William B. McAllister
Joshua Botts
Peter Cozzens
Aaron W. Marrs

Office of the Historian, U.S. Department of State
Washington, D.C.
Printed Edition
March 2015

Toward “Thorough, Accurate, and Reliable” explores the evolution of the Foreign Relations of the United States documentary history series from its antecedents in the early republic through the early 21st century implementation of its current mandate, the 1991 Foreign Relations statute. This book traces how policymakers and an expanding array of stakeholders translated values like “security,” “legitimacy,” and “transparency” into practice as they debated how to balance the government’s obligation to protect sensitive information with its commitment to openness. Determining the “people’s right to know” has fueled lively discussion for over two centuries, and this work provides important, historically informed perspectives valuable to policymakers and engaged citizens as that conversation continues.