Dean Acheson A Life in the Cold War

ISBN-10: 019538248X
ISBN-13: 9780195382488
Edition: 2009
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Description: Dean Acheson was one of the most influential Secretaries of State in U.S. history, presiding over American foreign policy during a pivotal era--the decade after World War II when the American Century slipped into high gear. During his vastly  More...

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Book details

List price: $19.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 3/6/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 832
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 1.75" tall
Weight: 2.530
Language: English

Dean Acheson was one of the most influential Secretaries of State in U.S. history, presiding over American foreign policy during a pivotal era--the decade after World War II when the American Century slipped into high gear. During his vastly influential career, Acheson spearheaded the greatest foreign policy achievements in modern times, ranging from the Marshall Plan to the establishment of NATO. In this acclaimed biography, Robert L. Beisner paints an indelible portrait of one of the key figures of the last half-century. In a book filled with insight based on research in government archives, memoirs, letters, and diaries, Beisner illuminates Acheson's major triumphs, including the highly underrated achievement of converting West Germany and Japan from mortal enemies to prized allies, and does not shy away from examining his missteps. But underlying all his actions, Beisner shows, was a tough-minded determination to outmatch the strength of the Soviet bloc--indeed, to defeat the Soviet Union at every turn. The book also sheds light on Acheson's friendship with Truman--one, a bourbon-drinking mid-Westerner with a homespun disposition, the other, a mustachioed Connecticut dandy who preferred perfect martinis. Over six foot tall, with steel blue, "merry, searching eyes" and a "wolfish" grin, Dean Acheson was an unforgettable character--intellectually brilliant, always debonair, and tough as tempered steel. This lustrous portrait of an immensely accomplished and colorful life is the epitome of the biographer's art. "Lively, edgy, disarming, and very smart." --Evan Thomas, author of The Wise Men "America's greatest statesman has finally found his greatest biographer. This stunning and illuminating work is so beautifully written, and so thoroughly researched, it will not be surpassed in our lifetime. This book is a national treasure." --Robert Kagan, author of Of Paradise and Power Silver Medal, Arthur Ross Book Award of the Council on Foreign Relations Winner of the Robert H. Ferrell Book Prize of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Winner of the Douglas Dillon Award for Distinguished Writing on American Diplomacy of the American Academy of Diplomacy

Acknowledgments
Definitions of Acronyms and Abbreviations
Introduction: "The Shiniest Fish that Ever Came Out of the Sea"
Part I
Rare Meat: Adding Reach to Power
Patterns of Peril: Joining the cold Warriors
Rome and Carthage: The Truman Doctrine
The Marshall Plan and Return to Private Life
Part II
The Inner and Outer Acheson
Acheson, the President, and the State Department
Keeping the Americans In, the Russians Out, and the Germans Down, 1949
Strategy in Europe: Backing the West, Probing the East
Looking for Chances in China, 1949
Neither Wood nor Ivory: Checkmated in China, 1949-1950
Other Early Encounters with Asia and the Middle East
Part III
Weapons: The H-Bomb
Words: NSC-68, Public Opinion, and Total Diplomacy
Real Diplomacy, in Europe, 1949-1950
Plunge into the Unknown: The United States, Indochina, and China on the Eve of the Korean War
Friends in Place: Acheson and Alger Hiss
Evil Days
Part IV
Testing Ground-Korea
In the Cockpit
Prodding Evolution with Action: German Rearmament
Acceleration from a Running Start
Part V
In Thrall: Ironic Failures in Korea
Job's Comforter and the Mad Satrap
Captives of War
At Different Ends of the Triangle: Domestic Debates, European Armies, British Allies
Part VI
Command in Japan
Failure in Indochina and China
Razor Edge Sensibilities: ANZUS and India
Falling between Two Stools: The Middle East, North Africa, and Africa
Picking Up Sticks in Egypt and Iran
Jousting with Mosadeq, Waiting for Nasser
Latin America: Critical but not Serious
Part VII
Lisbon to Letdown: The Fate of the EDC
Apples of Discord: Germany and the Soviet Union, 1952
Scope for the Exercise of Every Vital Power
Conclusion: Power for a Purpose
A Note to the Reader
Notes
Index

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