Richard B. Russell, Jr., Senator from Georgia

By Gilbert C. Fite | Go to book overview

16
Russell and the Cold War

On December 1, 1955, Dick Russell and other members of Georgia's congressional delegation attended the State Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Atlanta. When his turn came to make a few remarks, Russell commented briefly on world affairs. Although the Soviet Union had recently exchanged a frown for a smile, he said, the fundamental aim of the Russians was to conquer the world. He did not believe that the United States and the Soviet Union would become involved in war, however, "so long as we remain strong." To achieve the necessary strength may be expensive and tiring, he concluded, "but bear the burden we must do. We must weary with it until God in His wisdom will send some event to bring the Cold War to a close."1

Russell had been espousing similar cold war views since shortly after World War II. The world, he wrote in 1951, was divided into two hostile camps--"Russia and her satellites" and the "United States and some of our allies." According to Russell, the Russians were imperialistic and bent on world domination. Only superior military force by the United States could hold them in check. Although he favored negotiating differences with the Soviet Union whenever possible, he insisted that this must be done "from strength rather than from weakness." Raw power was the only thing the Russians understood, he said time and again. Russell believed that the United Nations served some useful purposes, but he scoffed at the idea that it could ever maintain peace. The only way to assure peace and independence, and America's "blessed freedoms," he declared, was through national military and economic power. From Russell's viewpoint, the country could have no higher priority than strong and invincible military capability.

Russell tried to translate these ideas into concrete policies during the 1950s. In the first place, he gave his unswerving support to a military buildup during the Eisenhower years, including Universal Military

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Richard B. Russell, Jr., Senator from Georgia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - A Rich Heritage 1
  • 2 - In School, 1911-1918 16
  • 3 - Political Apprenticeship 37
  • 4 - The Campaign for Governor 60
  • 5 - Governor Russell 79
  • 6 - Election to the United States Senate 101
  • 7 - Russell Goes to Washington 122
  • 8 - The Later New Deal 149
  • 9 - Foreign Affairs and World War II 175
  • 10 - Russell and Postwar America 199
  • 11 - Russell, Truman, and Civil Rights 224
  • 12 - Dangers at Home and Abroad 243
  • 13 - A Bid for the Presidency, 1952 271
  • 14 - Russell in the Eisenhower Years 301
  • 15 - Civil Rights: The 1950s 329
  • 16 - Russell and the Cold War 349
  • 17 - Kennedy, Russell, and the New Frontier 371
  • 18 - Johnson and the Great Society 404
  • 19 - The Frustration of Vietnam 435
  • 20 - The End of a Long Career 465
  • 21 - Summing Up 494
  • Notes 503
  • Index 555
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