcabinet appeal in 1898. Many explanations have been offered. Regardless. "anti-imperialist" America still possesses the protectorates of Guam and Puerto Rico. Walter. Ithaca:Cornell University Press. 1963 THE BOGEYMAN IS NOT REAL: HITLER AND WWII Adolf Hitler was an unmistakably bad man. As a statesman though. of 1898 simply had to give the vices of its European elders a try. as Teddy Roosevelt's colorful response to the chance to annex the Dominican Republic illustrates: "I have about the same desire to annex it as a gorged boa-constrictor might have to swallow a porcupine end-to.colonies. and is somewhat unfair. describe Hitler as "evil" without a second thought. the echoes of 1898 can be heard today. In some respects.S. I do not hesitate to add my own idea: If nations are like people. those bastions of objective impartiality. Though this may sound a bit childish. the U. Such a view is convenient. that does not make it untrue. On the other hand. The New Empire: An Interpretation of American Expansion. The best we can say is that several are valid to a limited extent. this is to claim imperialism's continuity by modifying the definition over time. However. Like its adolescent counterpart.

The response of Hitler's contemporaries. This tangle of European diplomacy was more like the roots of World War I than the machinations of an "evil genius. Unfortunately for convenience. The best example of Hitler's acceptance among the European powers occurred at the Munich Conference in 1938. but as a valid and feared participant at the bargaining table. merely seeking Germany's national best interests through whatever means were necessary. Germany may have relied on force or the threat of force. since both are contained in the same man." (Taylor xiii) While this may be a bit extreme. it does highlight the general contempt realist historians have held for questions of morality. states can "be criticized at most for mistakes. It is difficult to separate Hitler the statesman from Hitler the genocidal despot. For Chamberlain. Bismarck to Kissinger. and Goering--the only bargaining chip that mattered was power. German ambition in the region threatened to cause a major crisis. Despite this. political thought has emphasized pragmatism over morality in international relations.removes blame for the war from other European shoulders. World War II is a notable exception to this tradition. Hitler called Chamberlain. from Neville Chamberlain to the German people themselves. "misdirection" and pursuit of the national best interest have been the standards by which foreign policy is measured. as Czechoslovakia was allied with France. the Soviet Union. Hitler behaved in a "reasonable" manner. rather than retrospective moralizing. Once that is done it becomes clear that Hitler's role in international affairs was not so different than other leaders. Henderson and Halifax--as well as Hitler. In this system. morality is often equated with naivete." With Europe on the edge of war. European ministers dealt with Hitler and his staff not as criminals or lunatics. Daladier and Mussolini to Munich in September. Hitler sought next to reunify with the Sudeten Germans of Czechoslovakia. Historians rarely consider morality in assessing modern statesman. (Taylor 11-12). Germany's . and that he was not the sole perpetrator of World War II. As Taylor points out. is perhaps the most accurate way to measure his uniqueness or lack thereof in international relations. Since Machiavelli's writings in the Renaissance. From Richelieu to Metternich. but this was no different than French or British policy (Taylor 71)--or from American foreign policy in the Cold War. the legacy of the war-crime trials at Nuremberg is perhaps an overemphasis of Nazi criminality. In the years leading up to the war. The willingness of the British to negotiate suggests that in international affairs. Ribbentrop. not for crimes. and the members of the Little Entente--Rumania and Yugoslavia. Hitler was not the sole cause of the war. Emboldened by Anschluss (the annexation of Austria).

In fact. suggesting that they were willing to accept German expansion as the price for peace. all of Great Britain cheered him in 1938 for having achieved "peace in our time. but ultimately caused by the existence of highways and automobiles (Taylor 102). Likewise. for all the negative connotation it carries today. but that was a price Chamberlain and Daladier were willing to pay for peace. "Every newspaper in the country applauded the Munich settlement with the exception of Reynolds' News. was accepted by the British population. Though today's popular view regards Chamberlain as a minor villain for his "appeasement" of Hitler." (Watt 84) As Taylor writes.annexation of the German region of Czechoslovakia left the Czechs defenseless. it becomes quite difficult to place all blame for the war on him. regardless of the "drivers. on the part of Chamberlain and the largely supportive populace. daring the opponent (Hitler) to prove himself and crash (Watt 185). were also based on selfinterest. each ostensibly caused by the mistakes of a driver. it is the international system that makes wars possible. Taylor argues that wars are similar to road accidents. In yet another automobile analogy. it is quite unlikely that Hitler--or any individual--could be wholly responsible for war on the scale of World War II. And what was peace but the maintenance of a status quo in which Great Britain was a dominant power? In this way. Removing these from the consideration of his international policy. we see that British motives. none of this erases the fact that Hitler committed horrible atrocities. His racial doctrines were based on views in which most Germans already "vaguely believed" (Taylor 71) and the concept of Lebensraum (living space) was similar to market-induced imperialism. Extremism was not Hitler's invention. Although Watt's argument blames "drivers. but had taken centuries to develop. the claim that Hitler single-handedly masterminded Nazi ideology is confounded by the fact that Hitler's ideas were not new. though the economic argument was not particularly worthwhile (Taylor 106). The context for the events of 1938 and 1939 included a feeling of injustice on the part of the Germans about the stiff reparations demanded at Versailles in 1918 which created a road fraught with peril. In a colorful analogy. Considering that Hitler's ideology was really a repackaging of older ideas rather than the creation of new ones." Of course." (Taylor xxvii) Appeasement. Hitler was . Watt likens Chamberlain's final choice of containment in 1939 to the "ultimate maneuver" in a game of "Chicken" where one driver throws the steering wheel out the window. Furthermore." it does not invalidate Taylor's assertion that the system is in many ways the ultimate cause of accidents.

The evidence. Watt describes Hitler as viewing the world as a Wagnerian fantasy epic of heroes and arch-villains (Watt 260). This was much like Cold War "brinkmanship" in which force was a threat. Hitler committed most of his resources to the front line. © 1998 Garrett Moritz. If historians make Hitler into a bogeyman responsible for all the evils of World War II. Hitler intended his military to intimidate. though. All rights reserved. even the "immeasurable" atrocities unfortunately do not seem so immeasurably distant from those committed in Hitler's contemporary USSR. • Return to index . A better objection to the claim that Hitler was similar to his fellow statesmen is the contention that he "willed" World War II (Watt 610) while the other nations were pacifists. Initially. they are being no less idiosyncratic--they are creating a Wagnerian arch-villain of their own. is that even Hitler himself did not want total war--he simply wanted to "bluff" his opponents into making the concessions he desired. And considering Stalin. though. The war then. he finally took brinkmanship over the "brink" at Danzig. whose purges killed or exiled perhaps millions of people (Taylor 112).merely aggressive and belligerent--not terribly different than many other statesmen. Hitler hoped to win a "war of nerves" rather than make a continental conquest (Taylor 218). While Great Britain may have felt dwarfed by German military might. This depiction highlights Hitler's idiosyncratic nature. Thus. The evidence. keeping tiny reserves compared to the prudent British (Watt 93). shows that in the case of World War II history is further from the fantasy epic than some might like to think. rather than a tool one hoped to use. and World War II began. not to fight a sustained campaign. D. In August of 1939. was not Hitler's "will"--it was his miscalculation.C.

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