American Public Opinion and U.S. Foreign Policy 1987

In This Review

American Public Opinion and U.S. Foreign Policy 1987

Edited by John E. Rielly
Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, 1987
40 pp. $5.00

Present and future analysts of American attitudes toward the world are blessed with a valuable resource in the continuing series of opinion polls conducted by the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations. This is the fourth such survey of attitudes toward major issues of international relations, taken at four-year intervals since 1974. As before, the polling technique is sophisticated, the questions artfully framed to elicit just the degree of specificity and generality appropriate for a sensitive reading of public opinion. The major shift revealed by comparison with the 1970s is that the "inward-looking" attitudes of the post-Vietnam decade are receding; now, the 1987 survey concludes, news concerning America's relations with other countries ranks second in public interest after local events, having overtaken national news. Not the least admirable quality of the Chicago survey is that, for all its statistical data, the report is lucid and cohesive as a narrative essay, worthy of being read as well as consulted.

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