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James Chace's wise biography of Dean Acheson shows how Truman's inimitable secretary of state helped create the postwar order.
A look back at perhaps the most important foreign policy success of the postwar period. Edited by Peter Grose, with contributions by historians Diane B. Kunz and David Reynolds, a memoir by Charles P. Kindleberger, a profile of Marshall and Acheson by James Chace and one of Will Clayton by Gregory Fossedal and Bill Mikhail. And reflections from Roy Jenkins, Walt Rostow, and Helmut Schmidt.
Shaken by the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and fearful that the American atomic monopoly would spark an arms race, Dean Acheson led a push in 1947 to place the bomb--indeed, all atomic energy--under international control. But as the memories of wartime collaboration faded, relations between the superpowers grew increasingly tense, and the confrontational atmosphere undid his proposal. Had Acheson succeeded, the Cold War might not have been.
The central concern of US foreign policy -- relations with the USSR -- could be derailed by stakes in lesser countries, namely South Korea, the Philippines, Panama, and some states in Central America. Assesses each 'danger zone', and concludes that Bush cannot "postpone the reckoning ahead".
When the helicopter rose in flight from the roof of the doomed U.S. embassy in Saigon a decade ago, Americans hoped they had finally left Vietnam behind them. For years afterward there was a widespread effort in the United States to put the Indochina experience out of mind. In the late 1970s, Mike Mansfield, the professor of Far Eastern studies who became U.S. Senate majority leader and then ambassador to Japan, told an English radio audience:
Does the American government require a single over-arching concept in order to build domestic support for foreign policy objectives? At a time when foreign policy is clearly vulnerable to pressures from a variety of interest groups, is it even possible to erect a broad foreign policy consensus as was done in the cold war era?
Ten years after President Kennedy stood at the Berlin Wall and proclaimed, "Ich bin ein Berliner," his sometime rival Richard Nixon is about to make his own Grand Tour of the Old World. The very notion of a Grand Tour calls up the Jamesian theme of an innocent abroad. One might ask whether President Nixon will discover, as did the Jamesian hero, often to his sorrow, that innocence and goodwill are not enough for such an undertaking; the ability to deal with subtleties and complexities is the necessary virtue in order to apprehend the European experience. But then, President Nixon is not going alone, and, unlike his avowed model, Woodrow Wilson, he is unlikely to abandon his Colonel House after his disembarkation. On the contrary, he will most likely leave it to his European-born adviser, Henry Kissinger, to guide him through the labyrinth of European diplomacy.