In 1961, President John F. Kennedy initiated a bold new policy of engaging states that had chosen to remain nonaligned in the Cold War. In a narrative ranging from the White House to the western coast of Africa and the shores of New Guinea, Robert B. Rakove examines the brief but eventful life of this policy during the presidencies of Kennedy and his successor, Lyndon Baines Johnson. Engagement initially met with real success, but it faltered in the face of serious obstacles, including colonial and regional conflicts, disputes over foreign aid and the Vietnam War. Its failure paved the way for a lasting hostility between the United States and much of the nonaligned world, with consequences extending to the present. This book offers a sweeping account of a critical period in the relationship between the United States and the Third World.
Robert B. Rakove is Lecturer at Stanford University. He has held fellowships at the Miller Center for Public Affairs, the Mershon Center for International Security Studies at Ohio State University and the University of Sydney's United States Studies Centre. This is his first book.
1. 'Walking a tightrope': Eisenhower and nonalignment; 2. Rationales for engagement: the new frontiersmen approach nonalignment; 3. Conferences amid crises: the United States and nonalignment, 1961-2; 4. 'Getting the worst of both worlds': the United States and colonial conflicts; 5. The 'diffusion of power' and the spread of regional conflicts; 6. 'Our most difficult political battle': the question of aid; 7. 'A heavy burden for us to bear': the era of Vietnam; Conclusion: 8. 'A decent respect for the opinions of mankind'.