REVIEWS of Diplomacy & Enterprise: British China Policy 1933-1937

CHOICE, November 1975:
    "An important scholarly work...has examined the never-never land between business and diplomacy and the impact of the former upon British foriegn policy in the Far East. 

Christopher Thorne, International Affairs, April 1976:
       "...a most competent and useful piece of work.  Above all, it makes use not only of official archives in London but of the papers of various firms which were active in China at the time.[s] up well the high-handed and indeed devious way in which Chamberlain set about shaping British policy, for example by initiating secret communications with the Japanese behind the backs of the Foreign Office in a manner which anticipated his handling of foreign policy as Prime Minister."

John F. Melby,  letter of appraisal for UBC Press, June 1974:
     "I must confess that I started reading Mr. Stephen Endicott's manuscript with a certain sense of wondering why he had bothered.  I finished it with a real feeling of enthusiasm for a first class piece of work....The range of the original source material he has used is impressive, and if there are private collections or official sources which may yet come to light, I would be surprised if they would make any significant changes in what he has written.  His use of this material must classify him as an uncommonly sound scholar.  He, of course, has one tremendous advantage in that he was born in China and like the other members of his family has maintained a kind of continuing interest in that fascinating country which gives his work a sense of reality which would be lacking from a comparable study by someone without the background.  Incidentally, he writes extremely well.  I have no hesitation in recommending subsidy for this piece of work."

FOREIGN AFFAIRS, October 1975:
      "An intriguing study, based on new sources, of the political and business roots of British policy towards China.  It is also intended as a forceful contribution to the current debate on the nature of imperialism, and the author has a strong inclination to see the evidence of his study as giving considerable support to Lenin's views."

Neville Thompson, International Journal, v. 34-2, 1979:
     "This is an important book for an understanding of the origins of the Second World War, British foreign policy in the 1930s - which despite the many specialized studies still lacks a full-scale integrated account, the British in Asia, and the process of imperial decline."

David A. Wilson, Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, v. 9, no. 1, January-March 1977
       "Endicott's book is a study of how British financial and commercial interests in China affected the direction of British government policy toward China and East Asia during the crucial years before the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War.  The author traces British policy as it wavered in contradictory efforts to reach understanding with Japan while simultaneously seeking to revive British economic interests in China -- interests which clashed with Japanese activities.  Endicott finds direct connections between the evolution of a British government policy promoting the interests of British capital in  China and the China Association, at the core of which were the `big China firms': the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, Asiatic Petroleum Company [North and South China Ltd.], the British American Tobacco Company [China] Ltd., Imperial Chemical Industries [China] Ltd, Jardine, Matheson and Company Ltd., and John Swire and Sons Ltd.
      "The big firms...were opposed to Japanese encroachment on China.  They advocated the strengthening of a Chinese government that would welcome their investments and protect their property....the book tells an important story and utilizes a broad range of British archival material, making it an important source for anyone doing research or preparing lectures on Asia and/or foreign policy questions of the 1930s."

Nicholas R. Clifford, Pacific Affairs, v. 48-4,Winter 1975-1976:
     "Not everyone will agree that the gradual predominance of economic over strategic interests will suggest "the continuing relevance of Lenin's basic insights into the subject of modern imperialism" (p. 175);  the story, which Endicott sets forth so clearly, is more complicated than that.  But he by no means dwells on this interpretation.  We are all in debt to him not only for his illumination of the main course of events but also for a variety of other points, such as the ways in which the China Houses sought to come to terms with the post-May 4th nationalism while essentially retaining their privileges intact, or the ways in which personality influenced policy (as Endicott points out, Chamberlain's secret diplomacy -- secret, that is, from his colleagues) -- was a foretaste of what was to come in 1938 and 1939.  And finally he emphasizes the importance of the Far Eastern question in British thinking in the 1930's, a point still largely unrecognized by historians of the period.  His book must be read not only by those concerned with the Pacific, but by all those interested in British policy in the 1930's."

Ian A. Andrews, The Canadian Book Review Annual 1975:
    "Endicott's lucid and scholarly approach succeeds in showing the difficulty of separating the British foreign policy toward China from the economic sphere of events, and how a powerful business elite can direct or at least strongly guide their government's major policy decisions.  This provides interesting reading in view of current American and Soviet involvements."

Bill George, Quill and Quire, September 1975:
   "...uses unpublished draw back the curtain on British Far East diplomacy in the 30's.  What he reveals is almost incredible.  The patchwork quilt of British diplomacy was in fact whole cloth, of a sort, spun out by that master of unsuccessful compromise, Neville Chamberlain. ...Though there is much in that period to tempt the incipient witch hunter, Endicott accurately portrays the balance of confusion, timidity, and rashness on which British policy was founded."