Jules Archer Cynthia Seybolt - Essay

Cynthia Seybolt

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[In China in the Twentieth Century] Archer presents a balanced view of developments in China since 1900 emphasizing political history and the men who made it. The author traces the rise of the Communist Party and outlines the policies and programs it has implemented to change Chinese society. Problems, failures, and struggles within the Party, as well as its triumphs, are described accurately and thoroughly. An excellent final chapter deals with aspects of life in China today…. [This book] emphasizes the role of the people rather than the leaders in recent Chinese history. (p. 61)

Cynthia Seybolt, in School Library Journal (reprinted from the April, 1975 issue of School Library Journal, published by R. R. Bowker Co. A Xerox Corporation, copyright © 1975), April, 1975.

Although the author's anti-Nixon administration bias is in evidence and his use of the present tense throughout the narrative is sometimes disconcerting, his treatment of Watergate [in Watergate: America in Crisis] is thorough and well organized. Archer unfolds the whole story from the June 1972 break-in to the president's resignation and pardon and also fills in details of Nixon's earlier political career, the Ellsberg affair, the gamut of campaign "dirty tricks," and various financial scandals. Archer concludes, like many others, that flaws in Richard Nixon's character led to his downfall; he ends his account, however, with discussion of constructive changes that have and may yet come out of Watergate. (pp. 1122)

The Booklist (reprinted by permission of the American Library Association; copyright 1975 by the American Library Association), July 1, 1975.

Archer sees Soviet-American relations as essentially a conflict between grass roots friendship and official suspicion. As he shows [in The Russians and the Americans], Russian admiration for American society goes back a long way…. Aside from being noticeably unanalytical, Archer tends to underplay the negative aspects of Soviet society, including the purges, and their impact on American opinion. This is, however, a provocative though somewhat simplistic critique of America's postwar policies. And Archer shows why the Soviets have had good reason to fear U.S. aggression—a viewpoint which should be an eye-opener for youngsters who've only heard it the other way around. (p. 784)

Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1975 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), July 15, 1975.