The New Isolationism: A Study in Politics and Foreign Policy since 1950

By Norman A. Graebner | Go to book overview

1
Foundation: 1950

§ 1

Playing politics with foreign policy is an American game as old as the Republic. At most critical junctures since the adoption of the Constitution -- whenever the external affairs of the nation have become matters of vital concern -- policy formulation has been subjected to partisan assault. Neither party nor age has been totally exempt from its lure of political gain. In the notable attacks on the policies of George Washington, James Madison, James K Polk, Abraham Lincoln, and Woodrow Wilson there was much that had no apparent object other than domestic partisan advantage. For that reason it is difficult in reading United States diplomatic history to find much justification for some of the past onslaughts on American diplomacy. Whatever the success this nation's foreign policies have achieved, it has never been the product of partisanship.

Since 1950 the American people have been subjected again to a tumultuous discussion of foreign policy. This debate, like those of previous generations, stemmed from the conviction that United States foreign policy, like domestic policy, must be the subject of continued political scrutiny. Senator Robert A. Taft of Ohio, for example, when asked if it were wise to make of foreign affairs a

-3-

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The New Isolationism: A Study in Politics and Foreign Policy since 1950
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • 1 - Foundation: 1950 3
  • 2 - The Great Debate 32
  • 3 - The Price of Partisanship 60
  • 4 - Foreign Policy in '52 86
  • 5 - Eisenhower and the New Isolationism 112
  • 6 - In Lieu of Diplomacy 146
  • 7 - The Dilemma of Politics 183
  • 8 - Geneva: the Challenge That Failed 209
  • 9 - The Task of Leadership 239
  • Notes 265
  • Index 277
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