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Kennedy, Johnson, and the Nonaligned World

Kennedy, Johnson, and the Nonaligned World

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Professor Robert B. Rakove
Cambridge University Press, 2012-10-08
EAN 9781107002906, ISBN10: 1107002907

Paperback, 315 pages, 23.9 x 23.4 x 15.7 cm

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, to 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.

'Historians of the Cold War have long criticized US leaders for unsophisticated and heavy-handed policies toward the Third World. Robert Rakove convincingly challenges this view, demonstrating that for a few years in the early 1960s, US decision makers embraced a remarkably nuanced, tolerant approach to India, Egypt, and other 'nonaligned' nations. The book fundamentally alters our understanding of John F. Kennedy and underscores the tragedy that occurred when subsequent presidents abandoned his approach. Anyone interested in the Cold War and the roots of present-day tensions between the United States and the developing world will gain much from this elegantly crafted, deeply researched study.' Mark Atwood Lawrence, University of Texas, Austin