Presidents, Diplomats, and Other Mortals: Essays Honoring Robert H. Ferrell

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University of Missouri Press, 2007 - History - 350 pages
From Abraham Lincoln's stance on international slavery to George W. Bush's incursions on the world stage, American presidents and other leaders have taken decisive actions to shape our country's foreign policy. This new collection of essays provides analytical narratives of how and why policies were devised and implemented that would determine the place of the United States in the international arena from the 1860s to the present. Showing what individuals do-or choose not to do-is central to understanding diplomacy in peace and war. These writings-by such prominent historians as Terry H. Anderson and Eugene P. Trani-examine presidents and other diplomats at their best and worst in the practice of statecraft. They take on issues ranging from America's economic expansion abroad to the relations of democracies with authoritarian leaders and rogue nations to advocacy of such concepts as internationalism, unilateralism, nation building, and regime change. In so doing, they take readers on a virtual tour of American diplomatic history, tracing the ideas and actions of individuals in shaping our foreign policy, whether George F. Kennan as author of Soviet containment or Ronald Reagan as progenitor of "Star Wars." The essays range over a variety of scenarios to depict leaders coming to grips with real-world situations. They offer original views on such topics as American diplomacy toward Nicaragua, origins of U.S. attitudes toward Russia and the Soviet Union, FDR's idiosyncratic approach to statecraft, and food diplomacy as practiced by LBJ and Richard Nixon. And in considering post-Cold War crises, they address Bill Clinton's military interventions, George W. Bush's war against Iraq, and the half-century background to the current nuclear standoff with Iran. Additional articles pay tribute to the outstanding career of Robert H. Ferrell as a scholar and teacher. Throughout the volume, the authors seek to exemplify the scholarly standards of narrative diplomatic history espoused by Robert Ferrell-especially the notion that historians should attempt to explain fully the circumstances, opportunities, and pressures that influence foreign policy decisions while remembering that historical actors cannot with certainty predict the outcomes of their actions. Presidents, Diplomats, and Other Mortals is both a collection of compelling historical studies and an overarching case study of the role of individuals in foreign policy making and an insightful review of some of history's most important moments. Taken together, these essays provide a fitting tribute to Ferrell, the trailblazing scholar in whose honor the book was written.
 

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Contents

Introduction Individuals Narratives and Diplomatic History
1
1 Howard Jones Toward a More Perfect Union Lincoln and the Death of Slavery
15
2 Eugene P Trani and Donald E Davis A Tale of Two Kennans AmericanRussian Relations in the Twentieth Century
31
3 Richard H Bradford Our Man in Managua Lawrence Dennis and the 1926 Nicaraguan Crisis
56
4 William Kamman A Friendly Problem Washingtons Assessment of Anastasio Somoza García
71
5 J Garry Clifford and Theodore A Wilson Blundering on the Brink 1941 FDR and the 203202 Vote Reconsidered
99
6 Ross Gregory America and Saudi Arabia Act I The Conference of Franklin D Roosevelt and King Ibn Saud in February 1945
116
7 William B Pickett Eisenhower Khrushchev and the U2 Affair A FortySixYear Retrospective
137
11 Stephen Vaughn Cinema and National Defense Another Look at Ronald Reagan and Hollywood
208
12 Terry H Anderson Revisionism George W Bush Dick Cheney and the Origins of the Iraq War
231
13 James Goode Crisis without End The United States and Iran from Truman to Bush
250
14 Thomas H Buckley Clintons Wilsonian Military Interventions A Critique
264
15 Arnold A Offner Harry S Truman George W Bush and the Perils of Regime Change
281
16 J Garry Clifford The Young Bob Ferrell From Yale to Indiana
307
17 Lawrence Kaplan Robert H Ferrell An Appreciation
316
Robert H Ferrells PhD Students
327

8 Charles M Dobbs Lyndon Johnson Dean Rusk and the China Question
154
9 Nick Cullather Scenes of Disaster Johnson Nixon and the Dramatic Uses of Famine
174
10 Miriam Joyce Washington and Doha The Beginnings 19711974
189

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Page 22 - My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that.
Page 25 - And I further declare and make known, that such persons, of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service. And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God.
Page 20 - They meant to set up a standard maxim for free society which should be familiar to all, and revered by all; constantly looked to, constantly labored for, and even though never perfectly attained, constantly approximated, and thereby constantly spreading and deepening its influence and augmenting the happiness and value of life to all people of all colors everywhere.
Page 19 - But if the negro is a man, is it not to that extent a total destruction of self-government. to say that he too shall not govern himself ? When the white man governs himself that is self-government; but when he governs himself and also governs another man, that is more than self-government — that is despotism. If the negro is a man, why then my ancient faith teaches me that 'all men are created equal,' and that there can be no moral right in connection with one man's making a slave of another.
Page 27 - Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves, who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
Page 22 - This government cannot much longer play a game in which it stakes all, and its enemies stake nothing. Those enemies must understand that they cannot experiment for ten years trying to destroy the government, and if they fail still come back into the Union unhurt. If they expect in any contingency to ever have the Union as it was, I join with the writer in saying,

About the author (2007)

Robert Hugh Ferrell was born in Cleveland, Ohio on May 8, 1921. He studied music and education at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, but his education was interrupted by World War II. He served as a chaplain's assistant in the Army Air Forces before being promoted to staff sergeant. After the war, he received a B.S. in education from Bowling Green State University and a master's degree and a Ph.D. in history from Yale University. He taught at Indiana University in Bloomington from 1953 until his retirement in 1988. He expanded his dissertation into a book, Peace in Their Time: The Origins of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, which was published in 1952 and won the American Historical Association's George Louis Beer Prize. He wrote or edited more than 60 books including Off the Record: The Private Papers of Harry S. Truman; Harry S. Truman: A Life; The Eisenhower Diaries; Woodrow Wilson and World War I, 1917-1921; American Diplomacy: The Twentieth Century; The Strange Deaths of President Harding; Five Days in October: The Lost Battalion of World War I; and Argonne Days in World War I. He died on August 8, 2018 at the age of 97.

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