President Jimmy Carter's recent trip to Latin America and Africa (March/April, 1978)

"The aim of this brief report is to try and place the recent four-nation odyssey of the American President into some perspective in the context of US foreign policy as it has emerged in the past 400 days. The trip, much like Carter's foreign policy record to date, was filled with more symbolism than substance, more rhetoric than reality, more showmanship than brinkmanship. This "shadow boxing" has arguably been a necessary step in the formation of a United States foreign policy which is attempting to come to grips with a dynamic international world, a world in which the United States is re-assessing a wide-ranging series of international entanglements in the aftermath of three traumatic periods in US political life - the Vietnam crisis, Watergate and the impact of Henry Kissinger on US foreign policy. It is the thesis of this report that the Carter odyssey in fact marks a turning point away from "shadow boxing" to substance."