Inevitably any NATO bibliography has to be prefaced with the term "selective." The literature is too vast to be comprehensive. I recognized the future problem forty-five years ago in a first attempt to categorize writings on the Atlantic alliance under the title of "NATO and Its Commentators: The First Five Years," International Organization 8 ( November 1954): 447-67. Thirty years later I updated my essay on the early years, "NATO and Its Commentators: The First Five Years Revisited (1984)," in my monograph The United States and NATO: The Formative Years ( Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1984), pp. 204-21. While these exercises may be useful, they do not exhaust the first five years of NATO's history, let alone the first fifty years. More recent bibliographies, which are also broader in scope than the foregoing, are Bert Zeeman, "The Origins of NATO: An International Bibliography," Bulletin of Bibliography 47, no. 4 ( December 1990), and Phil Williams, comp., The North Atlantic Treaty Organization ( New Brunswick, NJ: Transactions Publications, 1994).
For this volume, I will include samplings of the more important contributions in each of the periods I arbitrarily have identified in the text, emphasizing the most recent work on the United States and NATO. The most impressive memoir on the origins of NATO is Dean Acheson, Present at the Creation: My Years in the State Department ( New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1969). Alan K. Henrikson has written an insightful article on "The Creation of the North Atlantic Alliance, 1948-1952," Naval War College Review 32 ( May-June, 1980): 4-39. For American opposition to the treaty, see E. Timothy Smith, Opposition beyond the Water's Edge: Liberal Internationalists, Pacifists, and Containment, 1945-1953