What caused the downfall of the Dulles brothers' influence on US foreign policy?

  • Thread starter Astronuc
  • Start date
In summary, the author discusses how the Dulles brothers, who held positions within the United States government in the 1950s and 1960s, had a significant impact on US foreign policy. The author explores the brother's shared ideology and background and how it played out in their decisions, concluding that the United States has paid a price for their actions.
  • #1
Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
2023 Award
21,930
6,386
I listened to NPR's Freshair program last night. The host, Terry Gross, interviewed author Stephen Kinzer about his new book, The Brothers, which is about John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles, two figures who determined US foreign policy during the 1950s and 1960s.

http://www.npr.org/2013/10/16/234752747/meet-the-brothers-who-shaped-u-s-policy-inside-and-out

In 1953, for the first and only time in history, two brothers were appointed to head the overt and covert sides of American foreign policy. President Dwight Eisenhower appointed John Foster Dulles secretary of state, and Allen Dulles director of the CIA.

Journalist Stephen Kinzer says the Dulles brothers shaped America's standoff with the Soviet Union, led the U.S. into war in Vietnam, and helped topple governments they thought unfriendly to American interests in Guatemala, Iran, the Congo and Indonesia. In his new book, The Brothers, Kinzer says the Dulles' actions "helped set off some of the world's most profound long-term crises."

John Dulles died in 1959. President Kennedy replaced Allen Dulles after the covert operation he recommended to overthrow Fidel Castro in Cuba ended disastrously in the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion.

Kinzer tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that the Dulles' shared background and ideology played out in their policy decisions: . . .
I find the influence of their ideology and world view fascinating and disturbing, and the fact that no one checked their influence on US foreign policy. And it appears that the US has paid a heavy price for their policies and actions.

These two men stand in stark contrast to John Foster Dulles's son, Avery Robert Dulles, who became a cardinal in the Catholic Church.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avery_Dulles
http://www.fordham.edu/dulles/
Biography of Cardinal Dulles:
Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ: A Model Theologian, 1918-2008
 
Last edited:
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
Its really something when small things cascade into really large crises.

I wonder how many other times has this happened in the past like during the rise of Rome or the empires of China and how these have shaped current events.

The current debt crisis reminds me of the Tiberius Gracchus and how he as Tribune shutdown the Roman government by vetoing attempts to open the markets and banks each day until the other tribunes accepted his land reform bill. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiberius_Gracchus). After he was killed his brother took over the fight and was more skillful in getting it passed.

BBC did a great series on key events in Roman history, one of which was on Tiberius Grachhus:

 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #3
Astronuc said:
I find the influence of their ideology and world view fascinating and disturbing, and the fact that no one checked their influence on US foreign policy. And it appears that the US has paid a heavy price for their policies and actions.

It was commonly joked that while Ike was elected President in November, 1952, he assumed the duties of office in May of '59, following the death of John Foster Dulles. :)
 

Related to What caused the downfall of the Dulles brothers' influence on US foreign policy?

1. What is the Legacy of the Dulles brothers?

The Dulles brothers, John Foster and Allen, were two influential figures in American politics and foreign policy during the 1950s. Their legacy is often characterized by their involvement in shaping US foreign policy during the Cold War and their controversial actions in countries such as Iran, Guatemala, and Vietnam.

2. Who were the Dulles brothers?

John Foster Dulles served as Secretary of State during the Eisenhower administration while his brother, Allen Dulles, was the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Both brothers came from prominent political and legal backgrounds and were known for their hawkish views on communism.

3. What were the Dulles brothers' contributions to US foreign policy?

The Dulles brothers played a significant role in shaping US foreign policy during the Cold War. They implemented a policy of containment and were strong proponents of the domino theory, which stated that if one country fell to communism, others would follow. They also oversaw covert operations and interventions in several countries, including Iran, Guatemala, and Cuba.

4. What controversies surround the Dulles brothers?

The Dulles brothers' involvement in covert operations and interventions in countries such as Iran, Guatemala, and Cuba has been met with criticism and controversy. Some argue that their actions were unethical and contributed to the destabilization of these countries. Additionally, their belief in the domino theory has been heavily debated and questioned by historians.

5. How did the Dulles brothers' legacy impact US foreign policy today?

The Dulles brothers' legacy continues to influence US foreign policy today. Their belief in the importance of containing communism and intervening in the affairs of other countries is reflected in US foreign policy decisions, such as the War on Terror and interventions in the Middle East. However, their controversial actions have also led to a greater emphasis on transparency and accountability in US foreign policy.

Similar threads

  • General Discussion
Replies
29
Views
9K
  • General Discussion
Replies
31
Views
5K
Replies
2
Views
3K
Back
Top