The following review of The Education of an Anti-Imperialist: Robert La Follette and U.S. Expansion appeared in the June 2014 issue of CHOICE:
There are many biographical accounts available of Wisconsin’s progressive governor and senator, Robert M. La Follette, Sr., but this latest one offers a fresh perspective that often surprises with its insights. Drake (Montana) has written a scholarly, readable, and sometimes highly opinionated account of the philosophical journey taken by La Follete toward an unshakable belief in anti-imperialism and opposition to U.S. involvement in foreign wars. Even a seasoned historian who has made a focused study of La Follette will find much that is new here, especially regarding his earlier support of such meddlesome conflicts as the Spanish-American War. While La Follette neglected to inform readers of La Follette;s Autobiography (1913) about his evolving views, Drake amends the record. This is not an anti-La Follette screed, however, as the author clearly has great respect for his subject, yet desires to write a less-idealized account of the senator’s views on foreign policy. Serious research went into the preparation of this book, which is well documented. Drake’s own political views do become a bit overbearing at times, especially in the concluding chapter. Summing up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. — S.K. Hauser, Marquette University.