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This book's unique combination of case studies and commentaries provides the basis for a systematic discussion of the role of individual leaders and complex institutions in U.S. foreign policy making. The case studies present routine and urgent, controversial and consensus-driven decisions in nine presidential administrations -- from Harry Truman's decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan in 1945, to George W. Bush's responses to international terrorism in the wake of 9/11.
Each chapter includes essential background information, a chronology of events, and primary source documents. Through all these elements, even students with little or no background in history will gain a new understanding of how presidents, institutions, and issues all shape American foreign policy.