“The postwar period in international
relations has ended” (“State of the World”
message, February 18, 1970)
When Nixon the politician needed to impress a poten-
tial supporter, he often unfurled a dazzling lecture war-
gaming the geopolitical situation across the globe.
“One senses that he knows the political geography of
planet earth about as well as most Congressmen know
their own districts,” one observer recalled. In his thir-
teenth month as president, Nixon delivered such a tour
d'horizon for the benefit of the nation: the “First An-
nual Report to the Congress on United States Foreign
Policy for the 1970s”—dubbed the “State of the World”
message. The document's 37,425 words (printed in the
next day's New York Times as a stand-alone supple-
ment) ranged across every corner of the globe and syn-
thesized every strategic dilemma within the president's
capacious field of vision. Compare its subtleties to the
Manicheanism of his address on Alger Hiss, with its
talk of “sinister conspiracy” and “the Red tide which
to date has swept everything before it.”
The postwar period in international relations has ended.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Richard Nixon: Speeches, Writings, Documents. Contributors: Rick Perlstein - Editor, Richard Nixon - Author. Publisher: Princeton University Press. Place of publication: Princeton, NJ. Publication year: 2008. Page number: 191.
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