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Waging peace and war : Dean Rusk in the Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson years /
Thomas J. Schoenbaum.
New York : Simon and Schuster, c1988.
592 p., [14] p. of plates : ill., ports.
More Details
New York : Simon and Schuster, c1988.
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
Bibliography: p. [532]-570.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1988-12:
Dean Rusk was one of the most influential yet least celebrated architects of US foreign policy during the Cold War era. A highly placed staff member during the Truman years, Rusk was recognized by his peers for his contribution to American initiatives containing communism in Europe and Asia, but was largely unknown to the public. During the 1960s, as Secretary of State in two administrations, Rusk was identified with an unpopular war he would not avoid and could not find a way to win. Schoenbaum's account of this remarkable (and, with the exception of Vietnam, remarkably successful) career is a model of patient scholarship and judicious analysis. By examining Rusk's hardscrabble Georgia background and his lifelong commitment to the ideals of international law, Schoenbaum adds an essential personal dimension to his account of American foreign policy since WW II. Some readers may wish Schoenbaum had devoted more space to Vietnam, but here, as elsewhere, the argument is clearly drawn and the author, although sympathetic to his subject, is able to pinpoint Rusk's failings. Schoenbaum's inside look at US policy-making, his accounts of Rusk's relations with Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, and his explanation of what went wrong with Rusk's reasoning on Vietnam are among the strongest elements of this exceptionally fine book. Highly recommended for academic libraries. -M. J. Birkner, Millersville University of Pennsylvania
Appeared in Library Journal on 1988-09-15:
An important biography of one of the most dominant but least understood 20th-century American public figures. For almost a generation Rusk exerted significant influence over decisions of war and peace. Heretofore, historians have drawn a one-dimensional portrait of Rusk and his prosecution of the Vietnam conflict. This study emphasizes Rusk's influence on many other questions of national and international importance. While this work does not replace Warren I. Cohen's Dean Rusk ( LJ 1/1/81), it places Rusk's career in the context of the latest scholarship. An unbiased account of the secrets to Rusk's advancements as well as his foibles. Highly recommended to scholars and laypersons. Charles E. Kratz, Hofstra Univ. Lib., Hempstead, N.Y.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1988-05-06:
Schoenbaum's meticulously researched but unevenly written book portrays Rusk as much more than Lyndon Johnson's hawkish Secretary of State. What emerges is the image of an intelligent, intensely loyal and at times witty individual whose capacity for work was virtually unlimited. The author shows that Rusk's role as the government's protagonist in the Vietnam war has overshadowed his contributions to world peace. The secretary's deft use of the United Nation as a diplomatic tool, his involvement in major crises of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations and his close relationship with the three presidents he served establish that he was, if not the most stylish, probably the most influential Secretary of State in history, according to Schoenbaum. Although the book is peppered with unstartling asides about world leaders (Kennedy was a womanizer, DeGaulle detested the United States, Truman didn't get along with MacArthur) and awkward passages about American lifestyles of the '50s and '60s, it will be of value to those seeking to enhance their understanding of world affairs during this turbulent period. Schoenbaum teaches law at the University of Georgia. (June)
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, May 1988
Library Journal, September 1988
Choice, December 1988
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