Peking—In a rare interview which lasted about four hours, Mao Tse-tung conversed with me on topics ranging over what he himself called shan nan hai pei, or “from south of the mountains to north of the seas.” With China’s bountiful 200-million-ton 1964 grain harvest taxing winter storage capacities, with shops everywhere offering inexpensive foods and consumer goods necessities, and with technological and scientific advances climaxed by an atomic bang that saluted Khrushchev’s political demise. Chairman Mao might well have claimed a few creative achievements.
It did not take long for the Presidents of the United States and France to find a "complete identity of view" on the need to resist any encroachment on the freedom of or access to West Berlin. Presumably that view will be accepted happily by Chancellor Adenauer and, perhaps with more reluctance, by the British Prime Minister. This is gratifying news, though its precise meaning is not yet known.
IT MAY BE unrealistic to expect that the Communist powers could explicitly admit that their past record over observing agreements has been bad. In the present international system few governments would be willing to incur the loss of face involved in such an admission. It would, however, be possible for the Communist powers (if they are sincere in wanting negotiations to reduce world tensions) to admit implicitly that there is a lack of trust in the value of promises of future performance and to work for agreements which would go as far as possible in providing guarantees for performance.
AT THE END of the first part of this critique it was concluded that NATO’s current military doctrines and forces all too closely resemble what Mr. George F. Kennan said in his Reith Lectures on the BBC that they ought to be, with the unhappy consequence that many people in Britain and on the Continent have convinced themselves that Mr.
DISENGAGEMENT is no longer a dirty word in the Western diplomatic vocabulary. In principle, most NATO governments now recognize that disengagement might offer a way out of their current dilemmas. But so far, most of the supporters of disengagement have either left their ideas too vague for serious discussion or have arbitrarily tied disengagement to other conceptions which are even more controversial. George Kennan, for example, in his Reith Lectures, did as much as any other single person to awaken international interest in the idea of disengagement.
Since there has been so little detailed consideration, as yet, of the latest Russian disarmament plan, by the press or by responsible political leaders, the New Republic this week dispenses with its Behind-the-Headlines reports in order to present the following analysis and interpretation. AT THE summit, where Britain, France, the Soviet Union and the United States are soon to meet, the weather prediction from all sides is cold. The men who are to meet there share one condition: they are shivering. For its own reasons each government privately fears the encounter.
The North Atlantic pact, which involves one of the most fateful decisions in American history, is being discussed in a series of articles in the New Republic. Last week Captain B. H. Liddell Hart, noted British military expert, analyzed the defensibility of Western Europe, and in an editorial we gave our reasons for believing that the North Atlantic pact deserves support. The article below, by Blair Bolles, offering an argument against the plan, is published for its intrinsic interest.
The liberal, as we understand it, is the person who sincerely wants as many of the good things of this world for his fellow man as he does for himself. His credo is the Bill of Rights (still a very revolutionary document), the Roosevelt Bill of Human Rights, the Truman Civil Rights Program, and all legislation stemming from them.
Lenin: A Biography, by David Shub (Doubleday and Company; $5). I’ll Never Go Back: A Red Army Officer Talks Back, by Mikhail Koriakov (E. P. Dutton; $3). Tell the West, by Jerzy Gliksman (The Gresham Press; $3.75). Of these three books, only one, David Shub’s biography of Lenin, is a useful contribution to an understanding of Russia and the Russians. The other two are not unfamiliar specimens. Each is an undocumented, uncorroborated narrative of harrowing personal experiences in the Soviet Union. Neither has any particular literary, autobiographical or historical merit.