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Dean Acheson and the Obligations of Power

Dean Acheson and the Obligations of Power

by Michael F. Hopkins


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Dean Acheson was the most influential American diplomat of the twentieth century. He shaped the pivotal shift in American foreign policy from isolation to engagement in global affairs, This critical re-evaluation of Acheson's public career analyzes his advocacy of intervention against Germany and Japan in 1939-1941, work on sanctions against Japan in 1941, contribution to the creation of new international institutions, and campaigns to secure the support of Congress and the American public. It scrutinizes his crucial role in the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, NATO, the formation of democratic governments in Germany and Japan, and involvement in the Korean War. It examines his advice on Europe and Vietnam to presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. Acheson was the architect of the policy of containing the Soviet Union that endured to the end of the Cold War. The book argues that Acheson was slower to abandon the prospect of understandings with the Soviets and the communists in China than his memoirs claim; his focus on the North Atlantic did not exclude his deep concern for Asian; and the policy of containment was part of his wider belief that American power brought the obligation to promote a stable international order.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780742544918
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 03/17/2017
Series: Biographies in American Foreign Policy Series
Pages: 306
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.35(h) x 1.07(d)

About the Author

Michael Hopkins is Senior Lecturer in American Foreign Policy at the University of Liverpool.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Introduction ix

1 Beginnings 1

2 National Duty: Assistant Secretary- of State, 1941-1945 17

3 The Obligations of Power: Under Secretary of State and After, 1945-1948 57

4 Leadership in Foreign Policy; Secretary of State, 1949-1950 97

5 Confronting Perils, 1950-1951 135

6 Global Challenges, 1951-1953 173

7 Afterlife of a Secretary 211

Conclusion 257

Bibliographical Essay 265

Index 275

About the Author 289

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