"The period covered in this book was one of great obscurity to those who lived through it," Acheson wrote at the beginning of his memoirs, first published in 1969. "The period was marked by the disappearance of world powers and empires ... and from this wreckage emerged a multiplicity of states, most of them new, all of them largely underdeveloped politically and economically. Overshadowing all loomed two dangers to all--the Soviet Union's new-found power and expansive imperialism, and the development of nuclear weapons." Present at the Creation is a densely detailed account of Acheson's diplomatic career, delineated in intricately eloquent prose. Going over the origins of the cold war--the drawing of lines among the superpowers in Europe, the conflict in Korea--Acheson discusses how he and his colleagues came to realize "that the whole world structure and order that we had inherited from the nineteenth century was gone," and that the old methods of foreign policy would no longer apply. Among the accolades Acheson garnered for his candid self-assessment was the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for history.
Immensely readable! It has taken me a long time to almost make it thru all of "Present." But it has been more than well worth it. Read morePublished 17 days ago by lidz
Great read covers a changing time in dipolomacy. Intersting to read looking back 60 years to compare it to diplomacy today. Read morePublished 7 months ago by workerbee
Every candidate for the office of Secretary of State should thoroughly absorb this account by a top notch role model.Published 10 months ago by Paul W
Dean Acheson was one of the two most important American SecStates, along with John Quincy Adams -- period. Read morePublished 16 months ago by C. Carr
The autobiography of Truman's Secretary of State, Dean Acheson. Acheson was a controversial figure during his 12 years in public service. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Tom K.
It is difficult to know quite where to begin, probably with the thought that eventually the truth will out. Read morePublished on May 1, 2012 by Richard A. Carrick