Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-99c86f546-kpmwg Total loading time: 0.19 Render date: 2021-11-30T06:07:12.170Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

1 - NSC 68 and the Problem of Origins

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 July 2011

Curt Cardwell
Affiliation:
Drake University, Iowa
Get access

Summary

If [in writing NSC 68] we made our points clearer than truth, we did not differ from most other educators and could hardly do otherwise.

Dean Acheson, 1969

In February 1975, roughly twenty-five years after being presented to President Harry S. Truman, National Security Council policy recommendation 68, or NSC 68 as it has come to be known, was declassified. Although the declassification was apparently an accident on the part of then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, NSC 68 in fact had been a part of public discourse for years. Secretary of State Dean Acheson, one of the principal authors of the paper, began discussing its contents publicly in early 1950, even prior to its adoption as national policy, as part of his “total diplomacy” campaign to convince the American people of the need for a stepped-up Cold War. In 1962, Paul Y. Hammond published a forty-thousand-word essay on NSC 68 based primarily on interviews with those who had seen it. Acheson discussed NSC 68 in some detail in Present at the Creation, his classic autobiography of his years in the State Department, published in 1969; although its then still top-secret status prevented him from quoting from it. Prior to its declassification, NSC 68 figured in the works of many historians and other scholars as well. Such widespread knowledge of NSC 68 before its declassification led Acheson biographer Gaddis Smith in 1972 to label it “the most famous unread paper of its era.”

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2011

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Newman, Robert P., “NSC (National Insecurity) 68: Nitze's Second Hallucination,” in Matin J. Medhurst and H. W. Brands, eds., Critical Reflections on the Cold War: Linking Rhetoric and History (College Station, Texas: Texas A&M University Press, 2000), 55–94
LaFeber, Walter, The American Age: U.S. Foreign Policy at Home and Abroad, 1750 to the Present (New York, W. W. Norton, 1994), 2nd ed., 504–507, 529–530
Pollard, Robert A., “The National Security State Reconsidered: Truman and Economic Containment, 1945–1950,” in Michael J. Lacey, ed., The Truman Presidency (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 205–235
Hammond, Paul Y., “NSC 68: Prologue to Rearmament,” in Columbia University Press, Strategy, Politics, and Defense Budgets, eds., Warner R. Schilling, Paul Y. Hammond, and Glenn Snyder (New York: Colia University Press, 1962), 271–378
Freeland, Richard, The Truman Doctrine and the Origins of McCarthyism: Foreign Policy, Domestic Politics, and Internal Security, 1946–1948 (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1970), 322–324
Huntington, Samuel P., “The Defense Establishment: Vested Interests and the Public Interest,” in Omer L. Carey, ed., The Military-Industrial Complex and United States Foreign Policy (Pullman, Washington: Washington States University Press, 1968), 5–7
Nash, Gary B., et al., The American People: Creating a Nation and a Society (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1990), 2nd ed., 899–900
McCullough, David, Truman (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992), 764–765, 771–773; CNN: Cold War, Directed by Tessa Coombs (Atlanta, Georgia: Turner Home Entertainment, 1998)
,Truman to Sidney Souers, Executive Secretary of the NSC, July 1, 1949, FRUS, 1949 1 (Washington D.C: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1976): 350–352
Belair, Felix, Jr., “Truman Abandons His Tax Rise Plan; Urges a Return to Deficit Spending to Raise Production and Job Levels,” The New York Times, July 12, 1949, 1Google Scholar

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×