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Rusk KKK, Walt Whitman Rostow, Part 1, January 1985

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:01:39 - Influence of the University of Oxford on himself and Dean Rusk

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Partial Transcript: I have a question that takes us back even further.

Segment Synopsis: Rostow talks about his time as a student at the University of Oxford, continuing his economic research that he began at Yale University. He also speaks on the influence of Oxford on Rusk's later career, discussing the socioeconomic state of Oxford during the years Rusk attended.

Keywords: Cecil Rhodes; Rhodes Scholarship; WW1; WWI; World Bank; World War 1; World War I

00:06:40 - Early impressions of Dean Rusk

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Partial Transcript: Okay, my second question leads into what you were beginning to discuss...

Segment Synopsis: Rostow shares his impressions of Rusk before Rusk took office as Secretary of State. He describes Rusk as a skillful chairman at The Rockefeller Foundation and talks about Rostow's and President John F. Kennedy's appreciation of an article Rusk wrote about the role of Secretary of State.
[Audio gap 9:33-13:45]

Keywords: JFK; Kennedy Administration; Rockefeller Brothers Fund Panels

00:15:25 - Relationship between Robert McNamara and Rusk

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Partial Transcript: Okay. Professor Rostow, in The Diffusion of Power, you state that McNamara and Rusk had an extraordinarily close relationship and also that McNamara deferred to Rusk whenever Rusk took a firm position.

Segment Synopsis: Rostow discusses the relationship between Rusk and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. He talks about the closeness and deference of their relationship. Later, he shares about topics they disagreed on, including multilateral nuclear force.

Keywords: LBJ School of Public Affairs; NATO; North Atlantic Treaty Organization; President Lyndon B. Johnson; Vietnam War

00:20:05 - Relationship between Rusk and President Lyndon B. Johnson

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Partial Transcript: Tom, let me interject an additional question here.

Segment Synopsis: Rostow talks about the close relationship that Rusk and President Johnson had. He shares how grateful Johnson was to Rusk for supporting Johnson's policies, especially before Senate committees.

Keywords: The Diffusion of Power ; Johnson Administration; LBJ; political capital; political retirement; telephone communication

00:26:53 - Relationship between Rusk and President John F. Kennedy

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Partial Transcript: Can you describe the Kennedy-Rusk relationship...

Segment Synopsis: Rostow discusses the relationship between Rusk and President Kennedy, sharing the ways that Kennedy respected Rusk and Rusk's advising manner. He also talks about Kennedy's decision to widen his advisement pool from only the Cabinet to include staff as well.

Keywords: Arthur Schlesinger; George Marshall; President's Cabinet; bureaucracy

00:31:39 - State Department planning meetings

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Partial Transcript: I might ask another question related to that and the bureaucracy.

Segment Synopsis: Rostow shares the nature of planning meetings during his time as Assistant Secretary for Policy Planning at the State Department. He focuses on Dean Rusk's cultivation of unorthodox ideas at these meetings. Additionally, Rostow briefly discusses an idea of his own about Cuba that he presented, sharing his belief that it helped prepare the State Department for the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Keywords: "Kruschey at Bay"; Communism; Soviet Union; U.S.S.R.; nuclear war

00:39:40 - Friendship with Rusk

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Partial Transcript: If you served in that role as a counselor--and I wasn't aware of that degree of closeness that early in the Department...

Segment Synopsis: Rostow talks about the development of his friendship with Rusk over the years. He illustrates this by sharing the story of their plane flight to Punta del Este, during which Rusk told Rostow the story of Rusk's childhood.

Keywords: Alliance for Progress; Assassination of President John F. Kennedy; Punta del Este conference; Vietnam War

00:46:14 - U.S. economic development of other countries

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Partial Transcript: I haven't looked up the text of it, but I understand that he did that and it made quite an impression on the delegates down there.

Segment Synopsis: Rostow speaks about the importance of developing other countries to U.S. interest, even outside times of crisis. He says that, in recent years, only Presidents Kennedy and Johnson and Dean Rusk have fully understood and implemented this policy.

Keywords: NATO; North Atlantic Treaty Organization; civil rights; oil crisis

00:51:20 - Effect of Bay of Pigs on U.S. leaders

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Partial Transcript: You have a very poignant episode in your book about the only time you saw Dean Rusk, in a big meeting, get emotional.

Segment Synopsis: Rostow talks about the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs and the difficulty it caused U.S. leaders. He develops this further by describing the emotional reactions of both Rusk and Attorney General Robert Kennedy

Keywords: Bobby Kennedy; Cold War; Cuban Missile Crisis; Fidel Castro; President Kennedy's Cabinet

00:58:30 - Punta del Este conference

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Partial Transcript: Professor Rostow, to back up briefly on a minor point...

Segment Synopsis: Rostow talks about his experience with Rusk at the second Punta del Este conference. He shares about the difficulties Rusk faced in convincing Latin American leaders to agree to U.S. propositions.

Keywords: Alliance for Progress; Communism; Cuba; ECOSOC; Fidel Castro; Inter-American Economic and Social Council