Synopses & Reviews
This book challenges the popular and scholarly image of a weak Cold War Congress, in which the unbalanced relationship between the legislative and executive branches culminated in the escalation of the U.S. commitment in Vietnam, paving the way for the passage of the War Powers Act in 1973. It evokes a more flexible conception of the congressional role in foreign policy, focused on three facets of legislative power: the use of spending measures; the internal workings of a Congress increasingly dominated by subcommittees; and the ability of individual legislators to affect foreign affairs by changing the way that policymakers and the public consider international questions.
Offering the first historical study of the congressional response to the entire Cold War.
The first historical interpretation of the congressional response to the entire Cold War, using a wide variety of sources, including several manuscript collections opened specifically for this study. The manuscript places the congressional revolt against U.S. foreign policy during the Vietnam War in historical perspective, arguing that ideologically and tactically, congressional critics of the war built off earlier precedents. Additionally, the book offers guidance for understanding the relatively weak congressional role in contemporary foreign policy, a product of institutional, ideological, and political changes at the end of the Cold War.
'Providing the first historical interpretation of the congressional response to the entire Cold War, using a wide variety of sources, including several manuscript collections opened specifically for this study. This places the congressional revolt against U.S. foreign policy during the Vietnam War in historical perspective.\n
About the Author
Robert David Johnson is a professor of history at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He has published three books: The Peace Progressives and American Foreign Policy (Harvard University Press, 1995); Ernest Gruening and the American Dissenting Tradition (Harvard University Press, 1998); and 20 January 1961: The American Dream (DTV Press, 1999). He is the editor of a fourth book: On Cultural Ground: Essays in International History (Imprint Publications, 1994). Professor Johnson has published articles or essays in Diplomatic History, Journal of Cold War Studies, Oxford Companion to American History, International History Review, and Political Science Quarterly, among others.
Table of Contents
1. Constructing a bipartisan foreign policy; 2. Legislative power and the congressional right; 3. Redefining congressional power; 4. The consequences of Vietnam; 5. The transformation of Stuart Symington; 6. The new internationalists' congress; 7. The triumph of the armed services committee.