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A few statements have been made in the text which are based on the author's personal experience or on sources to which he had special access but cannot now cite, partly because some of them were off-the-record comments by public officials still in responsible positions and others would involve individuals who are now living in a dangerous environ- ment.It is said that in our hurried age few serious books are read through; if any part of this book is to be skipped, it should not be the great speeches of Litvinoff himself: His speech at London in March,, 1936, on the Occupation of the Rhineland (p. His speech at Geneva in June, 1936, on the betrayal of Ethiopia (P- 369)- His speech of November 28, 1936., on Intervention in the Spanish Civil War (pp. His famous speech at Geneva, September 21, 1938 (p. These are among the ablest and most significant political documents of our time, models of strictly controlled facts, sound principle, rigorous logic, political idealism and moral integrity. They reveal some of the fallacies that have vexed international politics since the first World War and have cost us so heavily.Ferdinand Kuhn, Jr., has been for years a delightful, in- spiring and instructive companion on many an excursion in political thinking. Kuhn predicted the Munich appease- ment which he already was convinced had been decided upon in prin- ciple.I am also indebted to a number of Ambassadors, Ministers and Sec- retaries stationed in Moscow over a long period of years.While all those mentioned and others who are not, are in no small degree responsible for whatever merit the book may have, no one of them can be charged with any of its deficiencies. The alternative is a new and final disaster for all. The Foreign Offices which demanded to be let alone to arrange affairs as they saw fit can no longer request, "leave it to us." Their policy of appeasement led straight to catastrophe, a lesson too slowly learned.
Harriet Moore of the American Russian Institute read the entire manuscript with greatest care and provided constructive criticism and good judgment.
He is by both temperament and conviction completely absorbed in his work and holds that every statesman ought to be only the instrument of his State.
He thinks of himself not as an individual but merely the focus of a great idea and the movement which it has inspired; he would much prefer that no life be written of him, but he has become so completely a public PREFACE XI character that this preference cannot weigh against the public need for more information about him.
The life of a statesman cannot be fully recorded while he is still at the height of his career with his- torical finality or with full justice to the events.
Important documents are still locked up in official archives or in memoirs yet to appear, and certain critical questions are still unresolved so that even a preliminary discussion of them might easily be harmful.