FACING THE BRINK by Edward & Charles Bartlett Weintal


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An Intimate Study of Crisis Diplomacy"" is the subtitle of this sharp attack upon past and present Administration methods for handling foreign affairs. Their thesis: planning for the eventualities of disaster is generally a good thing, disorder is generally bad. However, the chaos of our policy makers under stress during the bleak periods of Cyprus, Yemen, the Cuban missile crisis and our current foreign debacle in Vietnam makes for more interesting and acid commentary than the rather bland time when George F. Kennan devised the Marshall Plan for Europe. The earlier part of the book, in which the movements of the State Department and White House during the Cyprus and Yemen situation are described in detail, throws up a minor hero in George Ball, Under-Secretary of State. Everyone seems to go under the weight of the Vietnam scene of the latter part of the text, and the book becomes a hesitant attack upon the Johnson Administration and Johnson himself for the conduct of foreign affairs in a nuclear age. The source material--notes of secret conferences, flip remarks from major statesmen, minor but interesting papers, appears impeccable, When Big Daddy L.B.J. reads this, he is bound to want to box the lobes of Messrs. Weintal and Bartlett.

Pub Date: March 10th, 1967
Publisher: Scribners