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The Nixon and Ford Administrations: The Unfolding of Détente

  • Michael B. Froman
Part of the St Antony’s book series

Abstract

Détente is most closely associated with the Nixon Administration and, in particular, with Henry Kissinger. More has been written about Kissinger’s thoughts and beliefs, style and psychology, and diplomatic accomplishments than any other presidential adviser in the post-war period.1 At one level, Nixon and Kissinger seem the most unlikely of partners. Nixon despised the East-Coast foreign policy establishment, which had been his adversary from his investigation of Alger Hiss to his defeat for President in 1960. Kissinger, who was a Harvard professor, Council on Foreign Relations cadre, and adviser to Republican rival Nelson Rockefeller, appeared to be very much part of that establishment. However, both perceived themselves to be lone warriors fighting against hostile forces that sought to thwart their success. For Kissinger, it was the academic community that never fully accepted him. For Nixon, it was the national press and political elite who reveled in his scandals and electoral defeats. Both were ruthlessly ambitious and highly secretive. Both distrusted others, particularly bureaucrats. Consequently, both thought it best to concentrate the formulation and implementation of foreign policy in the White House and, in particular, between themselves.

Keywords

Foreign Policy International Behavior Peaceful Coexistence American Foreign Policy Legitimate Regime 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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3 The Nixon and Ford Administrations: The Unfolding of Détente

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© Michael B. Froman 1991

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  • Michael B. Froman

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