The Cold War at Home and Abroad: Domestic Politics and US Foreign Policy since 1945

The Cold War at Home and Abroad: Domestic Politics and US Foreign Policy since 1945


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From President Truman's use of a domestic propaganda agency to Ronald Reagan's handling of the Soviet Union during his 1984 reelection campaign, the American political system has consistently exerted a profound effect on the country's foreign policies. Americans may cling to the belief that "politics stops at the water's edge," but the reality is that parochial political interests often play a critical role in shaping the nation's interactions with the outside world.

In The Cold War at Home and Abroad: Domestic Politics and US Foreign Policy since 1945, editors Andrew L. Johns and Mitchell B. Lerner bring together eleven essays that reflect the growing methodological diversity that has transformed the field of diplomatic history over the past twenty years. The contributors examine a spectrum of diverse domestic factors ranging from traditional issues like elections and Congressional influence to less frequently studied factors like the role of religion and regionalism, and trace their influence on the history of US foreign relations since 1945. In doing so, they highlight influences and ideas that expand our understanding of the history of American foreign relations, and provide guidance and direction for both contemporary observers and those who shape the United States' role in the world.

This expansive volume contains many lessons for politicians, policy makers, and engaged citizens as they struggle to implement a cohesive international strategy in the face of hyper-partisanship at home and uncertainty abroad.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813175737
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Publication date: 08/03/2018
Series: Studies in Conflict, Diplomacy, and Peace Series
Pages: 330
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Andrew L. Johns is associate professor of history at Brigham Young University and the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies. He is the author of Vietnam's Second Front: Domestic Politics, the Republican Party, and the War. He is also the editor of A Companion to Ronald Reagan and coeditor of Diplomatic Games: Sport, Statecraft, and International Relations since 1945. He is the president of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association in 2018—2019.

Mitchell B. Lerner is associate professor of history at The Ohio State University. He has been a fellow at the Miller Center for Public Affairs at the University of Virginia and has held the Mary Ball Washington Distinguished Fulbright Chair at University College—Dublin. He is the author of The Pueblo Incident: A Spy Ship and the Failure of American Foreign Policy, which won the 2002 John Lyman Book Award for the best work of US Naval History. He is also the editor of Looking Back at LBJ: White House Politics in a New Light, and A Companion to Lyndon B. Johnson.

Table of Contents

Introduction. Janus, Tocqueville, and the World: The Nexus of Domestic Politics and US Foreign Policy Andrew L. Johns 1

1 Fact Givers or Fact Makers? The Dilemma of Information-Making in the State Department's Office of Public Affairs during the Truman Administration Autumn Lass 9

2 From Hawk to Dawk: Congressman Melvin Laird and the Vietnam War, 1952-1968 David L. Prentice 36

3 Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson and the Intersection between Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations in the Postwar Era Christopher Foss 64

4 Religious Pluralism, Domestic Politics, and the Emerging Jewish- Evangelical Coalition on Israel, 1960-1980 Daniel G. Hummel 100

5 Subtraction by Addition: The Nixon Administration and the Domestic Politics of Arms Control Henry R. Maar III 123

6 "One Picture May Not Be Worth Ten Thousand Words, but the White House Is Betting It's Worth Ten Thousand Votes": Richard Nixon and Diplomacy as Spectacle Tizoc Chavez 146

7 Creating an Ethnic Lobby: Ronald Reagan, Jorge Mas Canosa, and the Birth of the Cuban American National Foundation Hideaki Kami 173

8 Forging Consensus on Vietnamese Reeducation Camp Detainees: The Families of Vietnamese Political Prisoners Association and US-Vietnam Normalization Amanda C. Demmer 195

9 The Congressional Human Rights Caucus and the Plight of the Refuseniks Rasmus Sinding Søndergaard 224

10 Peace through Austerity: The Reagan Defense Buildup in the "Age of Inequality" Michael Brenes 247

11 The Domestic Politics of Superpower Rapprochement: Foreign Policy and the 1984 Presidential Election Simon Miles 267

Conclusion. Politics, Diplomacy, and the State of the Field Mitchell B. Lerner 289

Acknowledgments 299

List of Contributors 301

Index 305

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"A fascinating look at the multiple ways in which politics and foreign policy intersect. From the political economy of states to the news media, the authors explode the myth that politics ever stop at the water's edge. " — Julian E. Zelizer, author of The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress and the Battle for the Great Society

"It's incredible to think that anyone would deny the importance of domestic politics in the conduct of American national security policy, yet historians still have not paid sufficient attention to this crucial relationship. As a corrective, two renowned experts have collected many of the field's future stars in this outstanding account of how domestic politics has influenced U.S. foreign relations. With a diverse array of approaches, methods, and topics, this wonderful book not only helps set the record straight, but also points to future directions of inquiry." — Andrew Preston, author of Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy

"This excellent collection of essays highlights just how influential domestic political forces can be on the conduct of US foreign relations. But more than that, the collection shows the diverse ways in which domestic political influences are understood, by incorporating the study of Congress and public opinion, non-governmental organizations and lobbyists, and themes including religion, economics and human rights." — Andrew Johnstone, author of Against Immediate Evil: American Internationalists and the Four Freedoms on the Eve of World War II. and co-editor of US Presidential Elections and Foreign Policy: Candidates, Campaigns, and Global Politics from FDR to Bill Clinton

"Expertly conceived and edited, this timely and innovative volume explores the dynamic relationship between internal and external determinants of US foreign policy. Its essays showcase the rich diversity of writing on the nexus between domestic and international affairs, revealing the deep connections between what happens on both sides of the water's edge. Synthesizing traditional diplomatic history with the virtues of more recent scholarly approaches, these essays expand our understanding of the Cold War and highlight the complex web of interactions that shape the politics of policymaking." — Marc J. Selverstone, editor of A Companion to John F. Kennedy

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