Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign Relations and United States Foreign Policy

Avowedly Marxian in its viewpoint, this study draws on a wealth of research, and carries the account right up to the present. It tends to mix the "soft" evidence of the actions of individuals who were, or later became, members of the Council with the relatively "hard" evidence of what Council-sponsored groups and individuals actually wrote and said, and the relation of this to policy. And there are curious omissions - almost nothing on the position of Council members toward Hitler and cooperation with Russia in the 1930s, or on the variety of views (including communist ones) that have appeared in this magazine from its earliest days. The picture of the Council that emerges bears a striking resemblance to that often painted on the Far Right. In its high degree of selectivity, it may seem remote from reality to anyone associated, for example, with the current 1980s Project, or to anyone who (like this reviewer) has experienced the individualism of the Council's membership.

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