Fairbank Hits 'Time' Book Review; Denies Apologist Stand in China
John K. Fairbank, '29, professor of Hastory, told the CRIMSON last night that Freda Utley's new book, "The China Story," is "an intemperate interpretation" of our relations with China. His charge was in answer to a review which appeared in Time magazine branding him "a Communist apologist."
"Miss Utley is in the best McCarthy tradition," Fairbank went on. "Their approaches have a lot in common, beginning with wholesale character assassination."
From the historian's point of view the saving of Chiang Kai-Shek by American aid should have been started in the 1930's with land reform programs, Fairbank pointed out. We missed our chance then to help the Nationalist government, he asserted, just as we are in danger of missing our chance with India today.
"Area specialists who try to explain things abroad often get called apologists," he went on. "But it is not 'apologistic' to analyze the sources of Chinese Communist power. On the contrary, we would be better off today if more such analysis had been pushed in the past," he stated.
According to Fairbank Miss Utley's indiscriminate attack on State Department personnel and reputable journalists and professors presents a "devil-theory of history." It assumes that American policy and American aid could decide the outcome of a civil war in a distant subcontinent. This exaggerates our power and is dangerously over-confident. The result is a somewhat hysterical concentration on finding scapegoats for an American failure in China.