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.
Minutes of Telephone Conversations of John Foster Dulles and of Christian Herter
This collection contains the minutes of nearly all the telephone conversations of Dulles and Herter as secretaries of state, including extensive minutes of communications with the President. While the telephone calls of Dulles and Herter were routinely monitored by their personal assistants, who prepared minutes or memoranda of the conversations, those with the President were rarely monitored; these minutes were prepared by Dulles and Herter themselves. No aspect of foreign policy is left untreated, and the McCarthy crisis and congressional relations are discussed at length. Here, too, the private side of policy formation and implementation emerges in detail.