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Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs Release of Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, Volume XXXVIII, Part 1 Foundations of Foreign Policy, 1973-1976

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
August 29, 2012


The Department of State released today Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969–1976, Volume XXXVIII, Part 1, Foundations of Foreign Policy, 1973­–1976.

This volume documents the intellectual foundations of the foreign policy of the second Richard Nixon administration and the Gerald Ford administration. Unlike other volumes in the Nixon/Ford subseries, the documentation seeks to illustrate the collective mindset of Nixon and Ford administration officials on foreign policy issues in the broadest sense. Rather than the formulation of individual foreign policy decisions or diplomatic exchanges, the compilation takes as its canvas the entire record of the second Nixon administration and the Ford administration’s efforts to develop a grand strategy in foreign policymaking. Specifically, the volume charts the ways in which internal and external pressures, during a period of profound political drama at home and abroad, affected this process. It elucidates the primary intellectual themes that ran through and influenced both Nixon and Ford’s foreign policy: a continued belief in interdependence and cooperation in relation to energy and economic issues, an emphasis upon East-West détente, and the primacy of the executive branch in the formulation and conduct of foreign policy. In addition, the volume looks at the ways in which the Nixon and Ford administrations developed strategies to contend with a changing geopolitical landscape in the aftermath of U.S. withdrawal from Southeast Asia, a new intensification of the Cold War in Africa, conflict in the Middle East, and the proliferation of transnational issues. Lastly, the volume explores the influence of domestic politics on the making of foreign policy, most notably during the late stages of the Watergate scandal, the resignation of President Nixon, and the ideological challenges posed by Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter during the 1976 Presidential campaign. The documentation presented in the volume, drawn from public and archival sources, chronicles the perspectives of not only Nixon and Ford but also Secretaries of State William Rogers and Henry Kissinger, Secretaries of Defense Melvin Laird and James Schlesinger, and other prominent policy makers.

This volume was compiled and edited by Kristin L. Ahlberg and Alexander R. Wieland. The volume and this press release are available on the Office of the Historian website at Copies of the volume will be available for purchase from the U.S. Government Printing Office online at (GPO S/N 044-000-02649-0; ISBN 978-0-16-089530-2), or by calling toll-free 1-866-512-1800 (D.C. area 202-512-1800). For further information, contact

PRN: 2012/1360

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