Dean Acheson: A Life in the Cold War (Google eBook)
Dean Acheson was one of the most influential Secretaries of State in U.S. history, presiding over American foreign policy during a pivotal era--the decade after World War II when the American Century slipped into high gear. During his vastly influential career, Acheson spearheaded the greatest foreign policy achievements in modern times, ranging from the Marshall Plan to the establishment of NATO. In this acclaimed biography, Robert L. Beisner paints an indelible portrait of one of the key figures of the last half-century. In a book filled with insight based on research in government archives, memoirs, letters, and diaries, Beisner illuminates Acheson's major triumphs, including the highly underrated achievement of converting West Germany and Japan from mortal enemies to prized allies, and does not shy away from examining his missteps. But underlying all his actions, Beisner shows, was a tough-minded determination to outmatch the strength of the Soviet bloc--indeed, to defeat the Soviet Union at every turn. The book also sheds light on Acheson's friendship with Truman--one, a bourbon-drinking mid-Westerner with a homespun disposition, the other, a mustachioed Connecticut dandy who preferred perfect martinis. Over six foot tall, with steel blue, "merry, searching eyes" and a "wolfish" grin, Dean Acheson was an unforgettable character--intellectually brilliant, always debonair, and tough as tempered steel. This lustrous portrait of an immensely accomplished and colorful life is the epitome of the biographer's art.
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Dean Acheson: a life in the Cold WarUser Review - Book Verdict
Dean Acheson, secretary of state under President Truman from 1949 to 1953, some of the most tumultuous years in modern American history, has already been the subject of several excellent biographies, e.g., James Chace'sAcheson , but his larger-than-life career has finally met its best historian. Beisner (Twelve Against Empire: The Anti-Imperialists, 1898-1900 ) has spent his retirement from academia immersed in the sources of the early Cold War and has produced a remarkable study. Taking advantage of extensive secondary sources as well as the ever-growing number of oral histories and other primary sources, Beisner has synthesized a wealth of information into a brilliantly crafted narrative that explores not only the policymaking apparatus Acheson created in the State Department but, more important, the personal relationship that developed between the cerebral and urbane Acheson and the homespun and tough-talking Midwestern president. In a period as uncertain and dangerous as those postwar years, Acheson and Truman worked side by side addressing the Soviet Union under Stalin, the rise to power of Mao in China, and the steady progress toward economic and political recovery of the two major defeated Axis powers. Beisner has given Acheson the biography he deserves, and we are all the richer for this outstanding contribution to our literature on the early Cold War years. Highly, highly recommended.- Ed Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames
Review: Dean Acheson: A Life in the Cold WarUser Review - Goodreads
Very informative book about a very important Chapter in our history and the orgins of the Cold War. I knew very little about Dean Acheson, i recieved a timely education.