UGA Libraries Logo

Rusk SS, Dean Rusk interviewed by Richard Rusk, Part 1, circa 1985

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Search this Index
00:00:05 - Questions that determine policy decisions

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Talking about the Truman administration.

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk shares the questions that policy-givers should ask before making important policy decisions. In order to demonstrate the use of these questions, he discusses the appointment of U.N. officials and conflict over Gibraltar.

Keywords: Dag Hammarskjold; Joseph McCarthy; League of Nations; McCarthyism; President Dwight D. Eisenhower; President Harry S. Truman; United Nations Secretariat; WW2; WWII; Washington press corps; World War 2; World War II

00:05:35 - Work ethic of Secretaries of State / Military staff memoranda

Play segment

Partial Transcript: You had a chance to witness the careers of probably, oh, seven to ten Secretaries of State as well as your own.

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk compares the time and effort different Secretaries of State have given to the job, sharing mainly about George Marshall. He also talks about the importance and support of Undersecretaries. Later, he discusses the process of creating a useful military staff memorandum.

Keywords: Bureau of Inter-Eastern Affairs; Foreign Service; George Ball; Iraq; Kuwait; Robert Lovett; State Department; U.N.; UN; United Nations; WW2; WWII; World War 2; World War II

00:13:27 - Relationship with the press

Play segment

Partial Transcript: When I was Secretary, one thing that I would do from time to time would be to take a few minutes to run in and visit and have a look at some part of the Department that Secretaries almost never visit

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk briefly talks about the farewell and awards he received when he left office. He also discusses his dealings with the press as Secretary of State. He shares his personal customs and rules for working with reporters.

Keywords: Jim Greenfield; LBJ; President Lyndon B. Johnson; Presidential Medal of Freedom; Robert James McCloskey; Robert Joseph Manning; State Department; Washington Post; Washington Press Corps; political journalism

00:22:53 - Transition between presidents

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Well, we ought to do a tape on that sometime.

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk shares about the process of transitioning from one president to another, telling stories from the inauguration of President Richard Nixon. He discusses the turnaround of government officials, focusing on his successor, Secretary of State William Rogers.

Keywords: Claudia Alta Taylor Johnson; Department of State; Johnson Administration; LBJ; Lady Bird Johnson; Nixon Administration; Nixon Inauguration; President Harry S. Truman; President Lyndon B. Johnson; presidential appointments

00:30:20 - President Nixon's Vietnam War strategy

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Speaking of the transition, when President Nixon campaigned for election he did not really commit himself to a specific plan, or timetable or policy as far as Vietnam was concerned.

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk discusses President Nixon's aims concerning the Vietnam War when he came into office. He talks about the end result of the Vietnam War, including America's limited involvement in Cambodia.

Keywords: North Vietnam; Prince Norodom Sihanouk; South Vietnam; Viet Cong; Vietnam War escelation; presidential campaigning

00:33:57 - Rockefeller Foundation Fellow / Becoming a UGA professor

Play segment

Partial Transcript: How was it that you became a Fellow for the Rockefeller Foundation in 1969?

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk shares about his time as a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow after his time as Secretary of State. He talks about how he obtained the fellowship and what he did during the next year and a half. Later, Rusk briefly discusses an abdominal pain of an unknown origin. He also speaks about becoming a professor of International Law in the UGA Law School.

Keywords: Dean Cowan; Jacob George Harrar; John F. Kennedy Presidential Library; Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library; State Department; University of GA; University of Georgia; colonic spasm; presidential oral history

00:40:16 - Importance of interdisciplinary focus in education

Play segment

Partial Transcript: On campus here, although my teaching work has been in the Law School, I have visited quite frequently with classes in other departments of the university.

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk shares his view that colleges should become more interdisciplinary to prepare students for future decision-making, and he draws from his time as Secretary of State to illustrate this point. He also talks about his own efforts to make UGA more interdisciplinary.

Keywords: Athens, Georgia; Dean Rusk Center; Department of State; Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication; Terry College of Business; UGA School of Law; University of GA; University of Georgia

00:47:30 - UGA graduate faculty member

Play segment

Partial Transcript: When I first took up my appointment here at the University of Georgia, I was named to the graduate faculty from the very beginning.

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk talks about his time as a graduate faculty member at UGA. He discusses his attempts to change graduate faculty meetings to utilize their collective talents.

Keywords: Georgia Institute of Technology; Georgia Tech; UGA School of Law; UGA faculty forum; University of GA; University of Georgia; energy crisis

00:52:29 - Lecturing

Play segment

Partial Transcript: One thing I've done here at the University of Georgia is to get a number of speakers to come here more or less as a courtesy to me.

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk talks about bringing in lecturers to UGA and being a lecturer himself. He also debates the benefits of lecture bureau (also called speakers bureaus--they function to match speakers to interested clients).

Keywords: Committee on the Present Danger; George Ball; Henry Kissinger; Nixon Administration; President Richard Nixon; State Department; arms race; deterrence; disarmament; lecturing fees

00:58:07 - Unilateral disarmament

Play segment

Partial Transcript: And who seriously discussed unilateral disarmament?

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk debates the possible merits and dangers of unilateral disarmament, focusing on WWII and the Soviet Union.

Keywords: Adolf Hitler; Andrei Yanuarievich Vyshinsk; Cold War; Joseph Stalin; Korean War; North Korea; South Korea; VJ Day; WW2; World War 2; World War II; arms race; atomic bomb; nuclear weapons

01:02:09 - The White House Fellows Program / Funding for fellowships and chairmanships

Play segment

Partial Transcript: I was very enthusiastic about the White House Fellows Program that was invented during the mid-sixties.

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk shares his enthusiasm for the White House Fellows Program, which exposes younger people to the work of government leaders. He talks about his experience with his own White House Fellow, Peter Krogh. Later, Rusk discusses his involvement with different fellowships and chairs, focusing on the issue of funding these opportunities.

Keywords: Board of Trustees of the Woodrow Wilson Center of International Scholars; Georgetown University; Georgia taxes; Hastings School of Law; John W. Gardner; Presidential Cabinet; Regional Committee for the Selection of White House Fellows; Samuel H. Sibley Professorship; University of California; White House; Wilson Fellowships; automatic retirement; foundation grants

01:09:21 - Effects of aging

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Didn't you tell me one time that you'd picked out two or three friends on the faculty that would keep an eye on you and to let you know if your time had come?

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk talks about how aging affects people differently, focusing on how impairments from age can influence major policy decisions by government leaders. He shares personal stories about John Foster Dulles and President John F. Kennedy.

Keywords: Averell Harriman; General Accounting Office; JFK; Marjorie Whiteman; Rockefeller Foundation; Suez Crisis; UGA; UGA Law School; University of GA; University of Georgia; international law

01:15:57 - Presidential aging

Play segment

Partial Transcript: When you factor in fatigue, as well as possible poor health, did you fellows ever take a look at that?

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk talks about the taxing nature of the presidency and its effects on American leaders, focusing on President Lyndon B. Johnson. He also discusses the extra stress that nuclear weapons and wartime pressures had on the job of president.

Keywords: Claudia Alta Johnson; Cold War; Cuban Missile Crisis; LBJ; Lady Bird; President Dwight D. Eisenhower; Soviet Union; Vietnam War; nuclear war; presidential photographs; the presidential record

01:23:36 - Revisionist historians and psycho-historians

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Incidentally, I meant to ask you earlier, have you ever gone toe to toe with any of these revisionist historians on the post-World War II period and our responsibility for the Cold War, and their assumption of responsibility?

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk shares his disagreements with revisionist historians and psycho-historians, claiming they lack a sense of context. He also briefly discusses his decision to not write memoirs, and he recounts a British operation he was involved with during WWII.

Keywords: British Command; Chief of War Plans; Cold War; Joseph Stalin; North Korea; South Korea; Soviet Union; V-J Day; Victory-Japan Day; WWII; World War 2; World War II; disarmament

01:29:03 - University of Georgia School of Law

Play segment

Partial Transcript: When you first came to Georgia, that was 1971.

Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk talks about the growth and development of the UGA law school throughout the years. He focuses on the international law program and the best way for students to succeed as international lawyers.

Keywords: Carl Sanders; Gabriel Wilner; Louis Bruno Sohn; State Legislature; Thomas J. Schoenbaum; University of GA; law school funding