OPINIONSnA Man for No Seasonnby Theodore Pappasn”It is not merely that speeches, statistics, and records of every kind must benconstantly brought up to date in order to show that the predictions of the Partynwere in all cases right. It is also that no charige in doctrine or in politicalnalignment can ever be admitted.”nConspirator: The Untold Storynof Tyler Kentnby Ray Bearse and Anthony ReadnNew York: Doubleday;n332 pp., $24.50nHarry Elmer Barnes argued in thenearly 1950’s that the myths andnfolklore about America’s entry intonWorld War II were more fantastic thannthe fictions produced about World WarnI. Honest debate about World War Inoccurred in the 1920’s, and it gave birthnto one of the most significant developmentsnin 20th-century historiographyn— revisionism. This congenial climatenof opinion, however, was not to bentolerated after 1945. The oppositionnthat revisionism encountered in thenI920’s was minimal compared to thensmear campaigns, ostracism, and adnhominem attacks that were orchestratednagainst historians who rejected the partynline on Franklin Roosevelt andnAmerica’s entry into World War II.nAnd if Conspirator: The Untold Storynof Tyler Kent by Ray Bearse and AnthonynRead is any indication, the partynline is alive and well and the campaignnof misinformation continues to thisnday.nTyler Gatewood Kent was born inn1911 at a mission hospital in Newchwang,nManchuria, where his fathernwas the American consul. He spent hisnearly years in Germany, Switzerland,nand Bermuda, before attending schoolnin Virginia in 1919. After two years atna prep school in Dublin, he returned tonTheodore Pappas is the associateneditor of Chronicles.n— George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-FournAmerica and entered Kent School innConnecticut and then St. Albans innWashington. He entered Princeton inn1929 and quickly distinguished himselfnas a linguist. He left Princeton duringnhis sophomore year, studied Russian atnthe Sorbonne and Spanish at the Universitynof Madrid, and then attendednGeorge Washington University inn1933, where he prepared for a careernin the foreign service with studies innhistory and economics.nIn October 1934 he joined AmbassadornWilliam Bullitt’s first staff in thennewly established American embassynnnin Moscow and in October 1939 wasntransferred to the American embassy innLondon. Responsible for encoding andndecoding messages, Kent had access tonall communications passing throughnthe London embassy, including thensecret exchanges that occurred in 1939nand 1940 between Churchill — thennLord of the Admiralty, not PrimenMinister — and President Roosevelt.nConvinced that Roosevelt was draggingnthe country into war, Kent savednand copied thousands of documents,nparticularly those directly dealing withnthe correspondence between a “navalnperson” and the President. His statednpurpose for collecting these documentsnwas to prevent Roosevelt’s reelectionnin 1940 by informing thenleading isolationists in Washington ofnthis secret correspondence. He lentnsome of these documents to AnnanWolkoff, a White Russian emigre henhad befriended in London. Henthought she might show them to CaptainnArchibald Ramsay, a Conservativenmember of Parliament who was, withnWolkoff, a member of a reactionarynorganization called the Right Club.nRamsay was in a position to break thenstory of the secret correspondence via anspeech on the floor of the House ofnCommons. Wolkoff returned the documentsnto Kent the following day.nHowever, unbeknownst to Kent,nWolkoff had had the documents photographednand passed on to a friend atnthe Italian embassy, who in turn relayednthem to Germany via Rome.nThe photographed documents revealednthat Churchill had agreed tonstop searching and seizing Americannships — repeated incidents of whichnDECEMBER 1991/27n