Kennedy’s Kitchen Cabinet and the Pursuit of Peace

The Shaping of American Foreign Policy, 1961–1963


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About the Book

John F. Kennedy’s advisors were enormously influential in the shaping of American foreign policy at a crucial time. After struggling in his first year as president, Kennedy employed the guidance of a core group including McGeorge Bundy, Robert Kennedy, Robert McNamara, Maxwell Taylor and Theodore Sorensen. This “kitchen cabinet” led to strong leadership in confronting serious challenges arising from the Soviet Union, Cuba, Southeast Asia and Berlin.

About the Author(s)

Philip A. Goduti, Jr., is an adjunct assistant professor of history at Quinnipiac University and teaches U.S. history at Somers High School in Connecticut where he is the 2017 Somers Public Schools Teacher of the Year. He has also worked as a freelance reporter for the Hamden Chronicle and the Providence Journal Bulletin. He lives in Cromwell, Connecticut.

Bibliographic Details

Philip A. Goduti, Jr.
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 249
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4020-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5455-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Preface      1
Introduction      5

Part One. The First One Hundred Days: Crafting Foreign Policy in the Kennedy White House
1. The Over-Cautious Approach      12
2. Germany and Cuba      26

Part Two. Mission to Vienna: The Preparation of the Commander in Chief and the Impact of a Summit
3. The Art of Diplomacy      40
4. “A very sober two days”      54

Part Three. “Once more unto the breach”: Constructing the Wall Between America and the Soviets
5. The Vienna Effect      70
6. “Perhaps a wall”      85

Part Four. Brother’s Keeper: Robert F. Kennedy’s Role in Presidential Decision-making
7. Jack and Bobby      106
8. RFK and the CIA      119

Part Five. “Dogs of War”: McNamara, the Joint Chiefs and the American Military Complex
9. Whiz Kid and War Hero      132
10. The Joint Chiefs of Staff      145

Part Six. Waiting for the Enemy to Blink: Perspectives on the Cuban Missile Crisis
11. Preparing for a Storm      158
12. Brinkmanship in the Kennedy White House      176

Part Seven. “No man is an island, entire of itself ”: Leading to Peace and Cooperation
13. “A Strategy of Peace”      198
14. “Ich bin ein Berliner”      212

Epilogue      223
Chapter Notes      225
Bibliography      235
Index      237