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Congress and the Cold War


  • Date Published: January 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521528856

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About the Authors
  • 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 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 US commitment in Vietnam, which in turn paved the way for a congressional resurgence best symbolized by the passage of the War Powers Act in 1973. Instead, understanding the congressional response to the Cold War requires 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 considered international questions.

    • This is the first historical study of the congressional response to the entire Cold War
    • This book places the congressional tumult of the late 1960s and 1970s - the response to the Vietnam War, the War Powers Act - in historical perspective
    • This book has contemporary relevance in that it shows how Congress developed mechanisms to influence foreign policy despite an international environment that seemed to encourage increased presidential unilateralism
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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521528856
    • length: 382 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 153 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • availability: Available
  • 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.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Foreign Policy Formulation
    • US History Since 1945
  • Author

    Robert David Johnson, Brooklyn College, City University of New York
    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 (1995); Ernest Gruening and the American Dissenting Tradition (1998); and 20 January 1961: The American Dream (1999). He is the editor of a fourth book: On Cultural Ground: Essays in International History (1994). Professor Johnson has published articles or essays in Diplomatic History, the Journal of Cold War Studies, Oxford Companion to American History, International History Review, and Political Science Quarterly, among others.

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