In the Shadows of History: Fifty Years Behind the Scenes of Cold War Diplomacy

In the Shadows of History: Fifty Years Behind the Scenes of Cold War Diplomacy

by Chester L. Cooper
     
 

During his long, distinguished career, Chester L. Cooper has served in the White House, State Department, and CIA, often as a deputy to such high-profile statesman as John Foster Dulles and Averell Harriman. He has been near the center of power during many of the crises of our nation’s recent history.

In this engrossing memoir, he offers an insider’s

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Overview

During his long, distinguished career, Chester L. Cooper has served in the White House, State Department, and CIA, often as a deputy to such high-profile statesman as John Foster Dulles and Averell Harriman. He has been near the center of power during many of the crises of our nation’s recent history.

In this engrossing memoir, he offers an insider’s glimpse into the memorable events and important decisions in which he personally participated — from the conflict over the Suez Canal in 1956 and the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 to the difficult peace negotiations of the Viet Nam War, dealing with Soviet officials during the Reagan years, and today addressing the problems of global climate change.

Cooper notes that policy-making "does not emerge, like Venus, wholly formed from a half shell. Rather, it is fashioned, or cobbled up, from day to day, month to month out of vexations, arguments, failures, and triumphs of hard-pressed, over-stressed officials and civil servants." As one of those over-stressed civil servants, Cooper has unique, behind-the-scenes insights into the personalities of many now historic individuals, including Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy, Robert McNamara, Dean Rusk, Allen Dulles, John Foster Dulles, Averell Harriman, Anthony Eden, Harold Wilson, Nikita Khrushchev, and Ho Chi Minh.

Cooper’s reflections on the friendships, animosities, and enduring relationships within the network of government insiders reveal the human side of policy-making and offer important lessons for the future course of international relations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"There’s [a] book that reflects the nation’s history since World War II that is simply a gem…it is the rare memoir that is so fascinating, so informative, and written with such a light hand that one is both eager and reluctant to finish it. Such is In the Shadows of History: 50 Years Behind the Scenes of Cold War Diplomacy…[Cooper] takes the reader behind the scenes as he deals with prime ministers, premiers, and presidents as he quietly and effectively served his nation. Cooper was a witness to and participant in the great events of the last half-century. This book is a gem for anyone interested in those turbulent years."
- Bookviews.com
"Cooper’s memorable memoir is replete with pungent observations of CIA chiefs, cabinet secretaries, and British prime ministers.
- Booklist

"Chester Cooper's vivid memoir should rightly be titled ‘In the Forefront of History.’ An account of his own experiences at the upper echelons of government, it is a valuable contribution to our knowledge and understanding of some of the crucial events of the past century."
Stanley Karnow, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Vietnam: A History

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591022947
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Publication date:
06/28/2005
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.26(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.99(d)

What People are saying about this

"Chet Cooper was one of that special breed of Washiontonians - never, in his own unduly description, more than a Deputy. When I came to Washington during the Vietnam War, however, everyone knew him, and he knew everyone. When the stakes could not have been higher, he was near the center of the historic events that shaped our lives. In this charming memoir, he looks back on the great men and events with which he involved."
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (1999-2001) and the author of a book titled "To End a War."
Sanford Ungar
"Chet Cooper's winsome, self-effacing memoir contains as many insights as a dozen dry policy tomes. He was a witness to most of the great events of the second half of the twentieth century, and his view of them is remarkably clear. His humanity and sense of humor will make you smile as you learn."
President of Goucher College
Daniel Yergin
"In the Shadows of History actually shines a bright light on America's role in the world. Chester Cooper had the good fortune to be there -- whether when Ho Chi Mihn showed up at a U.S. base in China during World War II or at the founding of the CIA to the great crises of the decades that followed. A shrewd player and a gifted historian, Cooper captures both the fundamental forces and the quirks of personality that so often turn out to be decisive. He tells his story with insight, modesty, humor, and wisdom. This engaging memoir is also a compelling narrative of the trials and tribulations of American power -- with lessons so relevant to today."
Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Prize: the Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power and Commanding Heights: the Battle for the World Economy
Stanley Karnow
"Chester Cooper's vivid memoir should rightly be titled "In the Forefront of History." An account of his own experiences at the upper echelons of government, it is a valuable contribution to our knowledge and understanding of some of the crucial events of the past century."
Pulitzer Prize winning author of Vietnam: A History

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