The Council on Foreign Relations has been blessed by two fine academic studies of its first half-century or so:
Both authors made fair and comprehensive use of the Council archives that were available up to the point of their writing. This seventy-fifth anniversary history draws heavily upon their earlier researches.
The Council’s own records of meetings, conferences, and study and discussion groups, a long row of bound books, is available for scholarly scrutiny at the Harold Pratt House, 58 East 68th Street, New York, NY 10065. These are supplemented by the papers of Hamilton Fish Armstrong and related Foreign Affairs files at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library at Princeton University. See also Armstrong’s memoirs, Peace and Counterpeace: From Wilson to Hitler (New York: Harper & Row, 1971). A thoughtful analysis of the War and Peace Studies is: Carlo Maria Santoro, Diffidence and Ambition: The Intellectual Sources of U.S. Foreign Policy (Boulder: Westview Press, 1992; originally published in 1987 in Italian). The most important critical analysis of the Council is: Laurence H. Shoup and William Minter, Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign Relations and United States Foreign Policy (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1977).
A series of Council publications well conveys the organization’s changing concerns. Informative annual reports have been published since the beginning and contain a wealth of institutional data. Other surveys include:
Among the useful periodical depictions of the Council over the changing years are:
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Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass.
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