Book Review: South and Southeast Asia: India and World Politics: Krishna Menon's View of the World

DOI10.1177/002070207002500143
AuthorNeville Maxwell
Publication Date01 March 1970
SubjectBook Review
234
INTERNATIONAL
JOURNAL
overwhelming
majority
of
the
Palestine
Arabs
remained
fully
loyal
to
the
West" in
that
war
(p.
40)
invites
the
comment
that
full
loyalty
is
more
than
mere
abstention from
taking
sides. More
pertinently,
why
should
they
have
been
loyal
anyway?
So
despite
the
book's
value
as
a
work
of
reference,
caveat
emptor
must
be
the
verdict.
"Many
of
the
policies
and actions
of
the major
powers
were
so
misguided
.... "
Professor
Khouri
complains
(p.
242),
and with
reason;
but
on
page
254
he
implies
that
the
United
States
"was
in
an
excellent position
to
apply
pressure"
on
Israel
because
her
relations
with
Israel
were
good.
This
argument
accords
ill
with
the
constant
Arab
demand
that
aid
should
have
"no
strings
attached," and
with
that
disso-
ciation of
Egyptian
behaviour from
foreign-aid
benefits
that
(pace
the
author)
undermined
the
Kennedy
policy
of
moderating
Nasser
via
Pub-
lic
Law
480.
University
of
Massachusetts
GEORGE
KIRK
South
and
Southeast
Asia
India
and
World
Politics:
Krishna
Menon's
View
of
the
World.
By
MICHAEL
BREcHER.
London:
Toronto:
Oxford
University
Press.
1968.
xiv,
390pp.
$11.50.
Professor
Brecher
used
the journalistic
technique
of
the
interview with
great
success
both
in
his
biography of
Nehru
and
in
his
invaluable
account
of
the
party
mechanisms
and
manoeuvres
that
came
into
play
to
produce successors
to
Nehru
and
Lal
Bahadur
Shastri.
In
this
book
he
has
used
more
the
broadcasting
journalist's
technique
-
of
the
live
inter-
view,
very
much
on
the
record.
The
result
of some
seventeen
hours
of
tape-recorded dialogue
with
Krishna
Menon
is
an
engrossing
and
illumi-
nating
book
in
which one of
India's
sharpest
political
minds
is
brought
to
range
over
the
key
topics of
Indian
foreign
policy
between
independ-
ence
and
mid-1965.
Professor
Brecher's
purpose
in
his
interviews with
Mr.
Menon
was
not
to
find
out
what
happened
but
to
see
what
Menon
thought,
or
what
he
said
happened.
A
reader
who
mistakenly
sought in
these
dialogues
inside
information
on
events
would
again
and
again
be
misled.
Some-
times
Menon,
perhaps
genuinely,
does
not
know
of
incidents
about
which
he
is
questioned
(for
example the
urging
of
Bajpai,
a
former
secretary-
general
of
the ministry
of
external
affairs,
that
India
bring
up
the
sub-
ject
of
the
boundaries
in
the
1954
negotiations
with
China);
at
other
moments,
the
impulse of
self-exoneration
may
be
at
work, as
when
he
says
that
while
Nehru
was
publicly
committing
India
to
military
action
against
China
"I
kept
quiet"
(in
fact
his
statements
at
the
time
were
more
bellicose
than
Nehru's).
Again,
sometimes
he
is
simply
deflecting
an
uncomfortable
enquiry.
"What
roles
did
Handoo
and General
Kaul
play
in
the
Goan
affair?"
he
is
asked.
A
frank
reply
would
have
gone
like
this:
"Kaul,
as
Nehru's
-
and
therefore
my
-
favourite
was
the
most
influential
of
the
generals
and
did
as
much on
the
military
side
as
I
did
on
the
civil
side
to
overcome
Nehru's
qualms
about
Goa.
Handoo,
our

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