Myths, Models & U.S. Foreign Policy: The Cultural Shaping of Three Cold Warriors

Myths, Models & U.S. Foreign Policy: The Cultural Shaping of Three Cold Warriors

Myths, Models & U.S. Foreign Policy: The Cultural Shaping of Three Cold Warriors

Myths, Models & U.S. Foreign Policy: The Cultural Shaping of Three Cold Warriors

Synopsis

In what ways does national culture influence the direction of US foreign policy? This study analyzes how certain cultural elements influenced the policy preferences and policymaking behaviours of three Cold War-era statesmen - John Foster Dulles, Averell Harriman and Robert McNamara.

Excerpt

This work grew out of a strong conviction that ideas matter. It examines the shared meanings that members of U.S. society have imposed on the world. It also explores how those shared meanings helped to shape three important U.S. statesmen and their policy approaches to the Cold War. As such, it is a work of interpretation, seeking to examine individual worldviews and policymaking behavior in light of the shared meanings that have helped to define for Americans their society and its role in the world. In addition to closely examining three important myths and three important representative characters, the book also suggests a process by which those symbolic structures helped to influence U.S. Cold War—era foreign policy by shaping key policymakers.

During my work on this project, I have acquired many debts, both intellectual and personal. At the University of South Carolina I benefited tremendously from the guidance and intellectual encouragement of Donald Puchala, Daniel Sabia, and John Sproat. I also owe a special debt of gratitude to my adviser and friend Jerel Rosati for his guidance, encouragement, and friendship. I am extremely grateful to Jeanette Baker for reading the entire manuscript and providing insightful feedback. Completion of the book would never have been possible without the direct involvement, general patience, and encouragement of my wife, Christina. Lynne Rienner, Bridget Julian, and Shena Redmond of Lynne Rienner Publishers were extremely helpful throughout the publication process. Finally I am deeply indebted to my parents, Rhoda Ann and Al Twing, who always encouraged my curiosity.

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