The Eisenhower presidency witnessed the international conflict of the cold war and the national trauma of the McCarthy era. Although the roots of America_s containment policies had been established in the Truman years, only in the 1950s did these ideas meet their fullest test. The Eisenhower era was dominated by a sense of global struggle_both abroad and at home_and foreign affairs preoccupied the administration and the country at large.
Among the most complete documentary records of American foreign policy in this critical era are the files of the Eisenhower State Department, especially the papers of John Foster Dulles (secretary of state, 1953_1959) and of Christian A. Herter (undersecretary of state, 1957_1959; secretary of state, 1959_1961). They offer an essential and largely untapped source of primary data on the formation and implementation of American foreign policy in the Eisenhower years.
The Chronological Correspondence Series
Here are the outgoing correspondence and memoranda of the secretaries of state and their staffs. These extensive files document how the State Department interacted with national and international leaders_keeping them apprised of departmental policy, lobbying for support, negotiating with different interest groups, and engineering difficult compromises.