Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
But it was Harry Truman who, upon being reelected in 1948, rewarded Acheson with the offer of secretary of state, a position he took with some initial reluctance, protesting that he was not adequate to the requirements of the job at such a critical juncture in history. He proved himself wrong with his decisive role in the shaping of the Truman Doctrine and the NATO alliance, averting war with the Soviet bloc on the European front. But, as Chace shows, Acheson's efforts were not as effective in China and Korea. And there were domestic problems as well; Acheson and his department were a particular target of the anticommunist witch-hunt even before Sen. Joseph McCarthy got in on the act. Chace's richly detailed narrative is particularly effective in placing Acheson's marginal role in the Alger Hiss affair in its proper context while highlighting Acheson's personal integrity in the matter.
After 1953, Acheson remained an outspoken commentator on America's foreign policy, frequently criticizing Eisenhower's reliance on nuclear weaponry, and serving in an advisory capacity to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, the latter of whom took Acheson's advice to get out of Vietnam to heart. Acheson even had occasion to advise Richard Nixon, who had accused the secretary in 1952 of heading a "Cowardly College of Communist Containment," although he broke with Nixon after the president ordered the bombing of Cambodia. Chace's account of Acheson's life and career is as lively as it is intelligent, a well-crafted story that provides the reader with much insight into the unintended origins of the cold war. --Ron Hogan
Biographies tend either to be debunkers or worshipers. This tends toward the latter end. The irritating thing about the author's approach is that many of Acheson's horrific... Read morePublished 23 months ago by John Desmond
James Chace delivers another great biography of a pivotal figure after World War II in his look at Dean Acheson who served as Truman's Secretary of State and played a pivotal role... Read morePublished on January 9, 2011 by Lehigh History Student
For anyone wanting to understand today's worldview, one must include a study of Dean Acheson. His self proclaimed moniker "present at the creation" is most appropriate when... Read morePublished on January 30, 2010 by Thomas Moody
James Chace does a great job in listing all kinds of facts and anecdotes about Dean Acheson and his contributions to American Cold War policy. Read morePublished on August 28, 2002 by Jamal Howard
The seventy-five years spanned by Dean Acheson's life saw the radical shift of America's role in the world from one of a significant, but none the less marginal power, to becoming... Read morePublished on November 9, 2001 by JOHN A. BROUSSARD
Coming to terms with the United States' numerous mistakes in the twentieth century is a herculean task, but ACHESON : THE SECRETARY OF STATE WHO CREATED THE AMERICAN WORLD is a... Read morePublished on July 22, 2001
I found the biography rewarding primarily for the examination of the character of Acheson. Although the book was well-written, my greatest pleasure came from reading the details... Read morePublished on November 24, 2000 by James Igoe
Not only did I have to read large portions of this book for a class, but I also had to carry it around (which gave my back an unnecessary workout). Read morePublished on August 1, 2000
After reading countless books about Cold War history, I noticed that there weren't any objective and comprehensive biographies of the former Secretary of State. Read morePublished on July 26, 2000 by Katherine