This introduction debunks a myth about Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy: that however much Kennedy wanted to change a China policy he allegedly did not believe made sense, Eisenhower kept him from doing the right thing. On January 19, 1961, Eisenhower and Kennedy met at the White House. Eisenhower warned that Kennedy's actions on China could bring the former president out of retirement. Historians and policymakers have accepted and retold this story for decades. They used it to explain Kennedy's unwillingness to change his China policy. The truth is that the incident almost certainly never happened. That Eisenhower would have tried to coerce Kennedy regarding the Chinese contradicts—indeed is diametrically opposed to—the former's ideas about China. In fact, Eisenhower believed the United States should, and eventually would, open diplomatic relations with Beijing, anticipated China's entry into the United Nations, and thought that Washington's efforts to smother a rising China had put it in an embarrassing position with allies and adversaries.
Columbia Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .