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Rusk ZZZZZZ, C. Jane Peleuses and Gus P. Mossellem, 1985 August

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:01:00 - Rusk's relationships with Bobby Kennedy, other executives, and his staff

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Partial Transcript: Who's this third person you're talking about?

Segment Synopsis: Mossellem says Robert Kennedy, Robert Mcnamara, and McGeorge Bundy frequently came to meet with Rusk at the State Department, and comments that the Kennedy and Johnson executives got along better than those in other administrations. Mossellem highlights Rusk's personal care for and availability to his subordinates.

Keywords: Bill Bundy; JFK; LBJ; RFK; leadership; management

00:07:45 - Presidents' reliance on Rusk

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Partial Transcript: He's been criticized by some as not being quite up to snuff intellectually, in terms of his mental capabilities.

Segment Synopsis: Mossellem praises Rusk's integrity and intellect, explaining that Presidents Johnson and Kennedy valued him highly for these traits. Peleuses explains that Kennedy's avoidance of calling Rusk by his first name was a sign of respect, not distance. In contrast, he says Kennedy's apparent casualness with other officials was not friendly, but was a way of talking down to them.

Keywords: JFK; LBJ; character; loyalty; trust

00:14:39 - Rusk resolves Peleuses's travel concerns / The Geneva Auto Show / Rusk's involvement in employees' personal lives

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Partial Transcript: You're probably right. I think where you're coming down is the humanity of the man.

Segment Synopsis: Peleuses talks about going to Europe on business and being unsure if he could return in time for his wedding or get reimbursed for mounting expenses. He explains that Rusk personally saw to his situation, demonstrating his care for others. Peleuses describes attending an opera in Vienna and claims that Rusk got him tickets to the Geneva Auto Show afterwards because Rusk knew he would be more interested in that. Peleuses provides other examples of Rusk going out of his way to ask after individual employees despite his busy schedule and to hold meetings with the department to address staff's personal and professional concerns.

Keywords: Austria; Dominican Republic; London; Vienna

00:26:29 - Dean and Virginia Foisie Rusk

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Partial Transcript: What about my mom [Virginia Foisie Rusk]?

Segment Synopsis: Peleuses and Mossellem talk about Virginia Foisie Rusk's hospitality and claim that she never missed a diplomatic reception. They describe Mr. and Mrs. Rusk's relationship as respectful but playful. They explain that Rusk resisted having a security detail because he did not think it was necessary and he liked his privacy.

Keywords: diplomacy; engagements; events; family; marriage; protection; wife

00:36:26 - Dean and Peggy Rusk / Rusk's letter to Jane Mossellem

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Partial Transcript: Talking about my sister Peggy's growing up in Washington in those years and the degree of adjustment she had to make.

Segment Synopsis: Mossellem and Peleuses talk about Dean Rusk's close relationship with his daughter Peggy. They say he asked about Peggy's activities frequently and felt more protective of her than toward his other children. Mossellem emphasizes Rusk's concern for her and his concern for his employees, too.

Keywords: George Ball

00:43:09 - Mistaken histories

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Partial Transcript: You came to know my dad in a certain way.

Segment Synopsis: Peleuses talks about Rusk's sense of obligation to the president. Mossellem explains what it was like to watch Rusk accept criticism for policies that were secretly against his wishes.

Keywords: Halberstam; citizenship; loyalty

00:50:07 - Radio communication outside the office / Emotional situations for Rusk

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Partial Transcript: Tell me any stories you may have about that little fellow with the satchel, the radio...

Segment Synopsis: Peleuses describes how Rusk received information and kept security when he was out. Mossellem and Peleuses mention that Rusk cried when the USS Thresher submarine sank during a deep-dive test and when President Kennedy was assassinated. They also discuss the value Rusk placed on human life, explaining the toll that the deaths in Vietnam had on Rusk as a decision-maker.

Keywords: Army Navy Country Club; command decision-making; foreign policy