A unique reference source for the history of U.S. foreign policy making and diplomacy through the experiences of the 65 Secretaries of State who have crafted and implemented it.
The Secretary of State is in charge of defining and implementing U.S. foreign policy. While that role has weakened some over the past 50 years, a mere roll call of illustrious past Secretaries of State invokes the position's importance. Thomas Jefferson, Henry Kissinger, John Quincy Adams, William Jennings Bryan, Henry Clay, James Madison, George C. Marshall, George Schultz, and Daniel Webster are just a few of the Secretaries profiled within these 65 entries. Arranged A-to-Z, each essay is multifaceted, offering information personal, professional, and political. The majority of each piece deals with foreign policy ideas before he or she became the Secretary, what American foreign policy was like while in office, and the major foreign policy issues during tenure. Each piece concludes with a concise and useful bibliography.
A unique look at U.S. foreign policy making and diplomacy through the experience of the person whose job is to craft and implement it. Each secretary's early life and background are included, as is his or her education and influences. Careers before becoming Secretary of State are detailed, as are expressions of ideas relating to U.S. foreign policy prior to appointment. Then the piece examines his tenure in office itself, from appointment as secretary, to relations with the President, Cabinet and Congress. Most importantly the major foreign policy issues of the day are given a thorough going over. Finally the circumstances of leaving office, a post-career summary, and then a general assessment of his or accomplishments and shortcomings as secretary.