|About the Book|
Heir to the academic think-tank called The Inquiry that prepared Woodrow Wilson for the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, the Council on Foreign Relations has ever since filled a unique and often controversial place in the history of Americas 20thMoreHeir to the academic think-tank called The Inquiry that prepared Woodrow Wilson for the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, the Council on Foreign Relations has ever since filled a unique and often controversial place in the history of Americas 20th century. Private and nonpartisan, endowed and financed over the decades by invited members, the New York-based Council has been called an incubator of ideas. From its book-lined meeting rooms and the pages of its publication Foreign Affairs has come much of the most provocative thought about foreign policy since the isolationist era of the 1920s, through World War II and the Cold War--and now beyond. This fresh and informal history of the Councils first 75 years reflects the diverse voices of Council members, who have been influential in both political parties, all presidential administrations following Wilsons, and on competing sides of major issues. Records of Council meetings reveal spirited discord and dissent on the problems of the day: to enter the war against fascism or put America First, about ideology and economics in the containment of communism, the influence of nuclear weapons upon diplomacy, recognition of communist China, the American war in Vietnam, and now the shape of the post-Cold War international order. The Council in its deliberations mirrors, as well as defines, the competing options for the society at large.