Ohio History Journal

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MACY. By Betty Glad. (Urbana: Uni-

versity of Illinois Press, 1966. 365p.;

bibliography and index. $5.95)

Charles Evans Hughes, Secretary of

State under Presidents Warren Harding

and Calvin Coolidge (1921-1925), is con-

sidered important because he "carried

major responsibility" for the definition of

the foreign policy followed by the United

States "up to the eve of World War II"

(p. 1). Miss Glad divides her study into

three parts: "The Education of Charles

Evans Hughes," "In the Puritanical Mold,"

and "Advocate for the United States." In

all three parts she traces the influences of

family, education, religion, philosophy, law,

and politics. She also attempts to show how

these influences worked together to form

the thought, outlook, and personality of her


In his policy, the author believes, the

Secretary of State showed a tight control

"of self and world" which was the antithesis

of "creative vision" (p. 120). Hughes was

thus never able to formulate solutions to

the problems he encountered that were

fundamentally new. He approached his

office convinced there was a rational uni-

verse dominated by community interests.

In his total outlook Miss Glad thinks

Hughes was mistaken. She criticizes him

for not being realistic and for his failure

to understand and use power as an instru-

ment of foreign policy. She believes that

under Hughes nineteenth-century idealism

instead of realism characterized American

foreign relations. As one example, the Sec-

retary sought adjudication of international

disputes, rather than the positive assess-

ment of the responsibilities and duties of

a major power of the world.

The author is perhaps too harsh on

Hughes, as the Secretary seems to have

displayed a remarkable understanding of

what was possible and impossible in the

1920's, given the opinions of the American

people. And certainly his proposal calling

for limitation of the fleets of the major

naval powers at the Washington Naval

Conference was the product of a mind more

creative than that described by Miss Glad.

These are minor criticisms of this work, in

which the author uses psychological and

other approaches to describe the activities

of Hughes as Secretary of State.

A more serious shortcoming has to do

with Miss Glad's use or lack of use of

sources. The primary sources studied were

the Hughes Papers in the Library of Con-

gress, including the memoranda the Sec-

retary dictated to William C. Beerits in

1933-34; his autobiographical notes of 1941;

the Borah, Coolidge, Norris, and Taft Pa-

pers also at the Library of Congress; the

Grew Papers at Harvard; and the Oral

History Collection at Columbia. There are,

nonetheless, some surprising omissions --

two of which are the Decimal Files of the

State Department and the Harding Papers

at the Ohio Historical Society in Columbus.

The author also did not consult the Root,

Roosevelt, and Fletcher (Hughes's Under

Secretary) Papers at the Library of Con-

gress, the Lodge Papers at the Massachu-

setts Historical Society, or the microfilms

of the Japanese and German Foreign

Ministry Archives. Use of the Harding

Papers would have shown that Washington

and not Mexico City backed down in the

Mexican recognition fight. The same source

would have indicated that Harding did

have much to say about the formulation

of American foreign policy.