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The China ThreatMemories, Myths, and Realities in the 1950s$
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Nancy Bernkopf Tucker

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231159241

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231159241.001.0001

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(p.41) 3 Constraints
The China Threat

Nancy Bernkopf Tucker

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines the contradictions in the foreign policy of Dwight D. Eisenhower and his secretary of state, John Foster Dulles. Eisenhower and Dulles pursued a foreign policy seemingly of extremes. They pledged that they would strengthen the free world and stop the spread of Communism. They would support states willing to declare fealty to the right side in the Cold War and undermine those that might possibly join the Soviet Union. They would welcome nationalism rhetorically but would not back decolonization. However, the reality of the Eisenhower years did not necessarily match administration intentions or the picture that historians have drawn. It is evident that Eisenhower abdicated his responsibility on critical issues including race, anti-Communist extremism, and China. He believed passionately in psychological warfare and the use of the presidential podium to instruct citizens. His articulated policy on China differed from his convictions about China.

Keywords:   foreign policy, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John Foster Dulles, Communism, Cold War, Soviet Union, nationalism, decolonization, China, psychological warfare

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