FOREIGN RELATIONS: Lessons of-History

Ambassador Joseph Clark Grew went to Tokyo in 1932 resolved to keep the peace between the U.S. and Japan. His diary published this week (Ten Years in Japan; Simon & Schuster, $3.75) explains why anyone would have failed.

Hardheaded and perceptive, with 28 years of diplomatic experience behind him, Ambassador Grew could read the signs-of Japanese militarism as well as anyone. But many of the princes and politicians with whom he hunted wild duck or played poker seemed anything but barbarians and fools. He determined to work with the moderates, hoping they would regain control over foreign policy.

Only after Japan joined...