Synopses & Reviews
Until now, the history of the Cold War has been written as a series of diplomatic and military events: the Berlin airlift, the Korean War, the Cuban missile crisis, Vietnam, and countless covert and rhetorical maneuvers. When communism finally collapsed in 1989, it was suddenly obvious that economics had played a major role in the war. But what role exactly? Did the West succeed simply by the hidden hand of its markets? Or did Western powers offer direct and successful economic leadership?
The answer is that our economic policy was key to the war, even more central and important than military might. Since World War II, in a world of democratic powers and peripheral combat, economic diplomacy has become the chief engine of global politics and prosperity. In a book that will take its place alongside the great diplomatic histories of the period, Diane Kunz offers a definitive history of 50 years of American economic diplomacy.
From the Marshall Plan, to Bretton Woods, the Suez Crisis, the Alliance for Progress, the oil shocks, and beyond, America's international economic leadership has been controversial, at times misguided, difficult to sustain, yet ultimately triumphant. Though traditional wisdom insists that leaders must choose guns or butter that arms and prosperity are at odds Kunz argues the controversial thesis that America's economic and security policies worked hand-in-glove. With the great cause of containing communism as a driving force, presidents from Truman to Reagan built a nation both prosperous and strong while helping America's allies to achieve similar strengths. Diane Kunz's masterful narrative recounts the missing story at the heart of the American century.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 340-401) and index.
About the Author
Diane B. Kuntz is Associate Professor of History at Yale University. Her previous books include the prize-winning The Economic Diplomacy of the Suez Crisis and The Diplomacy of the Crucial Decade: American Foreign Relations During the 1960s. A former corporate lawyer, she lives in Rye, New York.