Inquiry files

Mr. Walter Lippmann to the Secretary of War ( Baker )

Dear N. D. B. : I am very proud indeed of the copy of your book that you sent me. I shall keep it in the very small box which contains things I shall want always to preserve.

The work here goes along steadily and what might be called the structural part of it is developing fairly satisfactorily. On many of the problems of first-rate importance there is a real famine in men and we have been compelled practically to train and create our own experts. This is especially true of problems connected with Russia, the Balkans, Turkey and Africa. Those are lands intellectually practically unexplored. What we are on the lookout for is genius—sheer, startling genius and nothing else will do because the real application of the President’s idea to those countries requires inventiveness and resourcefulness which is scarcer than anything. I have been reading lately with much perturbation about the way in [Page 98] which ignorance on the part of peace commissioners in the past has lost causes which have been won on the battlefield. It isn’t difficult to win a war and lose the peace. England did it over and over again in the nineteenth century in regard to Turkey.

Won’t you give my best to Mrs. Baker and the children.

Yours always,

W[alter] L[ippmann]