An Outsider in the White House: Jimmy Carter, His Advisors, and the Making of American Foreign Policy by Betty GladAn Outsider in the White House: Jimmy Carter, His Advisors, and the Making of American Foreign Policy by Betty Glad

An Outsider in the White House: Jimmy Carter, His Advisors, and the Making of American Foreign…

byBetty Glad

Hardcover | November 5, 2009

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Jimmy Carter entered the White House with a desire for a collegial staff that would aid his foreign-policy decision making. He wound up with a "team of rivals" who contended for influence and who fought over his every move regarding relations with the USSR, the Peoples' Republic of China, arms control, and other crucial foreign-policy issues.

In two areas—the Camp David Accords and the return of the Canal to Panama—Carter's successes were attributable to his particular political skills and the assistance of Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and other professional diplomats. The ultimate victor in the other battles was Carter's national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, a motivated tactician. Carter, the outsider who had sought to change the political culture of the executive office, found himself dependent on the very insiders of the political and diplomatic establishment against whom he had campaigned.

Based on recently declassified documents in the Carter Library, materials not previously noted in the Vance papers, and a wide variety of interviews, Betty Glad's An Outsider in the White House is a rich and nuanced depiction of the relationship between policy and character. It is also a poignant history of damaged ideals. Carter's absolute commitment to human rights foundered on what were seen as national security interests.

New data from the archives reveal how Carter's government sought the aid of Pope John Paul II to undercut the human-rights efforts of the El Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero. A moralistic approach toward the Soviet Union undermined Carter's early desire to reduce East-West conflicts and cut nuclear arms. As a result, by 1980 the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) was in limbo, and a nuclear counterforce doctrine had been adopted.

Near the end of Carter's single term in office Vance stepped down as secretary of state, in part because Brzezinski's "muscular diplomacy" had come to dominate Carter's foreign policy. When Vance's successor, Edmund Muskie, took over, the State Department was reduced to implementing policies made by Brzezinski and his allies. For Carter, the rivalry for influence in the White House was concluded and the results, as Glad shows, were a mixed record and an uncertain presidential legacy.

Title:An Outsider in the White House: Jimmy Carter, His Advisors, and the Making of American Foreign…Format:HardcoverDimensions:414 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.39 inPublished:November 5, 2009Publisher:Cornell University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801448158

ISBN - 13:9780801448157

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Table of Contents


1. High Expectations
2. The Foreign Policy Team
3. The Brzezinski Advantage

4. Early Fumbles
5. Recovery
6. Human Rights and the Soviet Target
7. Competition in the Horn of Africa
8. Negotiations with Panama
9. Dealing with Congress
10. SALT and the Senate

11. The Tilt toward China
12. Building the Security Relationship
13. The Impact of a Motivated Tactician
14. Maestro of the Camp David Talks
15. Support Teams and the Road Ahead

16. Confronting a Regime Change
17. Scrambling for Options
18. The Soviet Brigade "Crisis"
19. Afghanistan: Formulating a Response
20. Exacting a Price

21. MAD and the Pursuit of PD-59
22. Shadowing the Soviets
23. The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend
24. The Death of the Archbishop

Part 6: FINALE
25. Operation Eagle Claw
26. The Final Months
27. Jimmy Carter and the American Mission

Appendix. American and Foreign Actors: Specific Issues

Editorial Reviews

"An Outsider in the White House is an eminently readable account of Jimmy Carter, his foreign policies, and the political-bureaucratic context in which they were made and implemented. Betty Glad's assessment of the president—and of the ideological and cognitive limitations of his principal advisors—will stand the test of time."—Richard Ned Lebow, James O. Freedman Presidential Professor of Government, Dartmouth College, and Centennial Professor of International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science