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

By Norman A. Graebner | Go to book overview

9
The Task of Leadership

§ 1

There is no aspect of current American opinion quite as significant as the dichotomy between the views of experts and the prevailing mood of the nation on matters of foreign affairs. During the past six years this relationship has been characterized by a strange and ironic juxtaposition. In the years preceding 1950 American policy came close to satisfying both the national mood and the intellectual foundations of coalition diplomacy. Yet that program became the victim of the severest partisan onslaught ever suffered by any American foreign policy. Today when the nation's foreign relations are vulnerable to the criticism of experts at home and abroad, they enjoy such broad endorsement and acceptance at all levels of American life that they have become almost untouchable. This phenomenon is as explicable as it is disturbing. During these six eventful years the views of the professionals have remained constant, whereas American policy and much of American public opinion have shifted from the clear internationalist foundations of Truman-Acheson policy to the almost complete acceptance of many philosophical assumptions of the new American isolationalism by the Eisenhower administration.

-239-

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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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