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Rusk YY, Harlan and Lois Cleveland, circa 1985

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:35 - Characterizing Dean and Virginia Foisie Rusk

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Partial Transcript: So, when he had the chance to go to the State Department and work with your father, [Harlan Cleveland] did not even think twice.

Segment Synopsis: Lois Cleveland shares that Secretary of State Dean Rusk's wife, Virginia Foisie, was beloved by other diplomats' wives. Lois and Harlan Cleveland discuss Dean Rusk's reticence and recall his offering Harlan Cleveland the position of Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs.

Keywords: AID; Adlai Stevenson; Citizens for Kennedy; Rockefeller Foundation; State Department; entertaining

00:09:45 - Calling interference by Bobby Kennedy

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Partial Transcript: ... although he had a lot of trouble with Bobby Kennedy, who had taken a dislike to me during the campaign.

Segment Synopsis: Cleveland shares his low opinion of Bobby Kennedy and claims that Bobby attempted to thwart his appointment to the State Department.

Keywords: Citizens for Kennedy; Joe McCarthy; appointments

00:15:00 - Far Eastern affairs

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Partial Transcript: Why was it you thought that highly of my dad? Perhaps it's worth going back into the story and trace out your earlier involvement with him.

Segment Synopsis: Harlan Cleveland chronicles his involvement in the Marshall Plan, the China Aid Program, and Far Eastern Affairs. He talks about establishing development programs in the Associated States of Indochina after China's communist revolution. Cleveland praises Dean Rusk's clarity of mind.

Keywords: Cambodia; Dean Acheson; Laos; Mao; Paul Hoffman; Philippines; Taiwan; Vietnam; aid; economics; recovery

00:20:08 - U.S. aid to French Indochina

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Partial Transcript: There was a big issue between the people who were interested in our relations with France and the people who were interested in our relations with the Indochina states.

Segment Synopsis: Cleveland discusses the controversy over U.S. economic aid to French Indochina. He states that as Assistant Secretary of State, Dean Rusk made the decision to provide aid directly rather than through France. Cleveland describes Rusk's directions with respect to creating compromise within the State Department.

Keywords: Cambodia; France; Laos; Vietnam

00:25:33 - Dean Rusk: Secretary of State

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Partial Transcript: Two questions come to mind. One is relating to my dad's impression on you in the early fifties when you knew him early.

Segment Synopsis: Cleveland praises Dean Rusk's capacity for understanding and explaining foreign policy issues. He says that Dean Rusk commanded respect in the same manner as a president.

Keywords: authority; formality; professionalism

00:29:09 - Dean Rusk's leadership style

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Partial Transcript: Well, my dad was greatly influenced by George Marshall...

Segment Synopsis: Cleveland compares Dean Rusk's leadership to that of George Marshall. He says that Rusk asked a lot of questions and avoided giving orders to lower ranking staff. Rusk then offered their suggestions to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson and accepted presidential policies with support.

Keywords: General Marshall; administration; subordinates

00:36:32 - Collaborating with Dean Rusk

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Partial Transcript: Did that impair your ability to function as Assistant Secretary for International Organizations?

Segment Synopsis: Cleveland talks about Dean Rusk's "parliamentary diplomacy" and explains that he had greater access to Rusk than other assistant secretaries because Rusk had formerly filled Cleveland's position in the UN Affairs Bureau.

Keywords: Adlai Stevenson; United Nations; foreign policy; international organization

00:41:03 - Rusk's professionalism and compartmentalization

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Partial Transcript: Overall was he a good boss for you?

Segment Synopsis: Cleveland describes working under Dean Rusk, stating that Rusk was strictly professional, but that he allowed his subordinates to make judgement calls within their jurisdiction. Cleveland talks about European views of the Vietnam War and explains Rusk's tendency to compartmentalize foreign affairs rather than treating different State Department jobs as interconnected. Cleveland mentions that Secretary Rusk's views were rarely challenged.

Keywords: Europe; George Ball; NATO; Vietnam; cables

00:51:44 - Dean Rusk on "instant histories"

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Partial Transcript: One of the hardest liners, of course, was--oh, what is his name? He was head of the Research and Intelligence...

Segment Synopsis: Cleveland talks about Roger Hilsman, a Vietnam hard-liner who later wrote a best-selling book condemning the Vietnam War. He also recalls Rusk's comments regarding Arthur Schlesinger's book, A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House.

Keywords: Bureau of Intelligence and Research; John J. McCloy; NATO; history