An Affair Of Honor: Woodrow Wilson Essay, Research Paper
An Affair of Honor: Woodrow Wilson and the Occupation of Veracruz is an in-depth look at the policies Wilson followed to occupy Mexico during the reign of General Victoriano Huerta. The invasion happened in 1914, when military troops docked at the harbor of Veracruz and took over the city. The occupation became a learning experience for our Nation and especially our President in foreign affairs in helping a Democracy get started in another country. The author conveys his thoughts in one passage ?Wilson, however, clothed American aggression with the sanctimonious raiment of idealism. In insisting upon the morality of his acts, he aroused both the hatred and the scorn of the Mexicans-hatred over the invasion but a deep scorn for what they saw as his hypocrisy?(Quirk). This stated thesis expresses the actual feelings Quirk has for the President of the United States.
The book was 1st published in 1962, 48yrs after the invasion of Veracruz. So, the author had to use many sources to get his point across for writing the book. He used many published reports to illustrate his idea of Veracruz. He used books to get quotes, such as ?Arthur S. Link?s Woodrow Wilson: The New Freedom, Ray S. Baker?s Woodrow Wilson, Life and Letters and Harley Notter?s The Origins of the Foreign Policy of Woodrow Wilson?(Quirk 173). These were published books dealing with the President and how he conducted himself while in office. ?Newspapers of the past are the historian?s staff of life?(Quirk 174). He notes that in his writings many newspapers were used but he could not tell if factual or not. He also used the Mexican Herald to help get the same types of sources and compare, to help assess his claims. He helps to list his sources on the bottom of each page that he uses a quote. This gives the reader a better way to evaluate the passage in the book by looking it up by its source. The author logically defends his thesis by pointing out the bad decisions Wilson makes in his invasion. Trusting in the author?s thoughts about President Wilson, it seems the haste judgments of the President were not rational.
The statements in this book talked mostly about Woodrow Wilson and not enough about the leader of Mexico, Huerta. Maybe telling more about the Mexican side would help interest people more to read up about it. Also, the beginning of the book was the slowest part until the federals captured the marines, then it started to get interesting. Figuring a fight would break loose, but only to get disappointed it never did. The book was decent and getting to read it made the understanding of Veracruz clear. The occurrence of Veracruz in our American History shed light on a new subject to read about, never knowing exactly what happened. So, learning about this made it that much more enjoyable to read. Also, the tactics that Wilson used while the occupation: like the cleaning of the city and passing inspection laws were key issues that made it attractive to read. As for recommending this book in reading for this course, yes do get other classes to read about it, just because of the closeness in location with Mexico geographically. Telling a friend to read this would be a good suggestion for him or her to learn more about Veracruz. The most exciting part of the book was the day of the invasion. This is when the American ships were all sitting outside the dock of Veracruz waiting and becoming anxious to start the attack. The dullest part was the 5 or 7 pages describing the city of Veracruz.
There are two reviews that came to my attention. The University of Kentucky Press posted the first review in 1962 for the Mississippi Valley Historical Association. This review summarized all of Quirk?s optimism and helped talk about the book very well. The review got the point across about the book, but did not establish good facts about how Quirk went about on getting his information. The review was published in 1962, the same year it came out.
The Book Review Digest of 1963 had the most thorough and strait to the point review. The review was published in 1963 and on page 826 of the Digest. This published review noted, ?Professor Quirk has done an excellent job of finding the available materials both in the United States and Mexico?(Digest).
In An Affair of Honor: Woodrow Wilson And the Occupation of Veracruz the author bashes the President for his misuse of power. Quirk lets the reader know his stand on the invasion in the opening preface of the book. The main problem with the occupation was that the problems in Mexico did not change when the invasion was over. Only thing it did was get Huerta out of rule in Mexico. This was the main plan that Wilson wanted to establish in Mexico. So, if anything good came out of the situation, this would be the only thing.