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2. Later Foreign Policy: Vietnam, the CIA and the Soviet Union
About this Lecture
In this module, we think in more detail about Eisenhower’s foreign policy, focusing in particular on: (i) his transformation of the CIA from an intelligence-gathering agency to an agency that actively enacted US foreign policy, e.g. Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, and (under Kennedy) Cuba in 1961; (ii) the background to US involvement in Vietnam and the importance of Eisenhower’s decision to support the government of South Vietnam against the Communist North; and (iii) Eisenhower’s measured response to two crises emanating from Eastern Europe – the launch of Sputnik in 1957 and the apparent ‘missile gap’ between the US and Soviet Union, and the Berlin Crisis of 1958.
In this course, Professor Mark White (Queen Mary, University of London) explores the presidency of Dwight Eisenhower (1953-61). In the first module, we think about Eisenhower’s rise to power and the central aspects of his foreign policy. In the second, we think about his later foreign policy, including: his use of the CIA to overthrow foreign governments in Iran (1953) and Guatemala (1954), the beginnings of US involvement in Vietnam, and his dealings with Nikita Khrushchev and the Soviet Union. In the third module, we think about Eisenhower’s response to the civil rights movement, before turning in the fourth to consider the ways in which American society and culture changed in the 1950s more generally. Finally, in the fifth module, we explore Eisenhower’s changing reputation over the years, thinking in particular about where Eisenhower has been unfairly maligned – and when he has been rightly criticised.
Mark White is Professor of History at Queen Mary, University of London, specialising in US foreign policy in the Cold War and the US presidency since 1945. His recent publications include Against the President: Dissent and Decision-Making in the White House (2007) and The Presidency of Bill Clinton: The Legacy of a New Domestic and Foreign Policy (2012)
Cite this Lecture
White, M. (2020, January 08). The Presidency of Dwight Eisenhower, 1953-61 - Later Foreign Policy: Vietnam, the CIA and the Soviet Union [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-presidency-of-dwight-eisenhower-1953-61/later-foreign-policy-vietnam-the-cia-and-the-soviet-union
White, M. "The Presidency of Dwight Eisenhower, 1953-61 – Later Foreign Policy: Vietnam, the CIA and the Soviet Union." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 08 Jan 2020, https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-presidency-of-dwight-eisenhower-1953-61/later-foreign-policy-vietnam-the-cia-and-the-soviet-union