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Potomac Books
Dean Acheson and the Creation of an American World Order

Dean Acheson and the Creation of an American World Order

by Robert J. McMahonRobert J. McMahon
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This compact and accessible biography critically assesses the life and career of Dean Acheson, one of America’s foremost diplomats and strategists. As a top State Department official from 1941 to 1947 and as Harry S. Truman’s secretary of state from 1949 to 1953, Acheson shaped many of the key U.S. foreign policy initiatives of those years, including the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the rebuilding of Germany and Japan, America’s intervention in Korea, and its early involvement in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Right up until his death in 1971, Acheson continued to participate in major policy decisions and debates, including the Cuban missile and Berlin crises and the Vietnam War.

Dean Acheson can justifiably be called the principal architect of the American Century. More than any other individual, Acheson is responsible for designing and implementing the ultimately successful U.S. Cold War strategy for containing the Soviet Union. In an even broader sense, Acheson played an instrumental role in creating the institutions, alliances, and economic arrangements that, in the 1940s, brought to life an American-dominated world order. The remarkable durability of that world order—which has remained the dominant fact of international life long after the end of the Cold War—makes a careful examination of Acheson’s diplomacy especially relevant to today’s international challenges.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781574889277
Publisher: Potomac Books
Publication date: 12/31/2008
Series: Shapers of International History Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 623,187
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Robert J. McMahon is the Mershon Distinguished Professor of History at Ohio State University. He is the author of several books on U.S. foreign relations, including The Cold War: A Very Short Introduction, The Limits of Empire: The United States and Southeast Asia Since World War II, and The Cold War on the Periphery: The United States, India, and Pakistan. He served as the president of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations in 2001. He lives in Columbus, Ohio.

Table of Contents

Series Editor's Foreword Melvyn Leffler ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

1 Years of Preparation 5

2 From World War to Cold War: Climbing the Rungs of Power 29

3 Constructing an Atlantic Community 61

4 Into the Cauldron 95

5 The Crucible of War 129

6 Elder Statesman 173

Conclusion 209

Notes 219

Bibliographic Essay 241

Index 245

About the Author 257

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