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1. Rise to Power and Early Foreign Policy
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about Eisenhower’s rise to the presidency and the central aspects of his foreign policy, focusing in particular on: (i) his early life, his military career, his celebrity after the Second World War, and his election as President in 1952; (ii) his attempts to differentiate himself from his predecessor, Harry Truman, and his commitment to a more aggressive approach to the Cold War; (iii) his fiscal conservatism, and his attempts to fulfil his foreign policy objectives while reducing defence spending; and (iv) the success of Eisenhower’s foreign policy in the context of the Hungarian Revolution (1956) and the Korean War (1950-53).
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 - Rise to Power and Early Foreign Policy [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-presidency-of-dwight-eisenhower-1953-61/rise-to-power-and-early-foreign-policy
White, M. "The Presidency of Dwight Eisenhower, 1953-61 – Rise to Power and Early Foreign Policy." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 08 Jan 2020, https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-presidency-of-dwight-eisenhower-1953-61/rise-to-power-and-early-foreign-policy