Blind Oracles: Intellectuals and War from Kennan to Kissinger

Blind Oracles: Intellectuals and War from Kennan to Kissinger

by Bruce Kuklick
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691133875

ISBN-13: 9780691133874

Pub. Date: 07/16/2007

Publisher: Princeton University Press

In this trenchant analysis, historian Bruce Kuklick examines the role of intellectuals in foreign policymaking. He recounts the history of the development of ideas about strategy and foreign policy during a critical period in American history: the era of the nuclear standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union.

The book looks at how the country's

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Overview

In this trenchant analysis, historian Bruce Kuklick examines the role of intellectuals in foreign policymaking. He recounts the history of the development of ideas about strategy and foreign policy during a critical period in American history: the era of the nuclear standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union.

The book looks at how the country's foremost thinkers advanced their ideas during this time of United States expansionism, a period that culminated in the Vietnam War and détente with the Soviets. Beginning with George Kennan after World War II, and concluding with Henry Kissinger and the Vietnam War, Kuklick examines the role of both institutional policymakers such as those at The Rand Corporation and Harvard's Kennedy School, and individual thinkers including Paul Nitze, McGeorge Bundy, and Walt Rostow.

Kuklick contends that the figures having the most influence on American strategy—Kissinger, for example—clearly understood the way politics and the exercise of power affects policymaking. Other brilliant thinkers, on the other hand, often played a minor role, providing, at best, a rationale for policies adopted for political reasons. At a time when the role of the neoconservatives' influence over American foreign policy is a subject of intense debate, this book offers important insight into the function of intellectuals in foreign policymaking.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691133874
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
07/16/2007
Pages:
264
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xi

Note on Citations xiii

INTRODUCTION: The Social Role of the Man of Knowledge 1

CHAPTER 1: Scientific Management and War, 1910-1960 17

CHAPTER 2: Theorists of War, 1945-1953 37

CHAPTER 3: RAND in Opposition, 1946-1961 49

CHAPTER 4: Accented and Unaccented Realism, 1946-1961 72

CHAPTER 5: RAND and the Kennedy Administration, 1961-1962 95

CHAPTER 6: Cuba and Nassau, 1962 110

CHAPTER 7: Intellectuals in Power, 1961-1966 128

CHAPTER 8: The Kennedy School of Government, 1964-1971 152

CHAPTER 9: The Pentagon Papers 168

CHAPTER 10: Henry Kissinger 182

CHAPTER 11: Diplomats on Foreign Policy, 1976-2001 204

Conclusion 223

Acknowledgments and Methodological Note 231

Index 235

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