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Historian to talk about former Secretary of State Hull (Released: 11/15/95)

by Luis Mocete, Office of University Communications.

STORRS, Conn. -- Jon Utley, one of the foremost historians of the Roosevelt era, will speak at the University of Connecticut s 45th Foreign Policy Seminar on Friday Nov. 17 at 4:30 p.m. in the basement of Wood Hall.

The seminar has featured leading scholars in American diplomatic history over the past 10 years.

Utley is one of the leading diplomatic historians of American foreign policy of the Roosevelt era, said Gary Clifford, coordinator of the foreign policy seminar and director of graduate studies in political science.

Utley, a professor emeritus of history from the University of Tennessee, will share some of the central themes of his forthcoming biography on former Secretary of State Cordell Hull, a 1945 Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Utley has written two books, including Going to War with Japan, which focuses on Hull s negotiations with Japanese officials before the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Hull, who had the longest tenure of any secretary of state (1933-1944), placed great emphasis on international economic relations. Through his efforts, pacts were signed with several nations under the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act of 1934 that helped eliminate special tariff arrangements between countries.

Economic barriers were important to Hull because he felt they could lead to war, Clifford said.

Hull also fostered the Good Neighbor Policy," an effort to improve the unpopular image the United States had in Latin America. His efforts were successful as most of the Latin American countries became allies of the United States during World War II.

After the start of the war, Hull worked to improve cooperation among the allies, visiting Moscow in 1943, and backing a post-war organization that would succeed the League of Nations.

Hull has to be one of the most important secretaries of state in our history, Clifford said.

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