Kennedy Administration

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Review Essay, Nov/Dec 2012
Fredrik Logevall

A pathbreaking history of the Vietnam War reveals that the Northern government was far more divided and discouraged than commonly believed. Yet the fact remains that the United States and its allies in the South always faced very long odds of success.

Response, Nov/Dec 2012
James A. Nathan and Graham Allison

Graham Allison unduly credits Kennedy’s use of threats in resolving the Cuban missile crisis, argues James Nathan. Allison disagrees, pointing to the case of Iran, where only the prospect of an attack can convince the country to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

Comment, Jul/Aug 2012
Graham Allison

Fifty years ago, the Cuban missile crisis brought the world to the brink of nuclear disaster. Every president since John F. Kennedy has tried to learn from what happened back then. Today, it can help U.S. policymakers understand what to do -- and what not to do -- about Iran, North Korea, China, and presidential decision-making in general.

Review Essay, Sep/Oct 1998
Roy Jenkins

James Chace's wise biography of Dean Acheson shows how Truman's inimitable secretary of state helped create the postwar order.

Review Essay, Jul/Aug 1997
Steven Merritt Miner

With exclusive access to newly opened Soviet records, Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali reveal that Kennedy blinked too soon and Khrushchev declared victory.

Review Essay, Jan/Feb 1996
Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.

There have been obsessive anticommunists and responsible ones, and it is important to keep the two straight. Richard Gid Powers does and then doesn't.

Review Essay, Sep/Oct 1995
Steven Merritt Miner

The memoirs of Moscow's ambassador to the United States from Kennedy to Reagan reveal little about U.S. presidents but much about the ossified and ill-informed Soviet foreign policy apparatus. Anatoly Dobrynin's lament for Gorbachev's rule and the end of the U.S.S.R. advances a disquieting stab-in-the-back theory.

Essay, Jul/Aug 1995
David Rieff

Like Jews, Armenians, and White Russians, Cuban-Americans see themselves as exiled members of a diaspora, not simply immigrants. From Kennedy's Bay of Pigs plan through Clinton's continuation of the trade embargo, U.S. administrations have encouraged the hope of return to a democratic homeland. Every hour of the last 36 years has meant added suffering for the Cubans across the Florida Straits. But Clinton's reversal of the policy of political asylum for all Cuban migrants signals that the Cold War is over, even with Cuba. Cuban-Americans have become just another immigrant group. For Miami, the exile is over.

Review Essay, May/Jun 1995
George C. Herring

In taking the war upon himself, Robert S. McNamara forgets that containment abroad and anticommunism at home virtually ensured the Vietnam tragedy.

Review Essay, Nov/Dec 1994
Robin W. Winks

Finally we have a book on espionage with the flavor and texture of the truth. Peter Grose brings us a biography of Allen Dulles, founder of the modern CIA.

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