In This Review

Counsel To The President: A Memoir
Counsel To The President: A Memoir
By Clark Clifford with Richard Holbrooke
Random House, 1991, 709 pp

This beautifully written autobiography follows the author's Washington career from his beginning as naval aide and then special counsel to President Truman-when he helped define American policy at the outset of the Cold War and did much to engineer Truman's 1948 election-through the Vietnam War to the present. The chapters describing his 1965 opposition to committing American troops to Vietnam, his seeming hawkishness after troops were committed and his reversal as Secretary of Defense in 1968 are the best. The overall serenity of the volume is interrupted by a long self-exculpatory footnote on his alleged connection to the Bank of Credit and Commerce International scandal.