Endless Enemies: The Making of an Unfriendly World by Jonathan Kwitny; Congdon & Weed, New York.

During the formative years of the American republic, Alexan­der Hamilton proposed that a national debt would be beneficial since it would tie the wealthy, the lenders, to the fledgling government, the debtor. Hamilton doubtless would regard a trillion-dollar national debt as too much of a good thing, but, just as he expected, those buying T­-bills are hopeful that the government will survive to pay interest. Government debts to Americans become more problematic, however, when the debtor government is not our own but a foreign one, especially an unpopular foreigner regime which prohibits free enterprise among its own citizens. Indeed in Endless Enemies Jonathan Kwitny, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal shows how American investments and loans abroad have often artificially strengthened the position of authoritarian socialists. Such an analysis neatly turns on its head the usual leftist complaint that American foreign policy is bad because it impedes the emergence of socialism. American foreign policy fails, this study contends, because it creates the false dilemma of US.­ sponsored socialism vs. Soviet­sponsored socialism. Free-market capitalism, Kwitny finds, is precisely what many American bankers, corporate executives, and diplomats seem unwilling to export. The ironic result has been widespread hostility against America for propping up decidedly un-American economies and governments.

Arguably Kwitny underestimates the role of communist aggression in world affairs. Nonetheless, his carefully re­ searched book raises serious questions for Wall Street investors, Foggy Bottom strategists, and average American voters.