Against the President: Dissent and Decision-Making in the White House: A Historical Perspective

Against the President: Dissent and Decision-Making in the White House: A Historical Perspective

by Mark J. White

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With the Iraq War now in its fourth year, its merits are still contested by leading politicians in the U.S. and elsewhere. And revelations suggest that the president's secretary of state, Colin Powell, had opposed going to war. Historians have often analyzed the relationship between presidents and their advisors, but rarely the influence of those counselors who have dissented from the views of the chief executive. Mark J. White considers the question of alternative policies by examining the response of presidents, from Harry Truman to Lyndon Johnson, to dissent within their own. Mr. White fashions a provocative interpretation of America's role in the cold war and questions about the potential effectiveness of policies that might have been.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781566637442
Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
Publication date: 10/25/2007
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 6.16(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.25(d)

About the Author

Mark J. White has written widely on American foreign policy, including The Kennedys and Cuba, Kennedy: The New Frontier Revisited, Missiles in Cuba, and The Cuban Missile Crisis. He lives in East Yorkshire, England.

Table of Contents

Introduction     3
Truman, Hopkins, Davies, and the Polish Question
The Ghost of FDR     9
Talking with Churchill and Stalin     37
Truman, Wallace, and the Soviet Challenge
Troubled by Truman     61
The Bomb     78
Fighting the Cold War Consensus     95
Eleven Days in September     112
Eisenhower, Wilson, and the Origins of the Vietnam War
A New Wilsonianism     137
"Nothing But Grief": Contesting a Commitment     152
Kennedy, Stevenson, and Cuba
The Rivals     171
Operation Castration     189
War or Peace     218
Johnson, Ball, and the Vietnam War
The Accidental President and the Tardy Rebel     251
Devil's Advocate     267
Crossing the Rubicon     293
Decision-Making in the White House     317
Notes     325
Index     359

What People are Saying About This

Charles M. Madigan

"This is a book that is as much about the moment as it is about history.... should be mandatory reading."--(Charles M. Madigan, Presidential Writer in Residence, Roosevelt University, Chicago)

Lewis L. Gould

"White's Against the President provides a fascinating look at officials...who challenged executives over the conduct of American foreign policy."

Melvin Small

"In his thoughtful and balanced account....White clearly demonstrates that millions of lives might have been saved."--(Melvin Small, author of At the Water's Edge and Johnson, Nixon, and the Doves, and distinguished professor of history at Wayne State University)

Lloyd Gardner

"Mark White's insightful study of the men who dissented from major policy decisions...could not be more timely."--(Lloyd Gardner, author of Pay Any Price : Lyndon Johnson and the Wars for Vietnam)

Robert Weisbrot

"Against the President is a lucid, well-researched, judicious study of the fissures in America's Cold War consensus in foreign policy."

Robert Shogan

"An eye-opening disquisition on presidential decision making....White follows in the distinguished tradition of British analysts of American foibles."--(Robert Shogan, National Political Correspondent of the Los Angeles Times, 1973–99)

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