Power and Peace: The Diplomacy of John Foster Dulles

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Power and Peace: The Diplomacy of John Foster Dulles

By Frederick W. Marks III
Praeger Publishers, 1993
266 pp. $49.95

Who made foreign policy in the 1950s, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles or President Dwight Eisenhower? This work is a lawyer's brief for the case that Dulles was the architect of American policy. Marks is argumentative without being informative. He states that Dulles has never received as much as half the recognition he deserves, that Dulles was the real father of Soviet-U.S. détente, and that Richard Nixon's 1972 opening to China was a natural extension of policies set in motion by Dulles, among other pronouncements. Marks presents precious little in the way of new documentation to support such assertions. He denounces Eisenhower revisionists who insist that the president was in charge, and he differs strongly with earlier studies, such as Herman Finers Dulles Over Suez, that agreed that Dulles ran the show but charged that he did it badly. Leaving the wisdom of the Eisenhower administration's policies aside, the question of who was in charge is easily settled. In the spring of 1953, Dulles wanted to launch a major ground offensive in Korea to give the Chinese one hell of a licking, using the army of Nationalist China, and he opposed the July 1953 armistice. Dulles wanted to support the British and French at Suez in 1956. And so on. We all know what happened how can anyone doubt who made the policy?

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