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Clark Clifford [electronic resource] : the wise man of Washington /
John Acacia.
imprint
Lexington, Ky. : University Press of Kentucky, c2009.
description
440 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
9780813125510 (acid-free paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
author
imprint
Lexington, Ky. : University Press of Kentucky, c2009.
isbn
9780813125510 (acid-free paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8379857
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [413]-421) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
Clark CliffordThe Wise Man of WashingtonJohn Acacia Behind every great president is a trusted adviser. Advisers often play a substantial role in influencing critical decisions that can drastically change the course of history. Throughout the history of the American presidency, numerous individuals have assumed the role of top presidential confidant and adviser, although their positions were not often officially recognized within the cabinet: Colonel Edward M. House, Harry Hopkins, Sherman Adams, Robert Kennedy, and most recently, Karl Rove. However, few individuals have maintained an authoritative presence within the White House over several presidential terms. In Clark Clifford: The Wise Man of Washington, author John Acacia details the life of one of Washington's most renowned White House insiders. Clark Clifford (1906--1998) started out as an ambitious midwestern lawyer and by the end of his illustrious career had served as top adviser to four Democratic presidents, becoming a legendary Washington political figure. During his years in the nation's capital, Clifford contributed to the development of some of America's most influential policies. As special counsel to Truman, Clifford helped to draft the Truman Doctrine, grant recognition to Israel, create the Marshall Plan, and build the North Atlantic Trade Organization (NATO). Kennedy appointed him chairman of the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and he later served as Johnson's secretary of defense, during which time he took an opposing but firm view that a U.S. military deployment in Vietnam would be disastrous. Even Carter, who kept his distance from Washington insiders, turned to Clifford for help. Drawing from a wealth of sources, Acacia reveals Clifford's role as one of the most trusted advisers in American history and as a primary architect of Cold War foreign policy. John Acacia taught American history at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey.
Flap Copy
Clark CliffordThe Wise Man of WashingtonJohn AcaciaBehind every great president is a trusted adviser. Advisers often play a substantial role in influencing critical decisions that can drastically change the course of history. Throughout the history of the American presidency, numerous individuals have assumed the role of top presidential confidant and adviser, although their positions were not often officially recognized within the cabinet: Colonel Edward M. House, Harry Hopkins, Sherman Adams, Robert Kennedy, and most recently, Karl Rove. However, few individuals have maintained an authoritative presence within the White House over several presidential terms.In Clark Clifford: The Wise Man of Washington, author John Acacia details the life of one of Washington's most renowned White House insiders. Clark Clifford (1906--1998) started out as an ambitious midwestern lawyer and by the end of his illustrious career had served as top adviser to four Democratic presidents, becoming a legendary Washington political figure.During his years in the nation's capital, Clifford contributed to the development of some of America's most influential policies. As special counsel to Truman, Clifford helped to draft the Truman Doctrine, grant recognition to Israel, create the Marshall Plan, and build the North Atlantic Trade Organization (NATO). Kennedy appointed him chairman of the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and he later served as Johnson's secretary of defense, during which time he took an opposing but firm view that a U.S. military deployment in Vietnam would be disastrous. Even Carter, who kept his distance from Washington insiders, turned to Clifford for help. Drawing from a wealth of sources, Acacia reveals Clifford's role as one of the most trusted advisers in American history and as a primary architect of Cold War foreign policy.John Acacia taught American history at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2009-08-03:
Although not a household name, Clark Clifford (1906-1998) advised Democratic presidents from Truman to Johnson. Acacia, American history professor at William Paterson University, has absorbed a mass of material and delivers an insightful if not always flattering biography. Fiercely ambitious, Clifford was a successful St. Louis lawyer when fellow Missourian Harry Truman became president in 1945. A senior colleague invited Clifford to Washington, where within a year his organizational skills won him promotion to Truman's special counsel. Happy to take credit for Truman's spectacular 1948 election upset, Clifford kept his reputation as a political genius for the next 20 years, although his opposition to sending troops to Vietnam put him in LBJ's doghouse until 1968, when-thanks to the possibility of peace talks and his own deft maneuvering-he replaced Robert McNamara as secretary of defense. This astute political biography concentrates on Washington infighting, position papers, memos, debates and quarrels on subjects ranging from trivial to world-shaking. Clifford comes across as a clear-eyed political strategist with genuinely noble ideals, but who looked after his own interests, often claiming others' ideas as his own and "parlay[ing] his government service into a lucrative private legal career." (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
Review Quotes
""A biography of the Washington lawyer and power broker (1906-98) who was a top advisor to Presidents Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, and Carter." --Chronicle of Higher Education" --
"A biography of the Washington lawyer and power broker (1906-98) who was a top advisor to Presidents Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, and Carter." -- The Chronicle Review
"[Acacia asserts that Clifford] was the "prototype" for the influential lawyers and political aides now populating Washington." -- U.S. News Weekly
"Acacia has pried open the mind and motives of Washington's premier insider." -- Warren F. Kimball, Robert Treat Emeritus Professor of History at Rutgers University, author of The Juggler: Franklin Roosevelt as Wartime Statesman, and editor of Churchill and Roosevelt: The Complete Correspondence
""Acacia has pried open the mind and motives of Washington's premier insider." -- Warren F. Kimball, Robert Treat Emeritus Professor of History at Rutgers University, author of The Juggler: Franklin Roosevelt as Wartime Statesman, and editor of Churchill and Roosevelt: The Complete Correspondence" -- Warren F. Kimball, Robert Treat Emeritus Professor of History at Rutgers University, author of The Juggler: Franklin Roosevelt as Wartime Statesman, and editor of Churchill and Roosevelt: The Complete Correspondence
"Acacia masterfully explores Clifford's ability to persuade the powerful. The descriptions of White House tussles between advisers competing for the president's ear...are riveting...Acacia's book shows just how much power advisers can wield." -- Washington Post
"Acacia offers us a valuable view of presidential politics, decisions, and policies through the eyes of their trusted counselor Clark Clifford. The chapters on Vietnam decision-making and the role of the Wise Men are especially illuminating, providing new documentation on Clifford's role in influencing Lyndon B. Johnson's turnaround on the war." -- Larry Berman, professor of political science at UC Davis, author of No Peace, No Honor: Nixon, Kissinger, and Betrayal in Vietnam and Perfect Spy: The Incredible Double Life of Pham Xuan An
""Acacia offers us a valuable view of presidential politics, decisions, and policies through the eyes of their trusted counselor Clark Clifford. The chapters on Vietnam decision-making and the role of the Wise Men are especially illuminating, providing new documentation on Clifford's role in influencing Lyndon B. Johnson's turnaround on the war." -- Larry Berman, professor of political science at UC Davis, author of No Peace, No Honor: Nixon, Kissinger, and Betrayal in Vietnam and Perfect Spy: The Incredible Double Life of Pham Xuan An" -- Larry Berman, professor of political science at UC Davis, author of No Peace, No Honor: Nixon, Kissinger, and Betrayal in Vietnam and Perfect Spy: The Incredible Double Life of Pham Xuan An
"A deftly written account of the rapid rise of a young St. Louis attorney from a temporary wartime appointment in Truman's White House to a position of wealth and power without exception in the nation's capital.... Superbly researched, objectively presented, Clark Clifford is an exciting account of an extraordinary life." -- George M. Elsey, former aide to Presidents Roosevelt and Truman, president emeritus of the American Red Cross, and author of An Unplanned Life, Roosevelt and China, and The President and U.S. Aid to China, 1944
""A deftly written account of the rapid rise of a young St. Louis attorney from a temporary wartime appointment in Truman's White House to a position of wealth and power without exception in the nation's capital.... Superbly researched, objectively presented, Clark Clifford is an exciting account of an extraordinary life." -- George M. Elsey, former aide to Presidents Roosevelt and Truman, president emeritus of the American Red Cross, and author of An Unplanned Life, Roosevelt and China, and The President and U.S. Aid to China, 1944" -- George M. Elsey, former aide to Presidents Roosevelt and Truman, president emeritus of the American Red Cross, and author of An Unplanned Life, Roosevelt and China, and The President and U.S. Aid to China, 1944
"An impressive book of large importance that will be welcomed by historians and political scientists who recognize the great significance of the American presidency." -- Richard S. Kirkendall, Scott and Dorothy Bullitt Professor Emeritus at the Unive
"For a long time we have needed a biography of Clark Clifford.... Acacia has filled that need with a book that is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the politics of foreign policy." -- Lloyd C. Gardner, professor emeritus of history at Rutgers University and coeditor of Iraq and the Lessons of Vietnam: or, How Not to Learn from the Past
""For a long time we have needed a biography of Clark Clifford.... Acacia has filled that need with a book that is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the politics of foreign policy." -- Lloyd C. Gardner, professor emeritus of history at Rutgers University and coeditor of Iraq and the Lessons of Vietnam: or, How Not to Learn from the Past" -- Lloyd C. Gardner, professor emeritus of history at Rutgers University and coeditor of Iraq and the Lessons of Vietnam: or, How Not to Learn from the Past
""History sometimes neglects those people behind the scenes, the figures who present the information to those who make the big decisions.... Acacia's biography is a testabment to that often-ignored place in history where chief advisors alter major events."--Register of the Kentucky Hisotrical Society" --
""John Acacia... produces a fascinating story of personality and power." -- Historian" --
"The Book is balanced and well documented throughout. Most importantly, Acacia leaves no doubt as to why Clifford became such a key advisor to Democratic presidents for better than two generations" -- Diplomacy & Statecraft
"This astute political biography concentrates on Washington infighting, position papers, memos, debates and quarrels on subjects ranging from trivial to world-shaking. Clifford comes across as a clear-eyed political strategist with genuinely noble ideals, but who looked after his own interests, often claiming others' ideas as his own and "parlay[ing] his government service into a lucrative private legal career." --Publisher's Weekly" --
"This astute political biography concentrates on Washington infighting, position papers, memos, debates and quarrels on subjects ranging from trivial to world-shaking." -- Publishers Weekly
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, August 2009
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
One of the most renowned Washington insiders of the twentieth century, Clark Clifford (1906--1998) was a top advisor to four Democratic presidents. As a powerful corporate attorney, he advised Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Jimmy Carter. As special counsel to Truman, Clifford helped to articulate the Truman Doctrine, grant recognition to Israel, create the Marshall Plan, and build the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). After winning the 1960 Democratic presidential nomination, Kennedy asked Clifford to analyze the problems he would face in taking over the executive branch and later appointed him chairman of the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. Johnson named Clifford secretary of defense in 1968, but their warm relationship was strained when Clifford concluded that there was no plan for victory in the Vietnam War and that the United States was in a "bottomless pit." Even Carter, who kept his distance from Washington insiders, turned to Clifford for help. In Clark Clifford: The Wise Man of Washington, John Acacia chronicles Clifford's rise from midwestern lawyer to Washington power broker and presidential confidant. He covers the breadth and span of Clifford's involvement in numerous pivotal moments of American history, providing a window to the inner workings of the executive office. Drawing from a wealth of sources, the author reveals Clifford's role as one of the most trusted advisors in American history and as a primary architect of cold war foreign policy.
Main Description
One of the most renowned Washington insiders of the twentieth century, Clark Clifford (19061998) was a top advisor to four Democratic presidents. As a powerful corporate attorney, he advised Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Jimmy Carter. As special counsel to Truman, Clifford helped to articulate the Truman Doctrine, grant recognition to Israel, create the Marshall Plan, and build the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). After winning the 1960 Democratic presidential nomination, Kennedy asked Clifford to analyze the problems he would face in taking over the executive branch and later appointed him chairman of the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. Johnson named Clifford secretary of defense in 1968, but their warm relationship was strained when Clifford concluded that there was no plan for victory in the Vietnam War and that the United States was in a "bottomless pit." Even Carter, who kept his distance from Washington insiders, turned to Clifford for help. InClark Clifford: The Wise Man of Washington, John Acacia chronicles Clifford's rise from midwestern lawyer to Washington power broker and presidential confidant. He covers the breadth and span of Clifford's involvement in numerous pivotal moments of American history, providing a window to the inner workings of the executive office. Drawing from a wealth of sources, the author reveals Clifford's role as one of the most trusted advisors in American history and as a primary architect of cold war foreign policy.

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