JOHN FOSTER DULLES by Richard Goold-Adams

JOHN FOSTER DULLES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Leave it to a Britisher to put enigmatic Foster Dulles in clear-cut, canny perspective. The ""reappraisal"" asks two questions: Did the late Secretary of State pursue the right policy at the right time; And under his sponsorship was the Western alliance strengthened? The answers, as correspondent Goold-Adams so aptly shows, prove as complex as the man. At one time or another Dulles was anathema to both the Left (he upset peaceful coexistence naivete) and the Right (he spat on old guard reactionism). He was also a proponent of militarism (the SEATO agreement, the Quemoy ""brinkmanship""), besides being a Christian moralist (Leninism was inherently evil), a devotee of negotiations but not of concessions (the Berlin, Geneva, Washington-Moscow roundelay), a persistent seeker after the uncommited nations' support but totally unable to understand the underdog or the niceties of neutralism; and finally a staunch advocate of ""get tough"" policies but a hamstrung administrator. (""Liberation"" lost face after the Hungarian Revolution; ""agonizing reappraisal"" came to nought: the Allies knew America needed them as much as they needed her; and ""massive retaliation"" was increasingly qualified by the Sputnik launching, etc.). Nevertheless, through a crazy era of Korea, Indo-China, Suez and patriarchs like DeGaulle and Adenauer, politburo peasants like Khrushchev, Dulles emerged as a man of stature, who though continually missing greatness and respected rather than liked, still held back the Red tide when the geo-political seas were moving against him. A sturdy portrait of a most steadfast diplomat. The only other comparable biography- and that a general one- is John R. Beal's, published by Harper in 1957.

Publisher: Duell, Sloan & Pearce