Cover image for Working in the world : Jimmy Carter and the making of American foreign policy
Working in the world : Jimmy Carter and the making of American foreign policy
Strong, Robert A., 1948-
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Publication Information:
Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xvi, 294 pages ; 24 cm.
Lining up a team: the Warnke nomination -- Face to face: meeting the Shah of Iran -- A tale of two letters: human rights, Sakharov, and Somoza -- Speaking out: The Annapolis address on U.S.-Soviet relations -- The essence of indecision: the neutron bomb controversy -- Advice and consent: Senator DeConcini and the Panal Canal treaties -- Shuttle diplomacy: President Carter in the Middle East -- Shadowboxing: the Soviet brigade in Cuba -- Comander in chief: the hostage rescue mission.
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E872 .S79 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Author Notes

Robert A. Strong, William Lyne Wilson Professor of Politics at Washington and Lee University, is the author of Decisions and Dilemmas: Case Studies in Presidential Foreign Policy Making and Statesmanship and Bureaucracy: Henry Kissinger and the Making of American Foreign Policy.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Diplomacy and war are the focus of three current studies of recent U.S. foreign policy. Rubinstein gathers Clinton foreign policy statements to trace policy development in the "first post^-Cold War era" presidency. He groups material by subject: the new world order, Russia, NATO enlargement, China, the United Nations, the former Yugoslavia, the Mideast, and weapons of mass destruction. Within each section, readers will find a mixture of formal policy statements and carefully laid-out speeches with discussions from press conferences or during White House visits by foreign dignitaries. The compilation is intended to allow a more comprehensive assessment of the Clinton administration's approach to foreign affairs as well as "to introduce . . . the principal evolving foreign policy choices likely to dominate the agenda for American policymakers for the next decade or more." Carpenter, Cato's vice president for defense and foreign policy studies, provides an introduction and two essays to the libertarian think-tank's critical volume on Kosovo. Other contributors include Cato-affiliated scholars Doug Bandow, Jonathan G. Clarke, Stanley Kober, Gary Dempsey, and others. There are some key points of agreement between the Cato critique and Noam Chomsky's New Military Humanism [BKL D 15 99]: both note the hypocrisy of bombing Serbs for "genocide" while ignoring Turkey's treatment of the Kurds; both point out how cavalierly the U.S. Constitution and U.N. Charter were treated in NATO's rush into the skies. Their basic premises are quite different, however: Chomsky questions whether this policy is, in fact, humanitarian; the Cato crew questions whether it is in the national interest. With the perspective 20 years and a wealth of interviews and archival materials permit, Strong reexamines the foreign policy of the Carter Administration, specifically the work Carter himself did in setting his presidency's foreign-policy course. Strong examines nine case studies: from drafting two letters on human rights and lobbying to win confirmation of a key presidential appointee to the neutron-bomb controversy and the hostage rescue mission decision. Sometimes Strong chooses a single aspect of a long, complicated process; his focus in discussing the Panama Canal treaties, for example, is Carter's work with then-Senator Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ) to achieve treaty language acceptable to both the Panamanians and touchy senators. Rather than proffering a rigid theory about how presidents "do" foreign policy, Strong draws on his thorough research to document how one particular president "did" it. In the process, he demolishes much of the conventional wisdom about the Carter presidency. --Mary Carroll

Choice Review

Strong (Washington and Lee Univ.) has written a nicely detailed and reasonably argued analysis of the Carter foreign policy legacy. Although narrowly focused on foreign policy making in one administration, his study is of interest to presidential scholars because of its critique of the more common portrait of Carter as a weak and indecisive leader. Although others before Strong have argued the same, none has focused this line of analysis so effectively on the Carter foreign policy record. Strong brings a much-needed balance to the scholarly perspective on the Carter presidency when he shows that the former president's foreign policy leadership style often yielded significant and positive results. Yet Strong is not a Carter apologist, and he offers a balanced analysis that is also reasonably critical of some of the president's actions abroad. One of the most valuable features of the book is its substantial reliance on original source material available at the Carter Presidential Library. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates and above. ; Catholic University of America