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Chapter Twenty-eight Starting Over
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Chapter Twenty-eight
Starting Over

When fall term opened at Johns Hopkins in September 1955, Lattimore was once more an active member of the faculty and teaching classes. But it was a close thing. One faction of the board of trustees had wanted to fire him from the time of the first McCarthy attack. Francis White, a State Department officer who once served in Peking, was adamant about Lattimore.[1] To White and fellow trustees John Nelson, Thomas Nichols, and Jacob France, probably the only adequate exoneration of Lattimore would have been a unanimous vote of "not guilty" after a jury trial; indeed, even that might not have sufficed. They were concerned not just about his heresy but about his disrespectful attitude toward the McCarran committee.

A majority of the board, with the apparent agreement of chairman Carlyle Barton, was less concerned about Lattimore's sins and more devoted to academic freedom. Lattimore had been given tenure by Isaiah Bowman. There was no longer a Page School for him to head, and trustee opposition was too great to give him an equivalent position elsewhere, so they made him a lecturer. The anti-Lattimore trustees went along with this treatment only because they believed, as Nelson said, that Lattimore was really unpopular with the faculty, which would finally "eliminate" him.[2]

Lattimore's situation at Johns Hopkins was therefore quite different from what it had been in the 1940s. There was no prestige appointment, no school for him to direct, no Mongol program, no department of Chinese studies. Geography, an area in which Lattimore was well qualified, was at first closed to him: George Carter was head of that department. Fortunately Sidney Painter, the very conservative chairman of the history de-


partment, was also a strong civil libertarian and appalled by the Senate attack on Lattimore; Lattimore could lecture in his department. And in 1958 Lattimore was again welcome in geography, as M. Gordon Wolman replaced Carter as head.

Lattimore was a popular lecturer, drawing such large crowds that Painter had to provide teaching assistants to help grade papers. This popularity was encouraging, but the absence of a graduate program under Lattimore's control, and the dispersal of his Mongols, canceled the satisfaction of an undergraduate following. Also, the university excluded him from several across-the-board salary increases.[3] Despite the strong support most of the faculty gave Lattimore, the bitter hostility of Carter, William F. Albright, Carl Swisher, and a few others made life unpleasant.

Even the few public lectures that now began to come his way brought problems. When the Hartford, Connecticut, chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union asked him to speak on December 16, 1955, they arranged use of the Phoenix Fire Insurance Company auditorium. Word got to Hartford veterans' groups and other unidentified organizations; some of them threatened to picket the lecture and protested to Phoenix. Phoenix got cold feet and on December 6 withdrew permission to use the hall. The ACLU looked for other places and received a willing response from the First Methodist Church, whose parish hall was available. Lattimore's talk came off as scheduled at the Methodist Church.[4]

The New York Times reported six hundred people in attendance, braving the hostility of five women standing outside the church distributing anti-Communist literature. The women declined to identify themselves to the Times reporter. Lattimore, in opening his speech, remarked that he was disappointed in not being able to speak at the Phoenix: he was a stockholder in the company.[5]

Lattimore's Hartford address was a repeat of one he had given the night before, sponsored by the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee in Manhattan, which had received less publicity. His title was "Freedoms and Foreign Policy."[6] His major focus was the effect of the inquisition on the accuracy of foreign reporting. He began by analyzing the Soviet fiasco in Finland in 1939. The Soviet military had vastly underestimated the will and the capacity of the Finns to resist. Why? Because Soviet agents reporting from Finland told their bosses what the bosses wanted to hear, namely, the Communist line. "The Finns were supposed to be groaning under Fascist tyranny, and the loyal party line was to assume that great numbers of them would swing over to the Communists, who were de-


picted as the true popular vanguard." Soviet intelligence was thus distorted; the Soviets endured some stunning defeats and had to quadruple their original force to crush the Finns.

The rigid ideology of the United States at midcentury, said Lattimore, similarly distorted what we heard about China. Only one line was tolerated: Chiang and his forces on Formosa were still China's true rulers, bound to regain the mainland once the Chinese learned the horrors of communism. Thus, American foreign service officers had to report what was "politically acceptable, not simply to the Republican party, but to the extreme right wing, the Formosa-first wing of that party." Those who did not were fired. John Paton Davies was the latest case; he lost his job for telling the truth. "As a result, we now have, I make bold to say, the weakest foreign service of any great country in dealing with problems of Asia, and especially China." Lattimore agreed with Walter Lippmann that Knowland, Dulles, and Henry Cabot Lodge were ruining the foreign service with their insistence that everyone tell the same false story about China.

There was scant reference to Lattimore's own experience in this speech, but at the end he acknowledged the cost to him of his long immobilization. "If the study of international relations is to be productive, it has to be a continuous process of self-education, and over the past five years my self-education has been subjected to a certain amount of interruption. . . . ny opinions I may now express are not as well informed as they were before 1950. I am having to start all over again."

Lattimore had already started one new line of inquiry during his leave from Johns Hopkins: figuring out how the stock market worked. His wife told him, when he became restless at the absence of his normal activities, "You need something to do. Look at our investments and see if you can do something with them."[7] By 1945 Lattimore had saved a tidy sum, most of it in war bonds. He was forced to cash in many of these bonds between 1950 and 1952 to meet the expenses of his bouts with Tydings and SISS (the FBI faithfully recorded every bond he redeemed). The defense fund started by Boas in 1953 provided enough money to meet out-of-pocket expenses during the indictment period, and Lattimore still held some low-yield government bonds.

Lattimore approached the stock market just as he had approached the frontier area of Central Asia, studying it systematically and consulting people who had been there, then taking the plunge himself. Of the investment newsletters he consulted, one stood out as the best: the Value Line , published by Arnold Bernhard. In October 1955 Lattimore wrote


Bernhard to express his satisfaction with Value Line , which provided "a most realistic underpinning to my interest in international affairs; I had largely been without this realistic kind of contact since, many years ago, I worked for one of the great trading firms in China."[8] Bernhard responded cordially, inviting Lattimore to lunch and to visit with Value Line's statisticians and analysts.

In January 1956 Lattimore was in New York and lunched with Bernhard. The two hit it off immediately and began a professional and personal association that lasted three decades. For Lattimore, writing to Bernhard replaced the Overseas News Agency (now defunct) as an outlet for his thoughts about world affairs. Bernhard valued Lattimore's communications enough to put him on a substantial retainer as a consultant.[9] Occasionally Value Line carried an article over Lattimore's byline; more often Bernhard simply incorporated Lattimore's ideas without attribution.

Value Line's advice proved lucrative for Lattimore: Xerox, Syntex, Phoenix Insurance, General Motors, IBM, and Santa Fe Industries all performed well. For the rest of his life he read Value Line eagerly; it was the periodical he took up first when it came in the mail.

Bernhard also got his money's worth, if only in pithy observations about the world's statesmen, such as John Foster Dulles. In a long letter of March 1, 1956, Lattimore responded to a Value Line story about the dangers of U.S. flirtation with Arab princes; Lattimore agreed, unwilling to believe that "patronized Sheikhs are pliant and reliable instruments of policy." As to Dulles:

Lack of ordinary professional competence in high places is horribly illustrated by the story of Dulles' press interview in yesterday's Baltimore Sun. It seems that on the subject of Saudi Arabia Dulles airily and offhandedly "attributed to the Arabs a centuries-old hatred of Jews and explained that it derived from a Moslem belief that Mohammed had been assassinated by Jews. But when an aide more conversant with Islamic scripture, which says Mohammed died in a wife's arms and of natural causes, whispered something admonitory to Dulles, the latter tempered his explanation to the extent of asking leave to amend the hearing record if he found he had erred."

Where does a Secretary of State pick up such Protocols of Zion poison? What company is he keeping? And what is indicated by a disposition to use such stuff in serious "enlightenment" of public opinion on matters of state in which the difference between War and peace is involved?[10]


After a trip to Finland, Lattimore wrote Bernhard an extensive commentary on that feisty nation. He admired the Finns tremendously and thought private investment in Finland would be worthwhile. One anecdote from his letter had unusual poignancy: "As for the Finnish attitude toward Russians, it can be illustrated by the wry reaction of a Finn when I asked him what Finns thought of the Russian policy of downgrading Stalin. He thought it was perhaps going a little bit too far. As far as the Finns were concerned, they had found that Stalin was a man with whom it was possible to negotiate, even in very tough circumstances; and when he made an agreement with the Finns, he kept it. 'Also,' he said, 'we cannot forget that Stalin killed far more Communists than we Finns ever did.'"[11]

As in his ONA articles, Lattimore wrote about a wide range of subjects and ventured risky predictions, many of which panned out. In a letter of December 29, 1956, he predicted that the main danger to Chiang Kai-shek was neither an invasion of Taiwan by Communist forces nor a revolt of the indigenous Taiwanese but rather a "colonel's putsch" by under-employed senior officials who wanted to return to their mainland homes and were impressed by the good jobs given by Mao to former anti-Communist warlords. This revolt did not happen. In the same letter, however, he foresaw Japan edging out the United States in international commerce.[12]

On June 25,1957, Lattimore wrote Bernhard that competition in giving development aid was good because "countries that keep us on our toes by making us compete against German, Japanese, French, Italian, British investors are likely to be more stable than countries in which the US economic interest is lopsidedly dominant. . . and competition is the essential hormone of both economic and political freedom."[13]

Throughout the 1956-59 period Lattimore provided Bernhard with provocative running commentary on the state of the world. He had plenty of time for it. The lecture circuit remained largely closed to him, though some brave organizations such as the Community Church of Boston, the Baltimore chapter of Americans for Democratic Action, and Temple Emanuel in Newton, Massachusetts, invited him.

Most summers during the rest of his tenure at Johns Hopkins he and Eleanor went to Europe, continuing to enjoy the prestige and welcome they had in 1955. In 1956 Lattimore received another invitation from India to teach the next year at the University of New Delhi. This offer was even more attractive than lecturing in Europe, since Indian scholars were in contact with the Mongolian People's Republic and had acquired


what was described to Lattimore as "a very fine collection of source materials" not available in the West. Furthermore, Mongolian diplomats in New Delhi were eager for contact with Western scholars. Lattimore evaluated this opportunity in a letter to the Barretts.

Eleanor and I could learn in New Delhi more about what is actually going on in Central Asia (and in China too) than by any other means short of actually going to those countries. These opportunities, however, might have certain liabilities attached to them. Our own intelligence services must obviously keep tabs on any contacts that Americans in India have with those dreadful Mongols and Chinese, and so on our return to America we might once more find ourselves listed, not as people who have been able to learn something about Central Asia and China but as people who have actually talked politely with Communists without spitting in their faces. So the gamble involved is: In a couple of years will the general situation between America and the Communist countries be more hostile than ever, or will there be any degree of relaxation ?[14]

Lattimore decided that he would take his chances with possible "contamination" in India and applied to Johns Hopkins for a leave of absence.

The Lattimores were invited to the annual Arnold, Fortas, and Porter office party in December 1956. This was a gala occasion, since Thurman Arnold's arguments in the Lattimore case, accepted by Youngdahl and narrowly affirmed by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, had now been unanimously affirmed in the O'Connor case. Lattimore reported to the Barretts, "Thurman Arnold was feeling very good—levitating several inches above the ground, in fact—and proclaiming that in a long career I was the only innocent man he had ever defended, and never would he defend an innocent man again. With a guilty man, you know just what you are defending, and how to go about it, and besides, you earn a good living. Whereas with an innocent man you never quite know what you are defending, it's a hell of a lot of work, and besides it costs you money."[15]

Euphoria at AFP was not duplicated at Johns Hopkins. Milton Eisenhower, now president of Hopkins, turned down Lattimore's leave request in an insulting letter: "Your career at Johns Hopkins is dependent on your demonstrating your desire and intention to devote yourself henceforth to scholarly work in this university in harmony with Hopkins' tradition. . . . Your primary concern for the advancement of scholarship at Johns Hopkins is yet to be persuasively demonstrated, and the work in India would, as I understand it, be primarily in the field of administration,


organization, and policy, rather than in personal research, scholarship, and teaching."[16]

Lattimore was outraged. He had several long, frustrating conferences with Eisenhower, who retracted some of his more fatuous statements but did not yield on the leave of absence. The whole episode was traumatic; Lattimore was depressed for months. Eleanor summed up their reaction in a letter to the Barretts March 17, 1957: "Of course we are tempted to say 'to hell with you' and go off mad, but that wouldn't have hurt anybody but ourselves, since we don't really have a better place to go—yet. When we find a better one, or even one that can be made to appear better, we're all set to hop off to it, and no little pension will hold us."[17]

Milton Eisenhower had an effective veto over Lattimore getting a full year's leave, but European academic schedules were different from American schedules and enabled Lattimore to lecture at the Sorbonne during the spring terms of 1958 and 1959 without permission from Johns Hopkins. He had enough time while at the Sorbonne to finish preparing his collected papers, Studies in Frontier History , published by Oxford University Press in 1962.

Despite Lattimore's belief that the Maoists were giving China a new sense of dignity and improving the lot of the peasants, he knew that revolutions devour their children and that the course of the People's Republic would not be one of uninterrupted progress and enlightenment. He voiced his reservations in Pacific Affairs of December 1958. "China's old Confucianism was, whenever it had the power to be, dogmatic and authoritarian; for the true Confucian, if the book said one thing and the facts another, it was always the book that was right. Confucian rule has been shattered by Marxist rule, but if, at the same time, the dogmatic tendencies in Marxism fuse with the authoritarian heritage of Confucianism, the worst excesses of Byzantium, Moscow, and the Empress Dowager could be exceeded."[18] It was a startlingly prophetic analysis.

One piece of unfinished business concerned Lattimore during the late 1950s. The Institute of Pacific Relations was still under fire. From its founding in 1927 the IPR had enjoyed tax-exempt status as an educational institution. In 1954 McCarran wrote T. Coleman Andrews, Eisenhower's commissioner of internal revenue, asking Andrews to withdraw IPR's tax-exempt status. Andrews was as willing as McCarran was to view IPR as subversive; in 1955 he revoked the tax exemption and in 1956 assessed IPR $568.62 for the previous year, plus penalties and interest. IPR paid this sum and filed a claim for a refund. Internal Revenue did not respond. In July 1957 IPR filed suit. The sum was trivial, but the principle was


important. Commissioner Andrews had cited the SISS report as basis for revoking IPR's exemption.[19]

Charles L. Kades of New York represented the IPR, and Arnold, Fortas, and Porter cooperated in preparing for trial. William Holland was to be the chief IPR witness; because of Lattimore's notoriety, he was not to be called unless needed for rebuttal. Bill Rogers wrote Lattimore October 22, 1959, telling him of Kades's strategy and saying that APP was "standing by and raring to go."[20]

The case came to trial in Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York, Judge David Edelstein presiding, on March 31, 1960. Although the tax year at issue was 1955, the government's case was based exclusively on the findings of McCarran's SISS in 1952. Kades easily showed that the SISS hearings were biased and malicious and the report untruthful. Edelstein was scathing in his denunciation of the government's case:

There is not in this case the shadow of a scintilla of evidence to meet the plaintiff's case. . .. Moreover, it is in this case that the plaintiff has for the first time had its "day in court" on those charges. . .. The plaintiff utilized its "day in court" to make its record in the way in which it thought it ought to be made, as any plaintiff in any lawsuit is allowed to do. The legislative report [SISS Report] was based upon hearings in which the plaintiff was not free to present its own case in its own way. In choosing to rely exclusively on the latter, the Government has not only not truly joined issue, but it appears to invite the court's adverse decision.

The plaintiff is entitled to judgment against the defendant.[21]

Lattimore's testimony was not needed. Judge Edelstein's decision reads as if the SISS hearings were so poisonous that the IPR need not have presented any witnesses at all.

For all of Edelstein's eloquence, winning the tax case did not rehabilitate the IPR. The American IPR folded, and the International Council of the IPR moved to Vancouver in December 1960. Having a judicial finding that McCarran had loaded the dice against the IPR was no more than a moral victory. James O. Eastland was now chairman of Senate Judiciary, Jay Sourwine was one of his lieutenants, and the Committee of One Million against the Admission of Communist China to the United Nations was in full operation. Not until the miraculous conversion of Richard Nixon in 1972 did the China lobby lose its power.

Eastland and the FBI maintained their interest in Lattimore all through the 1960s and 1970s. The CIA joined them. Perhaps CIA interest was sparked, or maintained, by James Jesus Angleton, the controversial head


of CIA counterintelligence. Angleton for years denied that the apparent split between the Soviet Union and China was anything more than an act of deception. Lattimore's doctrines would have caused a high degree of suspicion on Angleton's part. In any case, had it not been for the CIA's intercept program, we would know less about Lattimore's relations with foreign scholars and his trips abroad. In 1986, nine years after Lattimore's Freedom of Information request, the CIA finally released some of his letters abroad.

Periodically, the credulous Sourwine would refer some wild rumor about Lattimore to the FBI; predictably, the FBI would shoot it down. Every public lecture that Lattimore gave and every story about him anywhere in the country wound up in FBI and CIA files and in the private collection of J. B. Matthews.

By 1959, in the last years of the Eisenhower presidency, Lattimore assumed that the new willingness of the U.S. government to talk to the Russians offered a chance for him to again visit the Soviet Union. He was in contact with Soviet Asian scholars whom he met at various academic congresses in Western Europe. He wrote one of them, Professor S. L. Tikhvinskii of Moscow, in September 1959. He understood that there was to be a gathering of orientalists in Leningrad the next summer. Could he get an invitation? He would be happy to give a paper on Marco Polo.[22]

Hostilities were easing on the Soviet side also. The "learned lackey of imperialism" was no longer persona non gram. Lattimore was invited to the Leningrad Congress and got his visa at the Soviet embassy in Washington April 11, 1960. It was something he had long wanted; Russian scholarship on Mongolia was still worth absorbing. Lattimore and his wife left for a long tour of Europe June 3, with three weeks in Russia.

The opportunity to talk to his Russian counterparts was all he expected of it. But a related opportunity was even more valuable: he made friends among scholars from the Mongolian People's Republic participating at Leningrad. They knew who he was. They had read his books and felt that his descriptions of life in Inner Mongolia in the 1930s rang true. One of them told him, "Your Mongols are real Mongols." [23] He met Natsagdorj, a member of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences, one of whose books Lattimore had translated into English; Bira, a prominent Tibetanist; and a young historian named Dalai. The Mongols invited him to visit.

If there was a scholarly summum bonum for Lattimore, it was the opportunity to study and travel in the MPR. He knew a lot about it from reading everything available in non-Mongol languages, from the few Mongol publications available in the West, and from endless conversation


with the Dilowa, John Hangin, Urgunge Onon, and other Mongol expatriates. But the kind of on-the-spot experience he had had of Inner Mongolia was lacking. The three days he had spent in Ulan Bator with Wallace in 1944 had merely piqued his curiosity. Since that trip was "official" and Wallace was in the charge of Russians, Lattimore was not free to explore on his own. Now, at last, he would have a chance to see for himself.

Lattimore got back to Baltimore in September 1960 to find the presidential election under way. Nixon versus Kennedy: obviously he could not support Nixon, who had done so much to fan anti-Peking hysteria and who still maintaned an allegiance to the Nationalists on Formosa. Kennedy seemed more reasonable about Asian policy, believing that the Nationalists should evacuate Quemoy and Matsu islands. But it was a mere fifteen years since Kennedy, campaigning in Massachusetts, had charged Lattimore and John King Fairbank with losing China to the Communists. And Kennedy's belligerent rhetoric about the nonexistent "missile gap" was disturbing. Lattimore did not have high hopes for a Kennedy presidency.

In March 1961, however, when Lattimore asked the State Department if his passport could be validated for travel to Mongolia, they readily agreed.[24] And there were rumors afloat that the United States was considering exchanging diplomatic missions with the MPR. Lattimore could hardly believe this news. It was precisely the suggestion for which he had been castigated by William Bullitt and the China lobby. But on April 21 the New York Times carried a page-one story with the apparent blessing of the government: "Ties with Mongolia Are Planned by U.S." The reasons given for the action were nonsensical: "to determine whether Outer Mongolia is in fact an independent state." But Lattimore was impressed. The Kennedy administration might be more progressive than he had anticipated.

The Lattimores left for Europe in early June 1961, visiting Czechoslovakia for two weeks then taking the train through Russia to Mongolia. He knew the trip was a gamble. However friendly the Mongol intellectuals he had met in Leningrad, he was well aware that the political bosses back home might not be enchanted with a visitor fluent in the language prying into all kinds of affairs. As he puts it in Nomads and Commissars , "The auspices were good, but in Communist-ruled countries the opportunities allowed to foreign scholars can be cut off abruptly."[25]

The Lattimores arrived in Ulan Bator July 9 in the middle of celebrations marking the fortieth anniversary of Mongolia's Declaration of In-


dependence (from China). As he wrote his father, there were "parades, vast drills of athletic organizations, and the traditional Mongol horse-racing, archery, and wrestling. These traditional sports, as we used to see them in Inner Mongolia, had become rather broken-down. Here, they are now restored with all the details of costume and heraldry. The people are passionately interested. After one horse race, the herald presenting the third horse and chanting its praises in alliterative verse got more applause than the herald presenting the winning horse, because his poetry was better!" [26]

The major celebration was on July 11. A colorful crowd of fifty thousand paraded for two hours before a reviewing stand, with MPR President Sambuu, Soviet Party Secretary Suslov, and Polish leader Gomulka taking the salutes. It seemed as if the whole of Mongolia's 950,000 people had turned out for the festivities. Lattimore wrote his father:

The old costumes abound, and the tiers of seats at the great stadium are a mosaic of colors. Mongol girls and women dress better, and in better taste, with a faultless eye for color and line, than the women of any other country of the Soviet bloc that we have seen. Checking with a French and an Italian and a British correspondent, I find them a little in despair because, they say, if they report simply their straightforward observations, everyone will say they have been "taken in by communist propaganda." As a matter of fact, it is impossible to work up an honest opinion that Mongolia is being run by anybody but the Mongols—and they are enjoying themselves hugely doing it.[27]

After the ceremonies Lattimore was introduced to the treasures of the National Library and conferred with scholars "full of the zest and exhilaration of discovery. Dialects, folklore, shaman chants—all are being tape recorded."[28] The head of the one big surviving Lama Buddhist monastery turned out to be a former disciple of the Dilowa and gave Lattimore extraordinary attention. Lattimore was inundated with historical materials. He found no oppressive Marxist doctrine dampening scholarly conversations in Mongolia, as it so often did with the Soviets.

From July 24 to August 4 the Lattimores were taken on a tour of the country, visiting five collective farms. As he wrote in a letter to Justice William O. Douglas, they were in "the original heartland of the history of the Huns, the Turks, and later the Mongols themselves. . . . Marvellous country, marvellous people. We also saw a lot of the new, collectivized pastoral economy. I was impressed by the intelligent way it builds on old traditions of cooperation (I put my yaks with your yaks, you put


your sheep with my sheep, we'll both put our horses with that other fellow's horses) and so is more readily understood and accepted. The present degree of prosperity is too general, and we have travelled too widely, for there to be any question of specially-dressed-up show-places for foreigners." [29]

It was in this heartland of the Huns and Mongols that Lattimore was introduced to the "richest paleological find" that the great Russian archaeologist, Okladnikov, had ever seen. Artifacts half a million years old were found at the site, and Okladnikov told Lattimore how he had known to dig there. The Orkhon River made a bend, leaving a terrace suitable for a fishing camp. Near this terrace a small stream entered the Orkhon, and fluttering white rags were tied to bushes on the shores of the stream. "Right there under those bushes," Okladnikov said, "there is a mineral spring. Until quite recently, the local Mongols regarded it as magical and used its water to cure sickness. Probably it has been revered continually since the time of paleolithic man, because we know from other sites that men in the Old Stone Age were as aware as we are of the difference between mineral springs and ordinary springs. So when we found a mineral spring and a natural fishing camp within 50 yards of each other, we knew we had only to dig."[30] The chance to tour archaeological sites with Okladnikov was worth as much to Lattimore as anything on the trip.

Lattimore's forty-two days in Mongolia sped by mercilessly. Toward the end, he was asked to address the Academy of Sciences. It was a fitting climax. He was complimentary to his hosts, telling them to be proud of their nomad past as well as their startling leap into modernity. Justice Douglas, for whom Lattimore arranged a visit to Mongolia in September 1961, says, "A member of the Academy of Sciences in that country told me that Lattimore addressed them for an hour in Ulan Bator, speaking Mongolian. He paid Lattimore the highest compliment possible: 'If I had closed my eyes and listened, I would have sworn the speaker was Mongolian.'"[31]

On August 19 the Lattimores flew to Irkutsk, Moscow, and Copenhagen, where Owen was to give a series of lectures. The Monglian customs officials did not even open their baggage.[32]

The American initiative to open diplomatic relations with the MPR stirred up the China lobby while Lattimore was gone. Marvin Liebman, secretary of the Committee of One Million, raised hell. Recognition of Mongolia, he told the New York Times and a dozen or so prominent members of the China bloc in Congress, was just the opening wedge in an attempt to push


through recognition of the People's Republic of China. On June 29, 1961, the State Department announced that negotiations with Mongolia were progressing; Chester Bowles, undersecretary of State, and Roger Hilsman, director of State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, were pushing this initiative.[33]

The effort was premature. Had there been no other obstacles, word of Lattimore's presence in Ulan Bator that summer would have killed it. The Washington Post story of July 12 called the attention of official Washington to the fact that Lattimore and his wife were attending the Mongolian fortieth anniversary celebrations, and that news set off a new round of China lobby outrage. On July 13 the National Republican Congressional Committee "accused the Kennedy Administration of 30 actions that the committee said were withdrawals from the policies of the Eisenhower Administration in dealings with the Communists." Among them was the fact that the State Department had "granted a visa to Owen Lattimore for a 'study trip' to Outer Mongolia, although Lattimore has been named by a Senate subcommittee as a 'conscious, articulate instrument of the Communist party.'" Senator Everett Dirksen and Representative Charles Halleck, Republican leaders, denounced the reported proposal to recognize Mongolia.[34]

Unique among the ultraconservative fulminations was the July 16 ABC radio broadcast of George Sokolsky, the text of which was printed in the Brooklyn Tablet . Sokolsky was alarmed at Lattimore's trip: "How he got there, I don't know. What kind of passport he's using, I don't know. We have no regulations with Mongolia; our passport doesn't hold there, but he's gone there." Sokolsky reviewed the "great power of Ghengis [sic ] Khan, which in the 13th Century conquered China and conquered much of Europe, east of Germany. It held Russia for a prolonged period. It held India and the Mongol Empire in India. It is Mongolia which is being revived as a power in this attempt to force upon the world the United Nations. This is a peril which is really greater than one imagines because, to us, the name Mongolia hardly means anything anymore and yet, out of that desert land has come this great power which at one time dominated much of the world and which can do it again if armed and given the direction and guidance that could lead to that. This, then, is our peril at the time." [35]

It is hard to excuse such crass ignorance. Sokolsky should have known that Mongolia was a sparsely populated country of fewer than one million and that it was totally surrounded by Russia and China, who would hardly give the Mongols the arms, direction, and guidance to conquer the Eur-


asian continent. Sokolsky did not name his candidate for a modern Genghis Khan.

David Nelson Rowe, at Yale, was also alarmed at Lattimore's travels. On August 9, 1961, he cabled Senator Eastland: "STRONGLY RECOMMEND INVESTIGATION OF PART PLAYED BY OWEN LATTIMORE IN OUTER MONGOLIA RECENTLY AND POSSIBLE COOPERATION WITH LATTIMORE BY DEPT OF STATE INABLING HIS PRESENCE THERE AND CURRENT SUGGESTION UNITED STATES ENTER INTO DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH SOVIET PUPPET OF OUTER MONGOLIA ." Eastland politely declined, telling Rowe that unless "information could be obtained that would furnish a sound basis for such a hearing" it would be a mere fishing expedition.[36]

The entire right-wing press jumped on the issue. Pressure was too great for Bowles to continue. On August 11 President Kennedy ordered plans for the exchange of diplomats with the MPR dropped.[37]

Senator Thomas Dodd of Connecticut didn't believe it was all over. On August 22 he told the Senate that it was no accident that Lattimore was in Mongolia "at the very moment when there was a big drive on" to recognize that country. Dodd threatened to call Lattimore before SISS "to establish all of the facts about his visit."[38] The threat was never carried out.

Justice William O. Douglas came back from two weeks in Mongolia in late September, calling for recognition of the MPR since it was independent of both China and Russia.[39] He was too late: the issue was dead.

The United Nations presented a different situation. A package deal, in which admission of Mongolia and Mauritania (wanted by the French African bloc) were linked, passed the Security Council October 25, 1961. The Mongolian People's Republic became a member of the community of nations.

Lattimore returned to Johns Hopkins October 1 with a treasure trove of historical materials, notes from manuscripts, records of interviews, and photographs. He now had the raw materials to flesh out an account of Outer Monglia to match his 1934 Mongols of Manchuria . He set about producing a contemporary description of the MPR with enough background to explain how things came to be the way he found them in the summer of 1961.

Nomads and Commissars , published by Oxford University Press in June 1962, was the result. It is still a valuable exposition of the development of Outer Mongolia in the modern period, beginning with the Mongol revolution against Manchu rule in 1911. This revolution established an auton-


omous state lasting about ten years. During this period czarist Russia began to take an interest in Mongolia. It was a barren time; Mongol leadership was weak, and the dominance of the Buddhist monasteries was suffocating. Lattimore refers to this period as the "years of frustration."

Modern Mongolia began to take shape with the Partisan Rebellion of Sukebator in 1921; this was the revolution celebrated by the MPR when Lattimore first came in the summer of 1961. There was much controversy about the extent to which Marxist practices were imposed on the Mongols by the Bolsheviks and about responsibility for the confiscation of private property and the purges of 1929-32, known as the Left Deviation. Though sympathetic to the Mongols, Lattimore concludes that left-wing Mongols rather than Soviet agents were responsible for the terror. It was, in fact, under Comintern guidance that the policy of forced collectivization was reversed.[40] Western assumptions about Soviet tyranny in Mongolia, Lattimore asserts, are mistaken. The Soviet Union could easily have annexed Mongolia but did not, and Soviet protection of Mongolia from Japanese encroachment in the 1930s saved the Mongols from the brutalization Japan inflicted on Manchuria.

It was of great significance to Lattimore that Mongolia had no capitalist past yet moved rapidly from feudalism to the modernity of 1961 with Soviet aid. He saw it as a model for other developing countries. The progress of Mongolia as he observed it did not decrease the enthusiasm for free enterprise capitalism in developing countries, which he had touted in Solution and Situation ; he recognized that Mongolia was a special case. Other developing countries had at least a modest bourgeois capitalist class on which to build.

Nomads and Commissars remained Lattimore's primary volume on the subject of Outer Mongolia. In 1987, when he wrote "Mongolia as a Leading State" for the Journal of the Mongolia Society , he conformed closely to the conclusions he had reached in 1962.

After the stimulus of the trip to Ulan Bator in 1961, life at Johns Hopkins seemed tame. The Lattimores again went to Europe in 1962, visiting England, France, and Switzerland during June. They were barely settled back in Baltimore when a wholly unexpected invitation came.

Leeds University decided in 1962 to establish a department of Chinese studies, concentrating on contemporary China with language, literature, history, geography, economics, and sociology all represented. There would be classes for undergraduates, but also a strong research and graduate program. No such department existed in Great Britain; there were few anywhere. In August 1962 Leeds got in touch with Lattimore. Would he


be interested in heading this department? He was, and in September the Lattimores again went to England to explore Leeds's plans. The Leeds vice-chancellor and his search committee decided Lattimore was the right man.

For Lattimore, the decision was easy to make. He was sixty-two, eligible for retirement at Johns Hopkins. His opportunities in the United States were still restricted by the fallout from the McCarthy-McCarran period. United States universities were rigidly compartmentalized, and Lattimore tended to disregard jurisdictional boundaries. U.S. foreign policies, still cretinous in regard to China, apoplectic about Cuba, and already beginning the long perverse involvement in Vietnam, caused him great anguish; yet he had no effective forum in which to oppose them. His close friend, Vilhjalmur Stefansson, had died of a stroke August 26, 1962.[41] Most of all, the Hopkins situation was stultifying: no graduate students, no research seminar on a topic dear to him, and a campus still bitterly divided over his presence. The announcement of his appointment to Leeds was made November 12.[42] He flew to Leeds again in January 1963 to make housing and other arrangements.

The opportunity to build a department from the ground up was itself attractive, but there was a bonus. As Lattimore bragged to Academician B. I. Pankratov at Leningrad, he would be able to add Mongol studies and to take Urgunge Onon with him.[43] Britain was far more open to unconventional views. The British had no McCarran-Walter Act. He could bring visiting scholars from the MPR to Leeds.

The main handicap Lattimore faced in developing Chinese and Mongol studies at Leeds was the absence of a good library collection. This problem was taken up by Mortimer Graves, a long-time Lattimore supporter recently retired from the post of administrative secretary of the American Council of Learned Societies. Graves wrote several hundred Asian scholars and bibliophiles, explaining the need for books at Leeds and asking them to cull their libraries for relevant items they no longer needed. Graves then arranged with the International Exchange Service of the Smithsonian Institution to assemble and ship the books to Leeds.[44]

Cutting a twenty-five-year tie with Johns Hopkins was easy. At a farewell party given by the history department, Lattimore said that the department had been good to him, but the university had not.[45] Chester Wickwire, Hopkins chaplain, says that Lattimore told him "getting out of here is like getting out of prison." His farewell lecture was packed. As David Harvey put it, "Everyone expected him to talk about Mc-


Carthyism. He talked about society and culture in Mongolia. I suspect that is where his heart was all along."[46]

As Lattimore was packing to leave Hopkins, a group of history junior faculty and graduate students stopped by his office to wish him well. Waldo Heinrichs, later a prominent diplomatic historian at Temple University, was among them. They noticed a half-dozen boxes in a corner with what appeared to be correspondence tossed inside. Heinrichs asked Lattimore what he intended to do with the boxes. He replied, "Throw them out." The visitors protested; could they take the boxes over to the library? Lattimore did not mind.[47] Sixteen years later this discarded correspondence was in the Hamburger Archives at Johns Hopkins, providing one of the few contemporary records of Lattimore's activities as director of the Walter Hines Page School and of his scholarly enterprises during the years 1946 to 1952.


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