Ambassador Dodd's Diary

$3.50 Edited by William E. Dodd, Jr., and Martha DoddHARCOURT, BRACE
THE late William E. Dodd was a Jeffersonian professor, a simple, straightforward, scholarly man, who was placed in the unusual and personally often disagreeable rôle of envoy at Adolf Hitler’s court from 1933 until the end of 1937. The diary is a very human, readable book, a frank reflection of the author’s personality. It is interesting not only for its uncensored sidelights on German and European politics during the pre-war period, not only tor its obviously unexpurgated and frankly critical pictures of such figures in the American diplomatic service as Sumner Welles and William C. Bullitt, but for its self-portrait of Dodd the man. A great diplomat he certainly was not, and some of his fellow ambassadors who toiled and spun less than he did have given more vivid and more intimate pictures of the foreign policies of the Nazi régime and of the personalities of its leaders. But Dodd is a very sympathetic figure and a welcome contrast to the showy stuffed shirts who occasionally get into our diplomatic service. With his simple tastes, his probably utopian desire for plain living and hard thinking in a proverbially frivolous profession, his preference for intelligent talk over a stewed peach and a glass of milk to the fleshpots and inanities of large diplomatic receptions, he stands out as a man who represented American democracy not unworthily in an alien capital in a difficult period. w. H. C.