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Rusk J, Interview with Dean Rusk, circa January 24, 1984

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:12 - Transition to Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs

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Partial Transcript: I wanted to talk about the period when you were Deputy Under Secretary of State and then Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk discusses his transition from Under Secretary of State to Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs, and other internal changes occurring in that department during his time there. He further discusses foreign relations concerning China during that time.

Keywords: 1950s foreign policy; Anti-communism; Arthur Vandenberg; China Burma India Theater; Chinese nationalism; Communism; Dean Acheson; George C. Marshall; Harry S. Truman; Herbert H. Lehman; Joe McCarthy; John Foster Dulles; Kuomintang; Mandate of Heaven; Marshall Mission; McCarthyism; Nationalist Government of China; Republic of China; Second Red Scare; Under Secretary of State; United Nations; bipartisan American politics; bipartisanship; foreign policy

00:11:03 - Chiang Kai-shek and World War II

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Partial Transcript: Where did Chiang Kai-shek really fail?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk explains his perspective on the interactions of Chinese military leaders during the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Keywords: Chang Jiang River; China Burma India Theater; Chinese Nationalist Party; Japanese Peace Treaty; Joseph Stilwell; Kuomintang; Pearl Harbor; Philip Jessup; Republic of China; Second Sino-Japanese War; Sun Li-jen; Taiwan; Treaty of Peace with Japan; Treaty of San Francisco; White Terror; Yangtze River; monetizing war

00:22:08 - Relationship with George Marshall

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Partial Transcript: What was the style, can you shed any light on the style of work between the three of you and Acheson?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk describes his working relationship with George Marshall.

Keywords: Dean Acheson; Franklin D. Roosevelt; George Marshall; Harry S. Truman; Israel; Israeli-Palestinian Conflict; James F. Byrnes; John Foster Dulles; Palestine; Robert A. Lovett

00:32:09 - Relationship with Harry S. Truman

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Partial Transcript: So you were in the Oval Office a lot, did Truman tend to work in the Oval Office?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk recollects working with Harry S. Truman, comparing their relationship with those of other Presidents under which he worked.

Keywords: Harry S. Truman; Mao Tse-tung; Mao Zedong; nuclear weapons

00:37:06 - Harry S. Truman and nuclear weapons

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Partial Transcript: So Truman was not, he obviously used nuclear weapons once but he was not, he was a very cautious man?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk describes the process of attempting to occupy the main islands of Japan in 1945 and 1946.

Keywords: Franklin D. Roosevelt; Henry L. Stimson; Japan; Secretary of War; Surrender of Japan; The Manhattan Project; atomic bomb

00:43:05 - Remembering the atomic bomb

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Partial Transcript: Do you remember where you were when you heard about the bomb?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk reminisces on the response of Harry S. Truman, policy-makers, pilots, and even himself to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Keywords: Douglas MacArthur; Harry S. Truman; Hiroshima; Honshu; Japan; Kyushu; Nagasaki; bombing of Hiroshima; bombing of Nagasaki

00:45:35 - Relationship with General Douglas MacArthur

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Partial Transcript: But we were very busy there for a period of about ten days.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk remembers General Douglas MacArthur and his relationship with the Japanese.

Keywords: Douglas MacArthur; General MacArthur; Japanese Terms of Surrender; Surrender of Japan

00:50:37 - The Korean War

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Partial Transcript: There's another story that Dean Acheson has in his book that's very intriguing.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk describes his role in the Korean War and the actions of General MacArthur in the Korean War.

Keywords: Chiang Kai-shek; Dean Acheson; Douglas MacArthur; General MacArthur; Harry S. Truman; Huang He River; Incheon Landing; Korean War; Matthew Ridgway; Taiwan; Yalu River; Yalu River Dam; Yellow River; Yellow River Dam; nuclear weapons