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North Castle Books

Decisions and Dilemmas: Case Studies in Presidential Foreign Policy Making since 1945, Second Edition
Authored by: Robert A. Strong

Cloth ISBN: 978-0-7656-1577-0 Paper ISBN: 978-0-7656-1578-7
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USD: $80.95 USD: $36.95
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Available to all countries
Information: 280pp. Chronologies, documents, selected bibliography, notes, index.
Publication Date: August 2005.  


Description: This book's unique combination of case studies and commentaries provides the basis for a systematic discussion of the role of individual leaders and complex institutions in U.S. foreign policy making. The case studies present routine and urgent, controversial and consensus-driven decisions in nine presidential administrations -- from Harry Truman's decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan in 1945, to George W. Bush's responses to international terrorism in the wake of 9/11.

Each chapter includes essential background information, a chronology of events, and primary source documents. Through all these elements, even students with little or no background in history will gain a new understanding of how presidents, institutions, and issues all shape American foreign policy.

Selected Contents:

1. Truman and the Hiroshima Bomb
2. Eisenhower and Arms Control
3. Kennedy, Johnson and Southeast Asia
4. Nixon, Ford, and the Era of DTtente
5. Carter and the Panama Canal Treaties
6. Reagan and the Iran-contra Affair
7. George H.W. Bush and the Invasion of Panama
8. Clinton and Northern Ireland
9. George W. Bush and 9/11

Comment(s): "I strongly recommend Robert Strong's Decisions and Dilemmas for course use. I have used it as a major text in my undergraduate course on U.S. foreign policy ever since the first edition came out in 1992. His case studies provide deep insights into how U.S. presidents have dealt with different kinds of foreign policy situations since World War II. Each chapter begins with a narrative that explores the basic dimensions of the challenge facing a president and explains the ultimate decision(s) made. Next is an elaboration on the domestic politics of the issue: the section 'Power' explores how executive-legislative relations came into play, and sections 'Process' and 'Personality' highlight the relative influence of bureaucratic politics and the president s personality. At the end of each chapter is an informative collection of original documents. With the second edition adding cases for Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, I won't have to improvise those cases any" --

"more. Finally, students love this text; Strong's writing is clear and engaging, and the cases are both interesting and important analytically." -- William Rose, Connecticut College

"A fine collection has been enriched with the addition of two vital cases from the Clinton and Bush 43 presidencies. Professor Strong has selected superbly illustrative 'decisions and dilemmas' in foreign policy for classroom discussion and analysis. Students will be captivated by these stories and informed by Strong's use of power, process, and personality for comparing presidents and issues. Makes me wish I were a student again." -- Charles O. Jones, Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Non-Resident Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

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