October 25, 2011

This past week I’ve focused on two aspects of my December 1 paper: compiling a background in foreign lobby history and writing a draft of my narrative opening.  On a side note, I’ve begun going through FRUS, and I’ve also hunted down Pearson’s memoir published in the Saturday Evening Post, which gives his point of view of the leak.

I’ve added a subcategory to “Secondary Sources,” where I’ve begun posting brief synopses of the flashpoint foreign lobbies in U.S. history. At some point in the future I may end up making a separate historiography drop-down category. This week, I’ve concentrated on the lobbies that preceded the India Lobby: the French, Latin American, and European revolutionaries.  I’ve been consulting George Herring’s survey, From Colony to Superpower, to refamiliarize myself with the material.  My blog posts so far contain a brief summary of the event/individual/lobby in question, some additional sources I plan on exploring, as well as some of my initial reactions to the lobbies. Some general observations so far:

  • Individuals or small groups characterize these early lobbies (Citizen Genet, Diego de Saavedra and Juan Pedro de Aguirre, Louis Kossuth). Though they all represented a larger community or state, much of their success as a persuasive diplomat seemed to rest in how Americans and U.S. policy members received them as an individual.
  • American presidents seemed to gauge their response to the lobby on how realistic they believed the lobbyist’s goals were. For example, American presidents/secretaries of state gave the Latin American delegates and Louis Kossuth no more than a verbal sign of their support for their independence movements. Edmond Genet, however, was representing an established nation, and John Adams practically declared war with France.
  • The American public’s response to the various causes was directly related to the presence of the lobby in America: the lobbyists brought their causes to the American conscious for the first time (reflection of the availability of world news in the era?).

In the upcoming weeks, I plan on expanding my research on the existing lobbies I’ve examined in a more historiographic approach as well as beginning to cover the mid-twentieth-century foreign lobbies: Israel, China, and Cuba.

 

Here is my first draft of my narrative opening for my December 1 presentation paper. Currently, I feel like the narrative opening I’ve written isn’t really a narrative at all, but more of a summary of the scene. I want this introduction to captivate the reader and convey a sense of excitement which I think the Pearson leak should generate. I’m thinking of maybe starting again with a version of page 3 as the opening paragraph, but I haven’t quite worked out how to do that yet. This is the first time I’ve written a paper with the conscious plan to incorporate it in a larger paper, which may be throwing me off a bit because I feel like I don’t want to fully elaborate this section because it will only be the introduction of my final thesis.   

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