Water's Edge: Domestic Politics and the Making of American Foreign Policy

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Water's Edge: Domestic Politics and the Making of American Foreign Policy

By Paula Stern
Greenwood Press, 1979
265 pp. $19.95
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This is a major contribution to our understanding of the conception, negotiation and passage of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment that led the U.S.S.R. in 1975 to denounce the trade agreement negotiated with the U.S. in 1972. The public record, interviews and inside information are combined to give a detailed and lively account of what went on; when data fail, Rashomon is invoked to provide alternative readings. Close analysis of the aims, methods and choices of Senator Jackson tells us much about his relation to Jewish groups, labor, other senators and the executive branch. The latter, usually personified in Henry Kissinger, does not cut a very impressive figure in this account. Rebuttals from protagonists are to be expected, but it is hard to see how they can detract much from this first-rate piece of work.

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