UGA Libraries Logo

Rusk QQQQQQ, Dean Rusk interviewed by Richard Rusk and Thomas Schoenbaum, Part 1, 1986 June

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Search this Index
00:00:40 - Post WWII decolonization / Angolan independence

Play segment

Partial Transcript: On the Angola resolution, Mr. Rusk, that's of course a small matter compared to the many large matters you dealt with during the Kennedy years.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk describes decolonization, noting that Portuguese colonies in Africa were among the more contentious diplomatic issues within post WWII NATO communiques. He recalls meeting with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Salazar and his foreign ministers to negotiate colonial independence and the renewal of the Azores air base. Rusk mentions that young Angolans were educated at American Universities without the knowledge of the Portuguese.

Keywords: African Bureau; Dean Acheson; Mennen Williams; Mozambique; allies; autonomy; colonialism; colonies; diplomacy; education; military; race

00:08:31 - The Berlin Crisis

Play segment

Partial Transcript: I want to skip over to Berlin for just a minute.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk comments on the Berlin Crisis, stating that NATO officials attempted to "talk the problem to death" in order to avoid nuclear escalation.

Keywords: A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House; Arthur Schlesinger; Douglas Hume; East Berlin; France; Gromkyo; Khrushchev; Russia; West Berlin; access routes; communique; de Gaulle; defense; four power agreement; military

00:15:43 - Charles de Gaulle: pride and policy

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Now you mention de Gaulle. And the record at that time, of course, shows that you saw de Gaulle at least, I think, three times that first year....

Segment Synopsis: Rusk talks about French President Charles de Gaulle's pride, which ultimately led to self-defeating policies and caused tension between France and the United States. Rusk explains that de Gaulle missed opportunities to increase France's influence over NATO and the European continent.

Keywords: Alexander Martin Wilcox; Eisenhower; Kennedy; leaders; leadership; supranational government

00:25:48 - Foreign relations: France, Germany, and the United States in the 1960s

Play segment

Partial Transcript: de Gaulle, by the way, I am quite sure understood English.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk mentions Charles de Gaulle's interactions with the Kennedys and Lyndon Johnson. He discusses political problems in France, de Gaulle's position on European unity, and de Gaulle's relationship with German Chancellor Adenaeur.

Keywords: Jackie Kennedy; John Foster Dulles; NATO; common market; security; war

00:35:23 - U.S.-British nuclear cooperation

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Did you go to Bermuda at one point in connection with the testing, resumption of atmospheric testing, before the Test Ban Treaty?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk talks about the "special relationship" with respect to nuclear foreign policy, mentioning the failed Skybolt meeting and the Nassau Agreement.

Keywords: MacMahon Act; Polaris; Robert McNamara; sovereignty

00:39:18 - Physical security / Punta del Este

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Would you tell us that story about the conference in Punta del Este when you were, I think for the only time, physically attacked.

Segment Synopsis: Rusk talks about minor personal security incidents. He discusses Punta del Este, commenting on the role of Arthur Schlesinger and Kennedy's goal of excluding Castro form the Organization of American States. He talks about Richard Goodwin, a Kennedy staffer and "troublemaker," and describes Kennedy's reaction to achievements at Punta del Este.

Keywords: Alliance for Progress; Argentina; Cuba; Frondizi; OAS; Uruguay; photographer; reporters; resolution

00:47:32 - Analyzing leaders of the nonaligned countries

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Now turning to a few other of the strong men of the time: [Ahmed] Ben Bella- he was kind of queer wasn't he?

Segment Synopsis: Rusk describes 1960s leaders such as Cuba's Ahmed ben Bella, Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser, Yugoslavia's Josip Tito, Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah, and Guinea's Sekou Toure. He considers U.S. relations with these men and differences in the leaders' domestic and international personas. Rusk recalls the Volta Dam controversy, wherein Bobby Kennedy wanted to cancel infrastructural funding due to Ghana's pro-Russian and pan-African agenda.

Keywords: Soviet Union; USSR; Warren Cohen; commitments; diplomats; domestic politics; foreign aid; foreign relations