Continuing the Inquiry

For Further Reading

The Council on Foreign Relations has been blessed by two fine academic studies of its first half-century or so:

  • Robert D. Schulzinger, The Wise Men of Foreign Affairs (New York: Columbia University Press, 1984).
  • Michael Wala, The Council on Foreign Relations and American Foreign Policy in the Early Cold War (Providence: Berghahn Books, 1994).

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:

  • The Council on Foreign Relations: A Record of Fifteen Years, 1937.
  • The War and Peace Studies of the Council on Foreign Relations, 1946.
  • The Council on Foreign Relations: A Record of Twenty-five Years, 1947.
  • Whitney H. Shepardson, Early History of the Council on Foreign Relations, 1960.
  • Joseph Barber, These Are the Committees, 1964.
  • William P. Bundy, The Council on Foreign Relations and Foreign Affairs: Notes for a History, 1994.

Among the useful periodical depictions of the Council over the changing years are:

  • Joseph Kraft, “School for Statesmen,” Harper’s, July 1958.
  • Zygmunt Nagorski, “A Member of the CFR Talks Back,” in National Review, Dec. 9, 1977.
  • Elisabeth Jakab, “The Council on Foreign Relations,” in Book Forum, vol. 3, no. 4 (1978).
  • Inderjeet Parmar, “The Issue of State Power: The Council on Foreign Relations as a Case Study,” The Journal of American Studies, vol. 29, no. 1 (1995).

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