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Chapter 8: Cold War Normalcy, 1958–1979

Between 1958 and 1979, the Department of State published FRUS volumes covering the years 1940 through 1951, a key period of transformation in U.S. foreign policy. In doing so, Department historians grappled with daunting, but familiar, challenges. Resource and access constraints forced the Historical Office (HO) and the Historical Advisory Committee (HAC) to make difficult decisions about how to balance the comprehensiveness, timeliness, and affordability of the series. Clearance difficulties disrupted production schedules and undermined efforts to accelerate the series. As HO and HAC dealt with these issues, their choices defined new norms for the scope, selectivity, and timeliness of the series.

During these two decades, FRUS’s scope expanded to incorporate the most significant records of high-level decisionmaking in the U.S. Government. This extension of coverage was by no means assured in 1958. Taking into account recent difficulties in securing access to military records for the Yalta compilation and to files held in the Truman Presidential Library for the Potsdam volumes, the Historical Division (HD) and the HAC agreed in 1958 that research for regular FRUS volumes should focus almost exclusively on the Department of State’s central files. Although the HAC reconsidered this stance in the early 1960s, HO continued to limit “supplemental” research until the 1970s, when FRUS compilers began systematically exploiting Presidential Library holdings. Although continuing access restrictions for CIA and JCS records frustrated FRUS compilers, they made the most of their new opportunities to document high-level decisionmaking during the early Cold War.

This high-level focus was itself another development for the series. Confronted with a growing universe of documentation related to U.S. foreign policy as the series moved to the postwar era, HO and the HAC had to devise new editorial strategies to sustain the quality of the volumes with constrained human and financial resources. Maintaining previous thresholds of inclusion would have required vastly increased appropriations for staff and printing, which in turn would have caused additional delays in declassifying a growing number of documents. At the same time, academic consumers of the series still relied on the volumes to provide a reliable foundation for research and teaching. Despite increasing numbers of ever-thicker volumes, the “FRUS filter” grew progressively finer as compilers employed increasingly selective criteria in choosing which records to print. As HO and the HAC maintained the principle of comprehensive coverage (rejecting alternatives like omitting documentation of “lesser” countries or by printing final policy decisions without records of the process that led to their approval), they gravitated toward a new vision for the series. Instead of focusing upon diplomatic correspondence incorporating final policy decisions, which had been FRUS’s core function during its first hundred years of existence, FRUS focused on U.S. Government decisionmaking. This necessarily reduced the proportion of the volumes devoted to instructions from the Department and reports from posts. It also resulted in sharply diminished documentation of international law topics, which had been prioritized in the interwar period.1 Ultimately, these changes were insufficient. Additional consolidation was still required and, in the mid-1970s, HO elected to replace the traditional annual subseries with triennial compilations. By 1979, the series had largely shifted from documenting diplomacy to documenting policymaking.

Finally, discussions concerning timeliness that unfolded between 1958 and 1978 revealed evolving conceptions about the purpose of FRUS. At first, HO sought to restore the “traditional” 15-year line that held for the interwar era. The first Presidential directive for the series, issued by John F. Kennedy in 1961, endorsed this goal, but the series consistently fell short of the target. Throughout the remainder of the 1960s, HO management and the HAC lobbied for expanded resources to accelerate the series to meet a compromise 20-year deadline. They warned the Department leadership that the inaccessibility of the historical record nurtured deeply flawed “revisionist” interpretations of the origins of the Cold War. Overcoming this phenomenon, they suggested, could deflate the anti-Vietnam War movement, placate unrest on college campuses, and reduce other burdens plaguing contemporary policymakers. After Walter LaFeber, a leading Cold War revisionist historian, joined the HAC in 1971, this rationale for accelerating FRUS disappeared completely. Instead, the HAC emphasized the crucial role that the production of the series played in the larger declassification process for Department of State records. The Department’s traditional release procedures for its increasingly voluminous files had become hopelessly inadequate. The 1966 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), introduced as an alternative, produced minimal results. Even when Congress strengthened FOIA in 1974, it remained costly and time-consuming to implement, and yielded inconsistent outcomes. To avoid FOIA’s inefficiencies, transparency advocates urged the Department to accelerate the Foreign Relations series as an effective way to promote earlier public access to a much larger body of records. To this end, President Richard Nixon ordered the acceleration of FRUS to a 20-year line in 1972.

Nixon’s directive inspired a new HO management team, led by David Trask, to embark upon an ambitious plan to streamline production, consolidate volumes into triennial compilations, and employ new computer and microform technologies in the mid-1970s. By the late 1970s, Trask’s acceleration plan generated friction with the staff and the HAC. Between 1958 and 1979, HO and the HAC defined new norms for the Foreign Relations series as it moved from documenting the era of World War II to cover the origins of the Cold War.

New Normals: FRUS and Documenting U.S. Globalism

Between 1958 and 1978, FRUS recorded the evolution of U.S. foreign policy toward “globalism.” Documenting profound changes in U.S. policy and the expansion of national security institutions introduced new challenges in researching, compiling, and declassifying FRUS. All the problems that HD encountered with the Yalta volume persisted: accounting for the rising importance of Presidential documentation outside the control of the Department, the growing necessity of mining the Department’s decentralized files (often described as “lot files”), the increasing importance of other-agency documentation (and clearances), and, for some volumes, heightened political and diplomatic sensitivities that complicated declassification and invited congressional scrutiny. New difficulties arose as well, especially as FRUS moved into the postwar era. After 1945, the United Nations, the National Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, and alliance commitments like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization all came into existence, enlarging the scope of U.S. diplomatic activity while also diminishing the Department of State’s already circumscribed authority over foreign affairs.2

Determining how to grapple with these challenges occupied the early years of the HAC. At the first Committee meeting in December 1957, Noble asked members for advice about two critical questions facing HD: should FRUS maintain its existing standards of coverage in the face of a looming explosion of relevant documentation, and should FRUS historians supplement the records of the Department of State with files belonging to other agencies in the burgeoning national security bureaucracy? In dealing with the former, the challenge facing HD and the HAC was to balance competing priorities. The series could not possibly provide the same level of documentation that it had in the past, given resource constraints and the vast expansion of source material. Yet FRUS also had to continue to meet the needs of its consumers, especially those in the academic community. As the first chair of the Committee, Dexter Perkins, noted, “more than ever . . . we have to establish criteria of what is really of most use because most students could not go to the Archives” and instead relied on FRUS for source material.3

Grappling with these questions focused HD and HAC discussion on an enduring dilemma for the modern series: how to balance thoroughness and timeliness in a process continually disrupted by access and clearance complications. HD proposed a range of options, including:

  • “tighten up on the present basis of selection,”
  • “narrow the range of topics to be covered,”
  • “abandon the present comprehensive coverage . . . and concentrate . . . on subjects . . . of major importance,” and
  • “abandon the idea of giving a continuous story in documentary form.”
Although individual HAC members at times suggested abandoning coverage of “minor countries,” the Committee’s 1958 report urged HD to focus its efforts on refining and narrowing its existing selection criteria rather than dramatically restricting the scope of the series.4

The HAC also advised HD to restrict the scope of FRUS to avoid the frustrating access restrictions and bruising interagency clearance debates that delayed the wartime conference volumes. While it was clear to everyone that those special volumes required substantial military documentation, the question remained “how much of an effort [HD] should make in normal circumstances to get the papers of [other agencies],” which involved “a great deal of difficulty in getting clearance and getting access.” William Franklin, the Deputy Chief of HD, warned that the Division’s efforts to declassify the accelerated China volumes suggested that documenting the operation of the National Security Council would “be a real problem.” In view of FRUS’s Departmental mandate to provide the “official record of the foreign policy of the United States,” HAC member Philip Thayer concluded that “you have got to chase down significant documents wherever you have to go to get them.” The immediate question facing HD and the HAC was whether FRUS compilers should limit their interagency research requests to documentary threads that began within Department of State records or whether they should seek to “dig out . . . papers from other agencies.” HAC member Richard Leopold urged that, however this question was resolved, the Department clearly elucidate its research and editorial policies and procedures to readers of the volumes. The HAC’s final report determined that “it would not be practicable to range far afield in preparing [FRUS] for publication” and recommended limiting the series, which was “by origin and nature a State Department record,” to internal Department documents.5

Within four years, however, the HAC reversed course on limiting the documentary scope of FRUS. As the series moved from the World War II years to the postwar era, relying principally on the Department’s records became increasingly untenable. In its 1960 report, the HAC urged HO to exercise greater selectivity across a broader range of source material, including documentation of intelligence operations.6 Chief of the Foreign Relations Branch Ralph Perkins urged Noble to reject the HAC’s advice and hold the line on the scope of the series. Perkins believed that the introduction of the NSC process had actually improved the Department’s awareness (and record) of “the activities of other agencies in the foreign relations field.” He also argued “any attempt to cover intelligence operations as a subject in itself would lead only to futile haggling with intelligence authorities.”7 After a summer-long “consultantship” inside HO, HAC member Clarence Berdahl reaffirmed the Committee’s advice for broader coverage, reporting that “the principle of a thorough and accurate record” required FRUS historians to consult “documents produced and controlled by Government agencies other than the State Department, especially of Presidential, Defense, and Intelligence papers. . . . It may be regrettable that the State Department is no longer the exclusively [sic] agency in determining our foreign policy, but that is the situation which must be reflected to the extent necessary in the Foreign Relations volumes.”8 Over the coming decades, Berdahl’s conclusion proved durable; FRUS users opted again and again for enhanced thoroughness even at the cost of lagging timeliness.

Although the HAC continued to press HO to broaden the documentary base for FRUS,9 Ralph Perkins evaded their recommendations. In an extensive analysis of “Problems of Compiling Foreign Relations for the Years 1946–1950,” prepared after Berdahl’s report and before the 1961 HAC meeting, Perkins argued that interagency access was less important than it had been for the war years since “the Department of State again moved into its natural position as the prime agency in the field of international affairs.” Perkins acknowledged that the series would “continue to need supplementary documentation for files outside the Department,” but he also argued that research beyond Department of State records would quickly run into “a law of diminishing returns” that yielded records of “marginal value.” Perkins envisioned that compilers would focus their attention on the Department of State central files and only turn to the Department’s own decentralized files or other-agency records when they encountered “significant gaps” in the record. He also hoped to focus supplemental research at the Truman Library as the “chief outside source,” noting “it is urgently necessary to establish good working relations there in order to obtain the needed papers.” In response to Berdahl’s advice to include intelligence materials in FRUS, Perkins warned that intelligence activities would be very difficult to document and predicted that the series would be “fortunate” if it were allowed to release sanitized intelligence-related documents “needed for the understanding of a policy decision.” Citing the bureaucratic primacy of the Department of State in defining Truman’s foreign policy, Perkins rationalized maintaining the status quo for FRUS compilation methodology.10

Given the realities that HO faced in the 1960s, this amounted to making a virtue out of a necessity. HO historians faced daunting challenges as they researched postwar FRUS volumes. They grappled with significant gaps in the Department’s central files by using (and sometimes preserving) decentralized lot files.11 Apart from limited access for the Potsdam volumes in the late 1950s and minimal research after 1976 for the last few Truman volumes, FRUS historians lacked access to Presidential material at the Truman Library.12 While HO renewed the post-Yalta release terms of reference with the Pentagon and continued to request specific military documents for some compilations, the compilers’ experience with Defense remained “arbitrary, negative, and always time consuming.”13 Even within the Department, HO had to prod lackadaisical bureau officials to expedite their reviews.14 In the early 1970s, HO accepted additional declassification delays as a fair price to pay to incorporate documentation of NSC activities in FRUS.15 In the decade after Everett Gleason succeeded Perkins as the [General] Editor of the series in 1963, the difficulties of gaining reliable access to non-Department of State files reinforced HO’s preference to focus FRUS compilations on Department records.

One important interagency relationship that began in the 1960s was the CIA’s involvement in FRUS. The Agency asserted its authority over releasing intelligence equities in 1960, when Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) Allen Dulles accepted recommendations from the Agency’s chief of foreign intelligence to veto publication of information about Office of Strategic Services (OSS)16 activities in North Africa during 1942.17 This first instance of significant Agency involvement in FRUS is noteworthy because it began a decades-long debate about how to release responsibly documentation of historically significant intelligence operations and analysis. This early case also foreshadowed many of the arguments employed by the CIA in subsequent years to explain why maintaining control over these release decisions was essential to protect present and future capabilities.

Dulles’s action in 1960 reflected advice provided by a senior Agency official. The Acting Chief for Foreign Intelligence18 rejected Bernard Noble’s contentions that the Department of State had the authority to release intelligence equities in its own documents. Significantly, he also denied that information that had “already been revealed in various official and non-official publications” was inherently desensitized and appropriate for inclusion in FRUS. In response to the former claim, he cited the DCI’s responsibility, under the National Security Act, to protect intelligence sources and methods. He also referred to decade-old policy guidance from the NSC that “any publicity, factual or fictional, concerning intelligence is potentially detrimental to the effectiveness of an intelligence activity and to the national security.”19 Only those possessing “a very considerable expertise in intelligence” could evaluate the risks of releasing specific intelligence-related information. Previous disclosure was irrelevant since “two wrongs do not make a right” and “the harm done by repeated publication tends, up to a point, to increase by a geometric ratio with each new disclosure.” Noble’s examples of prior releases were even more problematic because they “were made by individuals, not by Government agencies. This is not at all the same thing as their disclosure in an official publication by the Department of State—which would provide the most solemn and incontrovertible of evidence, thus far lacking.” Finally, the Chief for Foreign Intelligence warned Dulles that “the more the United States Government officially reveals of its clandestine activities in the past, the more difficult it is likely to become to recruit personnel for such activities in the future.”20

Despite this rocky start to CIA cooperation for preparing and declassifying FRUS volumes, the Agency gained confidence as Department of State historians limited coverage of intelligence activities in the series over the next decade. By 1963, the CIA allowed FRUS historians to determine for themselves whether OSS material was sensitive (and thus required referral to CIA for review) or non-sensitive and releasable without further scrutiny.21 As the Department began preparing volumes covering 1947 (the year the CIA was founded) in 1970, the Agency again reminded the Department of its authority over intelligence equities.22 When President Richard Nixon ordered the Agency to cooperate with the Department in accelerating the series in 1972, General Counsel Lawrence Houston explained to Executive Director William Colby that “over the years I have been involved one way or another with publication of [FRUS]” Department historians “have always been most conscious of the intelligence aspects, and we have had no problem in clearing the few requests that came through. . . . There would be no difficulty in providing for effective cooperation in what will almost certainly be a growing program so far as we are concerned.”23

Foreign government clearance procedures and decisions also left indelible impressions on the series. Indeed, the Department had to undertake repeated consultations with the British to downgrade documents included in FRUS manuscripts from Top Secret to Confidential so that HO could complete its pre-clearance typesetting and editing of materials reflecting the Anglo-American “special relationship” without the substantial additional costs associated with processing highly classified material.24 In the course of these consultations, British officials informed their American counterparts that, “as the series . . . is now entering an era of major international agreements, such as NATO, which are still of major concern to HMG[,] we must of necessity be more guarded than hitherto in consenting to the publication of documents.”25 Similar concerns held by other allied and neutral governments contributed to clearance difficulties.26 Incorporating UN and NATO documents into the series compounded the foreign government clearance problem since by their nature they had multilateral and international organization equities.27

Even after procedural questions were answered, the substance of many clearance decisions reflected Cold War fears and objectives. Department officers worried that publishing official documents reflecting historical criticism of important partners would embarrass current relations and demoralize anti-Communist allies. These anxieties reflected the Department’s experience with the first installments of the special subseries of accelerated China volumes covering the 1940s requested alongside the wartime conference volumes by Sen. William Knowland in 1953. In 1956, the Department postponed release of the already-printed 1941 Far East volume after receiving protests from Max Bishop, the U.S. Ambassador in Bangkok. Although officials in the Bureau of Far Eastern Affairs (FE) had previously cleared the compilation, they supported Bishop’s claims that releasing 15-year-old reports of Thai collaboration with Japan and expansionist designs against Cambodia and Laos could endanger the political standing of pro-American Thai officials and disrupt U.S. efforts to mobilize regional support for containing revolutionary nationalism in Southeast Asia.28

These fears delayed the volume for another six years. In 1959, Assistant Secretary of State for FE Graham Parsons explained to a skeptical HAC that releasing the volume “would be exploited by the Cambodians, it would be exploited by the Communist bloc, and it would be to the detriment of an important free world ally whose capital is also the center of the South East Asia Treaty Organization, on which the collective security arrangements of the area depend.” In 1961, Arthur Schlesinger, Special Assistant to President Kennedy, brought White House pressure to bear in favor of releasing the embargoed volumes during HAC discussions with FE officials about the 1941 Far East volume (and the 1943 China volume). The volumes were released the following spring.29

Subsequent China volumes posed equally vexing difficulties. During most of the 1960s, the Department was reluctant to exacerbate official and unofficial Nationalist Chinese resentment over publication of the 1949 White Paper. Indeed, reporting from Taipei in 1967 indicated that “the average Chinese official or scholar cannot understand why a work such as [FRUS] should ever be published unless it is designed to serve some political objective of the publishers. The concept that an academic community could bring sufficient pressure on a government to force it to reveal sensitive information gets little credence.” In an effort to depoliticize the China volumes, the Department delayed their publication so that they could be released alongside the regular annual volumes covering the 1940s rather than as a special, accelerated subseries. By the late 1960s, however, the Department grew more anxious about Beijing’s reaction to publication than Taipei’s.30 NSC clearance of the 1946 China volume was held up in advance of President Nixon’s famous trip to the PRC in 1971 and Department clearance of the 1949 China volume was delayed for five years, between 1972 and 1977, because of concerns that its contents could damage Chou Enlai’s reputation.31

Other sensitive issues also complicated FRUS clearance and release decisions between the 1950s and the 1970s. For example, U.S. officials and foreign governments resisted the release of documents revealing sensitive basing agreements, even when American military deployments were widely known.32 On at least one occasion, foreign officials identified FRUS as a major obstacle to sharing classified information with U.S. diplomats, which prompted U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Thomas Mann to “point out” in 1961 “the high cost that the United States pays for this service to historians.”33 Postcolonial legacies raised anxieties as well, as when the Netherlands Government asserted that “the time was not ripe” between 1964 and 1969 to release its own documents covering policy toward Indonesia between 1945 and 1949.34 At other times, U.S. plans to publish its historical records threatened other governments’ efforts to manipulate historical memory. In 1967, for example, an Iranian Foreign Ministry official explained that desired clearances from the Shah for the 1945 FRUS volume documenting postwar tensions with the Soviet Union could run afoul of “the current official Iranian line on the developments in the Azerbaijani crisis,” which “claimed more local credit for the favorable outcome of that crisis than is warranted by the facts.”35 In 1970, the French Government refused to allow the Department to print its 1948 “reservations about granting full independence to West Germany.”36 In 1971, the U.S. Embassy in Paris speculated that additional French clearance denials reflected continued embarrassment about the “abject condition of the French Government” in 1948 and its “plea for United States assistance.”37 On occasion, persisting controversies militated against historical transparency. In 1972, the British refused permission to print documents on Persian Gulf oil claims, arguing that “the question of Iranian claims [was] still too recent and topical.”38 In the early 1970s, the Department of State acquiesced in releasing “potential dynamite” regarding U.S. policy toward the Palestine “problem” from 1947,39 but balked at divulging details about covert efforts to influence Italian elections in the late 1940s.40 U.S. Government and foreign government clearances reflected the lingering sensitivity of many historical disputes amidst Cold War, nationalist, and postcolonial tensions.41

These restrictive impulses were reinforced by fleeting but embarrassing media coverage of FRUS “revelations” abroad. Despite the sensationalistic coverage of the release of the Yalta Papers in 1955, the Department encouraged international attention for FRUS in 1961 when it instructed several European posts to distribute the two volumes on the 1945 Potsdam summit to “appropriate review journals.”42 To the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, the Department’s request noted that “any reviews which [“Voprosy istorii”/”Issues of History”] might publish would be a net gain in making the existence of those volumes known to scholars in Eastern Europe.”43

This effort to improve the visibility of the series complicated U.S. public diplomacy. During the 1960s and 1970s, international press coverage frequently misconstrued the U.S. Government’s motives in publishing historical documents. For example, in 1973, the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica reported “a surprisingly widespread perplexity and lack of understanding as to how the documents came to be published.” Many U.S. diplomats would have agreed with their colleagues in San José that “we do not wholly benefit from this publication since our documents are the vehicle by which old sensitivities are rubbed raw, and embarrassments created.”44 In 1975, NSC staff member Denis Clift alerted Henry Kissinger to Soviet “use of declassified official documents to substantiate propaganda arguments” and advised him to suggest greater caution in “conversations concerning the release of . . . old, seemingly harmless material.”45

Decisions about the scope of Foreign Relations compilations reflected competing priorities. On the one hand, HO and the HAC wanted the volumes to be as comprehensive as feasible. Only robust documentation of decisionmaking within the Department and between the Department and other constituents of a burgeoning national security establishment would allow FRUS to continue providing an objective and contextualized account of U.S. foreign policy. Unfortunately, the arduous steps needed to access and clear the records entailed, at a minimum, significant delay in the production of FRUS. Indeed, until the end of the 1960s, gaining access to and permission to release such important records as NSC deliberations proved beyond the reach of HO. And, as much as HO and the HAC valued comprehensiveness, they also believed that improving the timeliness of Foreign Relations was essential to preserving its role as the leading vehicle for responsible historical transparency during the Cold War.

Timeliness: Historiographical Cudgel or a Catalyst for Openness?

In 1958, in the aftermath of the Yalta Papers controversy and as the Department deliberated about the release of the Potsdam and Cairo-Tehran wartime conference volumes, Deputy Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Robert Murphy asked HD about the FRUS publication schedule. As he weighed competing claims for the primacy of security against transparency for these controversial additions to the series, he wanted to know more about the “normal” timetable for releasing “normal” FRUS volumes. In response, Noble explained that, although “a general presumption that [FRUS] should be published within a 15-year period” prevailed in the 1930s and into the 1940s, “the impact of World War II, resulting in a great increase in the bulk and sensitivity of our diplomatic documentation, coupled with insufficiency of staff, caused the lag to lengthen to 18 years” by the early 1950s. He also warned that “there are prominent and influential people in the public, and especially in Congress . . . who feel that a gap of even 15 years cannot be justified.” Noble urged that even if it proved “impossible for the Department to publish the record of its diplomacy within 15 years . . . every effort should be made to prevent a further widening of the gap.”46

Noble’s explanation failed to address what was, by the late 1950s, the principal utility of accelerating FRUS: the Department’s entire transparency program relied upon the Foreign Relations series for its foundation well into the 1970s. In the midst of tightening constraints on the use of “restricted” records by unofficial researchers,47 scholarly interest in speeding the declassification and release of foreign affairs documentation mounted. From the 1950s to the 1970s, this process was closely tied to FRUS production. In lieu of defined systematic declassification review procedures, the Department of State used FRUS compilations to provide responsible officials in the various operational bureaus with a representative sample of the historically-significant record to review for publication. Clearance decisions for information in FRUS documents would then be applied to the much larger mass of the Department’s unpublished records. These procedures resulted in a trifurcated transparency regime: the Department transferred 30 year-old documents to NARA, where they were open to the public; records for which related FRUS volumes had not yet been published remained closed; and HO administered “qualified” unofficial researcher access to “restricted” files whose corresponding FRUS volume had been published but were less than 30 years old. According to the HAC’s 1967 annual report, which endorsed this regime, qualified scholars who were U.S. citizens and passed a “security name check” could consult “classified and sensitive records of the restricted material” subject only to HO review of research notes to “eliminate ‘invidious references’ or any item the publication of which would interfere with current policy or negotiations.”48

In the 1960s, HO and the HAC argued that accelerating FRUS production would promote civic virtue and support the U.S. Government’s foreign policy objectives by revealing the truth about the origins of the Cold War to a public—especially students—increasingly alienated from the Cold War consensus. The HAC’s repeated efforts to link more timely FRUS publication to concrete domestic and foreign policy interests in its annual reports to the Secretary of State reflected the Committee’s adherence to Cold War orthodoxy, as well as HO’s increasingly desperate efforts to augment resources for FRUS. Although recent scholarship associates the rise of revisionist interpretations of the origins of the Cold War to the publication of related FRUS volumes in the 1960s, HO management and the HAC claimed that their efforts to accelerate the series would reinforce public support for U.S. foreign policy amidst the strains of the Vietnam War.49

Throughout the 1960s, HO and the HAC sought to secure greater support for the Foreign Relations series to address the mounting FRUS publication lag. Their key objective was acquiring sufficient compiling capacity (while simultaneously restraining growth in the size of the series) to complete research and annotation for one year’s worth of volumes per year. Despite Arthur Schlesinger’s success in enlisting President Kennedy’s endorsement of the series in 1961, a combination of Secretary of State Dean Rusk’s preference for a 20-year (rather than a 15-year) publication line and insufficient personnel kept HO from making significant gains in FRUS production. Rusk brushed aside HAC and academic community requests for more personnel, even when endorsed by Congress, until 1969. Indeed, anxieties about diminishing Departmental support for HO sparked fears that FRUS was “in the midst of a major crisis” after Bernard Noble’s retirement in 1962.50

To strengthen their lobbying efforts, HO and the HAC promised concrete benefits in public opinion if the Department accelerated FRUS. FRUS Editor Everett Gleason led this effort. Formerly the Executive Secretary of the NSC, Gleason’s most influential scholarship (written with William Langer in the early 1950s) relied upon privileged access to U.S. Government documents and financial support from the Council on Foreign Relations to criticize prewar isolationism.51 In 1965, Gleason suggested that the HAC “refer to the present ferment in university communities as an added reason for publishing on time a candid record of American foreign relations.”52 In 1967, he urged the HAC to impress upon “senior officers in the Department that there would be some practical advantage in having the 1945–1947 documents available now to show the origins of the Cold War.” He warned that “a new revisionism is growing up, but desk officers seldom appreciate the great value of a candid presentation of American foreign policy.”53 Following this meeting, the HAC submitted a report to Rusk asserting that

the national interest would be well served by publishing the record long before the 20-year lapse. Here the Advisory Committee would emphasize especially the relevance of the historical record to current policy problems. In some cases American foreign policy would not be embarrassed—it would be positively assisted—by publication of the record. Having regard to the problem of both domestic and world opinion, and particularly as it may be affected by the current “outbursts of revisionism” by certain historians on the origins and nature of the cold war, the Advisory Committee believes that full public documentation on the years 1945–1947, and even later, would serve highly practical national purposes. The ready availability of the full record on the origins and early years of the cold war would provide a sound factual basis for judgment and decision by our policy makers, by Congress, by scholars and writers[,] and by public opinion at home and abroad.54

At the 1968 HAC meeting, Committee member Hardy Dillard, the Dean of the University of Virginia Law School, echoed these claims, “point[ing] out the timely relevance of Foreign Relations to the current debate on international relations, particularly in light of the revisionist trends in the study of the Cold War, and their impact on college students.” He believed “the Foreign Relations volume for 1945 that he recently read made it brilliantly clear who started the Cold War.”55

The apex of the HO/HAC effort to exploit anti-revisionist sentiment came in 1970. In conveying the 1969 HAC report (which noted “the emergence of a revisionist interpretation of the cold war” and “a mounting anti-historical and future-minded spirit abroad in the land”) to Secretary of State William Rogers in January 1970, Committee Chair Elmer Plischke lamented the “slippage” in FRUS publication that “cause[d] the Department and the nation grave harm” by inviting “irresponsible members of the public . . . to charge the government with concealment of facts,” enabling “alleged scholars to develop and teach fanciful theories about . . . the origins of the cold war,” and exacerbating “the undesirable gap between the Department and the scholarly community.” With sufficient resources, Plischke argued, FRUS could become a valuable instrument of shaping public opinion by refuting revisionism, exhibiting the U.S. Government’s commitment to responsible historical transparency, and improving the relationship between the academic community and the government.56

After 1970, HO shifted tactics. One key reason for this change was the Office’s grudging recognition that Cold War revisionism was not going away. In 1971, the Department invited Walter LaFeber, a leading revisionist historian of U.S. foreign relations, to represent the American Historical Association on the HAC.57 Liberals had also supplanted conservatives as the leading champions of greater transparency in Congress.58 Most consequentially, intensifying suspicion of government and pressure for greater transparency after the publication of the leaked Pentagon Papers led prominent historians and public intellectuals to highlight the role that FRUS played in making foreign affairs documentation available to the public.59

In its report following the 1971 annual meeting, the HAC noted that “there is a lively interest in the declassification and publication of documents relating to foreign affairs to be found throughout the government and in various sectors of the American public. Newspapers that have not been known to give editorial support to the recurrent recommendations of the Advisory Committee have become champions of the people’s right to read foreign relations documents.” The Committee hoped this surge in public interest would magnify its renewed requests for increased staffing for HO, expedited clearance decisions, and more frequent HAC meetings in the future.60

To satisfy mounting demands for greater transparency while still protecting sensitive information, the U.S. Government and the Department of State revised key policies and procedures. In January 1972, the Department authorized the bulk declassification of most of the remaining classified records from World War II and made them available at the National Archives.61 In response to “declassification and security problems, which had become acute after the revelation of the Pentagon Papers,” the Department of State created a new Council on Classification Policy to oversee existing inter-bureau referral, review, and appeal mechanisms for declassifying documents within the Department.62 Finally, President Nixon introduced two important measures. He issued Executive Order 11652 to define U.S. Government policy on classification and declassification (including, for the first time, requiring formal mandatory review procedures for declassification).63 Nixon also ordered Secretary of State William Rogers to accelerate FRUS to meet a 20-year publication line.64 Promising to accelerate Foreign Relations was “a move important to historians”65 and offered one modest way for the Nixon administration to address the larger crisis of legitimacy gripping American society. During the next several years, FRUS historians struggled to satisfy Nixon’s directive to accelerate the series. In doing so, they grappled with obstacles that plagued efforts to speed production of FRUS for decades to come.

Acceleration Agonistes: The Aandahl/Trask Plan and Its Discontents

In the mid-1970s, HO transformed the series in an attempt to implement Nixon’s directive. Office management determined that, even reinforced with planned additional resources and spurred by tightened deadlines, HO staff could not produce traditional annual volumes quickly enough to meet the 20-year publication line. To balance resources and objectives, Fredrick Aandahl, Gleason’s successor as the General Editor of the series,66 proposed to consolidate coverage by converting the series from an annual to a triennial format. In the face of HAC skepticism of the need to limit the size the series, David Trask, Franklin’s successor as HO office director, developed a plan in 1976 to complete three full triennial subseries (for 1952–1954, 1955–1957, and 1958–1960) in four years to meet Nixon’s deadline by 1980. The acceleration initiatives of the mid- and late 1970s introduced many reforms that HO and the HAC continued to employ in later years. Trask’s plan—and its failure—prefigured the limited success of subsequent efforts to improve FRUS timeliness.

In the aftermath of E.O. 11652 and Nixon’s directive to publish FRUS at a 20-year line, HO began undertaking measures to expedite production.67 In January 1973, William Franklin assured the HAC that “we will get to a 20-year line within the next several years” and he jestingly anticipated “count[ing] [this accomplishment] as a contribution to the Bicentennial.” He explained that HO was “able to buy priority service at the Government Printing Office,” which resulted in the printing of 11 volumes during 1972 (“an all-time high”). This arrangement enabled progress against the backlog rather than early progress on the vital “initial and middle stages of our long assembly line,” which would be “the real basis for a sustained, speedier production.” Nonetheless, it did raise hopes of eliminating one perennial source of delay for the series. At the same time, Franklin warned the Committee that FRUS would “not be able to include documentation on covert intelligence, least of all if the series is to get up to a 20-year line and stay there.”68

By the end of 1973, Aandahl devised an “optimal program” for FRUS production to implement Franklin’s pledge. At the 1973 annual HAC meeting, he announced that HO had “reached our full authorized strength and our new members have completed their initial period of training and familiarization.” To meet acceleration targets, however, HO staff would have to surpass previous performance records and “compile seven volumes [covering one year] in about seven months.” Even with “a bright and energetic team that will rise to a challenge,” this was a tall order.69

Within weeks, Aandahl recognized that additional resources would be required to make progress toward the 20-year line. To meet Nixon’s deadline, he informed Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Carol Laise that HO would have to complete compilation at an 18-year line (rather than the 22-year line that it currently met). To catch up, HO compilers would need to complete 12–14 volumes a year—twice the normal output—until the gap was closed. Aandahl explained that his augmented staff of 14 compiler-historians and three branch chief supervisors could not meet this requirement and that at least three more compilers would be needed to reach the 20-year line. He also asked for permission to incorporate editorial staff from elsewhere in the Department into HO to reduce delays in resolving the many substantive and technical questions that arose during production. Finally, Aandahl urged PA to upgrade HO facilities and increase travel funds needed for “occasional” research trips to the Truman and Eisenhower Presidential Libraries.70 HO received some, but not all, of the additional resources that Aandahl requested during the following year.71

Aandahl also proposed a strategy to mitigate clearance delays in 1974. He recommended that the Office channel publication of especially sensitive materials into a special supplemental volume. Such a volume would consolidate “problem documents . . . and allow us to make great strides toward the 20-year line, while at the same time preserving the long-term integrity and comprehensive nature of the series.” Aandahl recognized that creating a new “deferred” category of release “might encourage reviewing officers to put too much” into it, but he hoped to avoid this prospect by keeping his plan secret from his colleagues in the U.S. Government. Retrospective volumes could be HO’s “secret escape hatch, allowing us to decide on our own terms which issues we wish to make a stand on. Under the present system, whenever we delete a document it is virtually lost to the series forever, and this forces us into an absolutist position that is highly destructive of rational scheduling.” Aandahl never explained how knowledge of this editorial triaging could be disseminated to the academic community but withheld from the rest of the U.S. Government. The HAC (publicly) endorsed this strategy, as a last resort, in its annual report following the 1974 meeting.72

HAC members expressed more skepticism about HO’s new strategy for accelerating Foreign Relations compilation: shifting from annual to triennial volumes. At the 1974 HAC meeting, Aandahl admitted that the “even with increased productivity”—which had tripled since 1971—“Foreign Relations was not making sufficiently rapid progress toward the twenty-year line.” To address the persisting compilation chasm, HO had “adopted a triennial format for the 1952–1954 volumes,” which would “boost morale,” allow for “more intensive planning of the series,” and enable the Office to address “major clearance problems in an early and rational manner.”73 In a follow-up letter to HAC Chair Walter LaFeber, Aandahl explained that the triennial plan was a necessary “drastic action.” By “reduc[ing] duplication, improv[ing] efficiency, and sharpen[ing] the focus of the series,” consolidating coverage offered the “most feasible way to catch up.” Converting volumes covering the period 1952–1960 to the triennial format, Aandahl projected, would allow HO to reach the 18-year compilation line by 1978. He also promised that triennial compilations would increase the quality of the series by enabling “keener judgments on selection of documents.” Employing a market metaphor, he explained that “competition is tougher, and this is producing better stories.” Aandahl asked LaFeber and the Committee to “allow [HO] some leeway in how we organize our work, both in compilation and in clearance. We have some excellent volumes in process, we have gained considerable momentum on the operations that are within our direct control, and I feel that it would be a great pity to break our stride at this point.”74

The HAC sharply criticized the triennial plan in its 1974 annual report. The Committee lamented that the reduction would “work hardship on those unable to travel to Washington to use the files” and “hinder the many teachers who rely upon Foreign Relations for classroom purposes.” It also worried that consolidation could “lead to the mere presentation of final policy decisions . . . too much like an official ‘White Paper.’” The HAC feared triennial compilations would “worsen the clearance problem” by ensnaring three years of material whenever HO appealed unfavorable declassification decisions. Finally, the triennial plan seemed to constrain space in the series for important “general” and thematic topics that promised to grow in importance in the post-1947 era. The HAC urged that “no internal, non-scholarly criteria should force changes” that would jeopardize “the quality, reputation, and usefulness of Foreign Relations.” The HAC wanted FRUS to be accelerated as it was, not transformed into something easier to produce.75

Despite the HAC’s opposition, HO implemented the triennial plan. In March 1975, HO and PA requested that Secretary of State Henry Kissinger change declassification procedures to give added power to the Council on Classification Policy to “review and decide inter-bureau differences” so FRUS clearance would no longer be held up by internal wrangling. Kissinger made no decision on this recommendation.76 At the 1975 HAC meeting, HO staff “almost unanimously” defended the triennial plan and explained that they were expanding their use of annotation to inform researchers about unprinted material.77 The HAC withdrew its objection to the triennial format, “pending opportunities for evaluation thereof by the scholarly community as a whole,” after its 1976 meeting.78

The HAC’s provisional acceptance of the triennial plan in 1976 coincided with a leadership transition within HO. David Trask came to the Historical Office—after being recommended by the HAC79—in June 1976 from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he was chair of the department of history and vice president for student affairs. A recognized authority on the Spanish-American War and U.S. policy during World War I, Trask had “no grand design” for HO or the FRUS series before he took charge beyond strengthening the relationship between Department historians and the scholarly community.80 Within weeks of his arrival, however, Trask directed a reorganization of HO, consolidating the Foreign Relations and policy studies staffs into geographically- and functionally-oriented divisions and centralizing administrative personnel. In the short term, he intended the new structure to accelerate FRUS compilation. Trask envisioned that over time it would enable greater “flexibility,” outreach, professional development, and “revision and rebuilding of the policy-related research function as staff becomes available.” To assuage concerns that this initiative would devastate policy studies work, Trask pledged to restore a “sound balance” between the two core HO missions as quickly as the FRUS acceleration allowed.81

In August, Trask and the HO management team also finalized an acceleration plan to realize a 20-year clearance line by 1980. The plan called for “increasing the scope of materials included in the series to make [Foreign Relations] the primary vehicle for declassifying the most important documents of all major government agencies relating to foreign policy and diplomacy.” Trask confirmed the shift to triennial volumes and asked HO staff to complete the compilation of the ten remaining volumes in the 1952–1954 subseries by December (six had already been compiled), a 12-volume 1955–1957 subseries by the end of the summer of 1978, and a 12-volume 1958–1960 subseries by “early 1980.” “Team compiling” would “speed up the work” and produce “volumes in a steady and predictable sequence.” Trask also envisioned that clearing documents in manuscript (rather than typeset galley proofs) could allow for “early and continuous declassification . . . even as compilation [went] forward.”82 Trask planned to minimize interagency delays by limiting the number of documents with Defense equities. A new style guide and the reorganization of HO’s editing staff would streamline the editing process, while new printing technologies promised “significant savings in time and money.” Trask promised renewed efforts to build a “strengthened relationship” with the CIA “and other major agencies” to foster interagency support for FRUS’s “role . . . as the principal vehicle for the initial release and publication of high-level national security and foreign affairs documentation.”83

Trask’s plan sparked dissent among the HO staff historians. Some compilers complained that Trask failed to grasp the difficulty of collecting high-value material, including Department of State decentralized “lot” files, NSC materials from the Eisenhower Library, CIA and Defense documentation, oral histories, and “pertinent private manuscript collections,” in advance of the compilation process.84 Other compilers complained that they could not possibly meet the deadlines envisaged for their current volumes, let alone those for the following subseries.85 Compiler N. Stephen Kane pointed out that the stated objectives of the acceleration plan conflicted with one another. “An energetic effort to widen the scope of our coverage,” he warned, “may significantly interfere with our goal of a twenty-year line by 1980.” Kane predicted that reducing the number of documents sent to the Pentagon for declassification would prove less important than “the content of the documents” referred. He also cautioned against relying on anticipated technological panaceas, especially those that would actually be implemented outside HO. Real improvements in HO’s efficiency could be realized, Kane suggested, if FRUS compilers were liberated from “standardized and routine work” by research assistants and faster photocopying equipment.86

As the compiling staff struggled with the implications of the acceleration plan, HO management focused on “down-range” impediments to more timely FRUS production. To avoid delays associated with extensive foreign government clearances, Associate Historian for the Western Hemisphere and Europe William Slany87 and Edwin Costrell, his counterpart for Asia, Africa, and the Pacific, elected to preemptively limit British-originated documents in FRUS compilations after the British Government informed the U.S. Embassy that “we consider it would be inappropriate if documents of purely British origin were to appear in an American publication in advance of their publication . . . [or] release to the general public under our 30-year rule.” Since this “uniformly disappointing . . . experience with the Foreign Office is by no means unique,” Slany and Costrell announced a “self-denying ordinance” that “applied to the documents of . . . friendly governments . . . except those which appear to be absolutely critically important.”88

Slany also warned the rest of the HO management of continuing problems with the Department’s Publishing and Reproduction Division (PBR) and the Government Printing Office. HO had long identified delays associated with PBR, the other bureaucratic successor to the Division of Publications that handled the Department’s technical editing and publication work, and liaison with GPO as key bottlenecks in FRUS publication.89 During 1976, only two volumes were published despite HO’s submitting galleys for eight cleared compilations between September 1975 and January 1976. Absent additional efforts to hold HO’s partners accountable, Slany worried that such dismal performance would “make a mockery” of “predictions to the Advisory Committee or officers of the Department regarding the attainment of the 20 year line in the near term.”90

Undaunted by staff criticism or problems with the back end of the FRUS production process, Trask and Aandahl worked to expand the scope of the series. In advance of the 1976 HAC meeting, they prepared a policy memorandum for Secretary of State Kissinger outlining their hopes for the future of Foreign Relations and the Office of the Historian. The FRUS series, their memorandum (transmitted to Kissinger through Deputy Assistant Secretary of State William Blair as the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs) argued, was “a major asset in our openness program.” With “Congress and the public . . . demanding ever more insistently that the Federal Executive provide detailed and expeditious information about its activities,” FRUS “assume[d] special significance as the most venerable and comprehensive effort of the government to provide an objective record of its performance.” Unless the Department accelerated production and resolved interagency access and declassification problems, the eroding utility of FRUS could strengthen “the hands of those in Congress and elsewhere who advocate clearly unworkable standards of disclosure. . . . To avoid serious difficulties of this kind and to strengthen public confidence in our management of official information, the Executive agencies must,” HO insisted, “make every effort to ensure the highest possible standards of disclosure consistent with the real requirements of national security.” Blair urged Kissinger to “strengthen the series” by requesting President Gerald Ford’s endorsement of “the series’ mission . . . to ensure full cooperation of other agencies” to “improve[e] its substantive coverage of other-agency documentation and accelerat[e] its publication schedule.”91 Although Kissinger accepted Blair’s recommendation, the transition from Ford to President Jimmy Carter minimized the impact of this HO initiative.92

Even without a new Presidential directive, HO expanded FRUS’s inclusion of other-agency records through standard bureaucratic channels. HO researchers made their first trip to the Eisenhower Library in February 1975. There, they gained direct access to NSC memoranda of discussion, a “truly symbolic event for the series.”93 At the 1976 HAC meeting, Slany reported that the “1952–1954 volumes . . . included much more material of DoD, CIA, and White House origin” than previous annual volumes, reflecting “exhaustive” team research at the Presidential libraries.94 Although Department of State records still comprised almost 94 percent of the documentation in the 1952–1954 subseries,95 the Eisenhower Library provided a “treasure trove of both high-level interagency paper and records generated at the White House.”96

HO still required cooperation with other agencies to access this material and fill in remaining gaps in coverage.97 The CIA pre-screened records requested by HO researchers at Presidential Libraries; one FRUS division reported receiving only one of the 25 CIA documents it had requested at the Eisenhower Library in 1977.98 In 1978, HO access to other-agency records improved somewhat after the Department assented to an Interagency Agreement granting reciprocal access to records for government historians engaged in official research. Unfortunately, the CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff declined to join the agreement, which limited its value to HO researchers.99

Between 1977 and 1979, Trask struggled to convince an increasingly alienated staff, a wary HAC, and a suspicious academic community of the benefits of his acceleration plan. In November 1977, Slany explained (in an undistributed memorandum for the files) that staff discontent reflected alienation from HO decisionmaking, skepticism of Trask’s efforts at “inreach” within the Department, resentment of his “negative sometimes contemptuous attitude toward the Foreign Relations series as a publication and an occupation,” suspicion of a “conservative approach to disclosure” obscured by “lip-service to the principle of ‘openness,’” and bitterness at the “demolition of the Historical Studies function of the Office.” Slany believed the staff’s professional consciousness trumped its bureaucratic identity and its fixation on substantive matters ignored administrative priorities.100 After the staff vented some (but not all) of these complaints in on-the-record sessions with the HAC in 1977,101 Slany advised Trask to adopt more collegial management strategies like “seminar procedures” for reviewing FRUS manuscripts and periodic “show-and-tell sessions” to “afford [everyone] some opportunity to report on their work.”102

When a spring 1977 Presidential directive to eliminate unnecessary federal advisory committees threatened the HAC with termination, Trask and his superiors in the Bureau of Public Affairs fought to preserve the Committee. In March and April, HO and PA effectively rallied academic community support for the HAC. Deputy Assistant Secretary Blair told his new boss, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Hodding Carter, that the Committee’s “substantive” role in “keeping the series honest, and seen as such” filled a “compelling” need “in these days of high expectations of openness and participation.” Former Secretary of State Dean Rusk likewise supported the Committee’s role in helping the U.S. Government “open up its archives.” At a sparsely attended April 8 public hearing on the matter, Trask and Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary William Dyess assured members of the Department’s Management Operations staff (which oversaw the activities of the Department’s various advisory committees) that the HAC served a vital function “promoting openness and communications” between the academic community and the U.S. Government. By October, Trask could report to Rusk that President Jimmy Carter had “approved [the Committee’s] continuance.”103

After its brush with termination, the Committee criticized HO’s switch to the triennial format, Trask’s proposed microform supplements, and eroding HO staff morale. After the 1977 HAC meeting, Trask and Aandahl turned to inexpensive microform supplements to allay HAC fears that consolidation would reduce the amount of documentation released to the public.104 Later in 1978, Trask explained that microform supplements would allow FRUS to publish ten times as many documents as it could with printed volumes alone. “The only way,” he argued “to provide much more documentation; to improve the quality of the series; to accelerate publication to a twenty-year line; and to control costs” was to stick with HO’s triennial consolidation plan and expand the series with new microform supplements.105

Faced with HAC skepticism, Trask invited outside historian and librarian consultants to assess the prospects of the microform initiative. They endorsed the idea,106 and Trask tried again to convince the HAC of the virtues of microform in 1979. In place of a “two-tier” documentary system consisting of documents printed in FRUS and unpublished records at the National Archives, he outlined a “three-tier” system. The new FRUS would feature slimmed-down printed volumes providing “general information” to “general users” and serving as a finding aid for more serious researchers, microfiche supplements containing a much wider array of documentation for students and researchers, and unpublished materials at the National Archives that would be available to a “very small but very important” group of serious researchers.107

The academic community expressed concern about FRUS in two principal ways in 1978. First, scholars lobbied Senator George McGovern (D–SD) to introduce language in the Department’s authorizing legislation that required future FRUS volumes to “maintain the high standard of comprehensive documentation already established by past volumes.” A conference committee report clarified that this language meant that HO should “consult fully with scholars in diplomacy and other fields, university and other libraries, and interested members of the public about the most appropriate method of publishing the series in the future.” The report also expressed Congress’s “expectation” that HO would “consult formally” with House and Senate committees before changing selection standards or publishing format.108 The McGovern amendment constituted the most significant congressional intervention in the series between Knowland’s 1953 request for the accelerated China and wartime conference volumes and the 1991 FRUS statute, although it differed from these earlier and later actions in limiting HO autonomy rather than prescribing any particular course of action.

The second manifestation of academic community concern was the formation of a “shadow HAC” within the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR) at the end of 1977. SHAFR assigned this “ad hoc committee” a remit “to explore the question of the future content and format of the Foreign Relations series.” Current and former HAC members and leading diplomatic historians in SHAFR hoped the shadow HAC could buttress the official Committee. After the 1978 meeting, HAC members Lloyd Gardner and Betty Unterberger asked for the shadow HAC’s assistance. In April, Unterberger, Gardner, Richard Leopold, and William Appleman Williams met to discuss recent FRUS developments. The ad hoc committee lamented declining Office morale and agreed that the McGovern amendment had a salutary effect on restraining potentially harmful HO actions. They singled out Trask’s microform initiative as potentially corrosive to the series. Although appreciative of his efforts to share information with the HAC, the committee urged Trask to expand this outreach to the rest of the interested academic community.109

By the end of the 1970s, efforts to accelerate production had alienated critical FRUS stakeholders. As HO staff, HO management, and the HAC debated the best ways to accelerate and improve the Foreign Relations series, they lost confidence in one another. Trask and other HO managers wanted the academic community to trust their judgment and integrity. They also wanted the staff to implement management decisions without second-guessing their authority or wisdom. HO staff resented authoritarian management in the guise of reform and remained suspicious of Trask’s commitment to openness. The HAC wanted HO to improve the timeliness of the series without jeopardizing its comprehensiveness by resorting to experiments in triennial consolidation or microform supplements.

Between 1958 and 1978, the Department of State published 92 FRUS volumes. During this period, the publication lag grew by almost 50 percent, from 19 years between 1958 and 1963 to 27 years between 1973 and 1978. Although the timeliness of the series suffered, HO historians made significant breakthroughs in access to records outside the Department of State. Exploiting this documentation required FRUS historians to improve existing interagency relationships and forge new ones. Despite these qualitative improvements, FRUS stakeholders debated how to balance timeliness, thoroughness, and comprehensiveness in the mid-1970s. These conflicts divided HO management, HO staff, and the HAC just before the Department grew less hospitable to responsible historical transparency in 1980.

  1. See Everett Gleason to Sidney Roberts, March 27, 1968, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1967–1969, PR 10 Foreign Relations of US.
  2. See, for example, Melvyn P. Leffler, A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1992) for how the evolving national security bureaucracy developed and implemented national strategy and foreign policy during the early Cold War period.
  3. Minutes of 1957 HAC meeting, pp. 33–61 (quote on p. 47), Department of State, HAC Lot File 03D130, 1957–HAC–Annual Meeting.
  4. Thomas Bailey, Clarence Berdahl, Leland Goodrich, Richard Leopold, Dexter Perkins, Philip Thayer, and Edgar Turlington, “Report of the Advisory Committee on Foreign Relations to the Historical Division of the Department of State,” American Political Science Review (June 1958), pp. 603–606 (quote from p. 605). During the 1957 meeting, Thomas Bailey suggested omitting coverage of Liberia. See minutes of 1957 HAC meeting, pp. 42–43, Department of State, HAC Lot File 03D130, 1957–HAC–Annual Meeting. Later, in 1962, Dexter Perkins proposed abandoning coverage of Paraguay. See E.R. Perkins to Franklin, October 1, 1962, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 1, Advisory Committee on the Foreign Relations Series, 1961–1964.
  5. Minutes of 1957 HAC meeting, pp. 61–70 (quotes from pp. 61, 67–69), Department of State, HAC Lot File 03D130, 1957–HAC–Annual Meeting and Thomas Bailey, Clarence Berdahl, Leland Goodrich, Richard Leopold, Dexter Perkins, Philip Thayer, and Edgar Turlington, “Report of the Advisory Committee on Foreign Relations to the Historical Division of the Department of State,” American Political Science Review (June 1958), pp. 603–606 (quote from p. 604).
  6. “Report of the Advisory Committee on Foreign Relations: 1960,” American Political Science Review (September 1961), pp. 601–603 (quote from pp. 601–602). Before the 1961 meeting, HO prepared a short explanation of how compilers relied on annotation to provide citations to already-published material or summarize significant information from less essential documents, thereby reducing the number of documents that they needed to print in full in a given volume. Perkins also explained that this device saved space, but greatly added to the time required to prepare a volume. See Perkins memorandum, November 2, 1961, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 1, 1961–Report.
  7. Ralph Perkins to Noble, January 23, 1961, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 1, Advisory Committee on the Foreign Relations Series, 1961–1964.
  8. Clarence Berdahl to Noble, August 31, 1961, p. 5 attached as Tab 5 to agenda of 1961 HAC meeting, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 1, 1961–Report.
  9. See draft report of 1961 HAC meeting attached to Leland Goodrich to Noble, January 5, 1962, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 1, Advisory Committee on the Foreign Relations Series, 1961–1964 and report of 1963 HAC meeting, p. 3, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, 1963–Report.
  10. Perkins, October 23, 1961, pp 1–5 of “Problems of Compiling Foreign Relations for the Years 1946–1950,” October 1961, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 1, Advisory Committee on the Foreign Relations Series, 1961–1964.
  11. Gleason to William Dale, January 6, 1966, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1964–1966, POL 15–4 ISR; “Lot Files Which Have Been or Shortly Will Be Transferred In Whole or Part to National Archives,” [no date], Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, 1973–Minutes; David Trask to Staff of PA/HO, August 31, 1976, NARA, RG 59, Kogan Papers Lot File 83D230, Box 2, Foreign Relations 2.
  12. Noble to Philip Brooks, September 13, 1960, NARA, RG 59, CDF 1960–1963, 023.1/9–1360; Noble to Rose Conway (with attached Noble through [Thomas?] Stern to Roger Tubby, May 11, 1961), May 11, 1961, NARA, RG 59, CDF 1960–1963, 023.1/5–1161; Noble to David Lloyd, January 31, 1962, NARA, RG 59, CDF 1960–1963, 023.1/2–2462; memorandum of conversation among Harry Truman, Franklin, and Brooks, April 23, 1965; Franklin to John Snell, April 27, 1965; and Franklin to Brooks, May 12, 1965 in NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1964–1966, PR 10 Foreign Relations of U.S.; Franklin to Brooks, March 28, 1967, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1967–1969, PR 10 Foreign Relations of U.S.; and John Glennon, “A Brief History of Efforts by HO . . . ,” [no date] attached to “Future Issues Facing the Foreign Relations Series,” Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 3, 1979–Correspondence.
  13. Quote from John Glennon, “A Brief History of Efforts by HO . . . ,” [no date] attached to “Future Issues Facing the Foreign Relations Series,” Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 3, 1979–Correspondence. See also Arthur Sylvester to Assistant Secretary of State (Public Affairs) (with attached 1955 Terms of Reference and revised proposed draft), March 7, 1966 and Richard Phillips to Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs), March 18, 1966, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1964–1966, PR 10 Foreign Relations of the U.S.; Dougall to Robert Stewart, August 22, 1969, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1967–1969, PR 10 Foreign Relations of the US. Although the 1955 terms of reference applied to the wartime conference volumes, Winnacker agreed to apply the same standards to other FRUS volumes (beginning with the accelerated China volumes) in 1956. See Noble to Winnacker, March 6 and March 28, 1956, NARA, RG 59, CDF 1955–1959, 023.1/3–656 and 023.1/3–2056.
  14. Berding to Joseph Satterthwaite, Roy Rubottom, Burke Elbrick, Walter Robertson, and William Rountree, October 27, 1958 attached to Noble through Edwin Kretzmann to Murphy, October 29, 1958, NARA, RG 59, CDF 1955–1959, 023.1/10–2958 and Robert Manning to Phillips Talbot (with attached Franklin, “Notice to Reviewing Officers”), November 13, 1963, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1963, PR 10 Foreign Relations.
  15. See passim, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1970–1973, PR 10 Foreign Relations of the U.S. and PR 10 Foreign Relations; Robert Miller to Henry Kissinger, August 10, 1972 and Jeanne Davis to Theodore Eliot, October 14, 1972 in NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1970–1973, Oversize Enclosures to the Subject Numeric Files, CR 16–3; and passim, NARA, RG 59, Entry UD–08D–4: Bureau of Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary Subject Files, 1975–1981 (82D297) (henceforth PA Lot File 82D297), Box 8, NSSM–113: 1971: Permanent File.
  16. The U.S. intelligence agency in operation from June 1942 until September 1945. DCI authority regarding intelligence equities stemmed from provisions in the National Security Act of 1947 and NSC policy directives to protect intelligence sources and methods needed to safeguard national security.
  17. Allen Dulles to Christian Herter, November 25, 1960, CIA Records Search Tool (henceforth CREST), CIA–RDP80B01676R000900080012–4. Dulles’s letter was not sent to Herter. Instead, his special assistant, Col. Stanley Grogon, discussed the Agency decision informally with the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, Andrew Berding and his Deputy, Edwin Kretzmann. See Stanley Grogon (with attached Edwin Kretzmann through Grogon to Allen Dulles) to Allen Dulles, December 1, 1960, CREST, CIA–RDP80B01676R000900080012–4. The original Department referral to the Agency is Kretzmann to Allen Dulles (attention to Grogon), July 8, 1960, CREST, CIA–RDP80B01676R000900080067–4.
  18. This official’s name has not been declassified in released CIA documents. For convenience, the pronoun “he” is used in the text.
  19. NSC Intelligence Directive 11, January 6, 1950 is printed in Foreign Relations of the United States, 1945–1950, Emergence of the Intelligence Establishment, Document 430 (http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1945-50Intel/d430).
  20. [Name not declassified] for Chief, Foreign Intelligence to Director of Central Intelligence, August 26, 1960, CREST, CIA–RDP80B01676R000900080046–7. This document is also available online at Central Intelligence Agency, FOIA Electronic Reading Room, http://www.foia.cia.gov/sites/default/files/document_conversions/5829/CIA-RDP80B01676R000900080046-7.pdf.
  21. Franklin to Colonel L. K. White, July 26, 1966, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1964–1966, PR 10 Foreign Relations of the U.S.
  22. [Name not declassified] EA/DDCI to [Executive Director-Comptroller], February 24, 1970, CREST, CIA–RDP72–00310R000200270023–2; [Director of Security] to Larry Houston (on Routing and Record Sheet), March 11, 1970; and Lawrence Houston (with covering memorandum) to Gleason, March 16, 1970 in CREST, CIA–RDP72–00310R000200270021–4.
  23. Richard Nixon to Richard Helms, March 8, 1972; William Colby to [Deputy Director for Support], Houston, and [Chief, Historical Staff], March 20, 1972; and Houston to Colby, March 21, 1972 in CREST, CIA–RDP83–00764R000400030055–6. Houston served as the Agency General Counsel from the CIA’s founding in 1947 until 1973. See Tim Weiner, “Lawrence Houston, 82, Dies; Helped to Establish the C.I.A.,” New York Times, August 17, 1995, http://www.nytimes.com/1995/08/17/obituaries/lawrence-houston-82-dies-helped-to-establish-the-cia.html.
  24. See passim, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1963, CFPF 1964–1966, CFPF 1967–1969, and CFPF 1970–1973, PR 10 Foreign Relations of U.S. and draft [?] Department of State to U.S. Embassy London, August 7, 1978, NARA, RG 59, Kogan Papers Lot File 83D230, Box 2, Foreign Relations 2.
  25. Harry Harcombe to Dudley Miller, February 25, 1970 attached to U.S. Embassy London to Department of State, March 4, 1970, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1970–1973, PR 10 Foreign Relations of U.S.
  26. The Department did not seek clearances from “governments of Iron Curtain countries” or “ex-enemy governments for documentation covering the period of the war.” See Department of State to U.S. Embassy London, April 14, 1964, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1964–1966, PR 10 Foreign Relations of US. There were occasional exceptions to this policy. For example, the Spanish Government requested that the United States stop asking for clearance of Spanish documents to be printed in FRUS and instead provide copies of documents proposed for publication for its information and possible comment. This arrangement absolved the Spanish Government of any role in approving the release of recent (post-1900) official documents. See passim, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1964–1966, PR 10 Foreign Relations of US.
  27. See passim, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1970–1973, PR 10 Foreign Relations of US.
  28. See passim, NARA, RG 59, CDF 1955–1959, 023.1/9–2256 through 023.1/9–359 and transcript of 1958 HAC meeting, pp. B-21–B-53, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 1, 1958–Min. of Meeting 11/7/58.
  29. Quote from transcript of 1959 meeting (November 7), p. B–6, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 1, 1959–Min. of Meeting 11/6–7/59. See also passim, NARA, RG 59, CDF 1955–1959, 023.1/7–2957 through 023.1/11–559; Kretzmann to Graham Parsons, November 18, 1960, NARA, RG 59, CDF 1960–1963, 023.1/11–1860; minutes of 1961 HAC meeting, pp. 27–34, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 1, 1961–Report; Noble to Tubby, November 7, 1961, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 1, Advisory Committee on the Foreign Relations Series 1961–1964.
  30. Ironically, when FRUS [General] Editor Perkins suggested this possibility in 1958, the HAC responded with laughter. See transcript of 1958 HAC meeting, pp. B-21–B-53, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 1, 1958–Min. of Meeting 11/7/58.
  31. Quote from U.S. Embassy Taipei to Department of State, July 26, 1967, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1967–1969, PR 10. See also U.S. Embassy Taipei to Department of State (with enclosed press transcriptions), May 23, 1956, NARA, RG 59, CDF 1955–1959, 023.1/5–2356; Walter Trohan, “Reveal How Pro-Reds in State Dept. Tried to Split U.S. and China During War: 1942 Papers Tell of Meddling,” Chicago Daily Tribune, December 2, 1956, p. 12; transcript of 1958 HAC meeting, p. B–49, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 1, 1958–Min. of Meeting 11/7/58; transcript of 1960 HAC meeting, pp. 10–25, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 1, 1960—Min. of Meeting 11/4–5/60; passim, NARA, RG 59, CDF 1960–1963, 023.1/2–2161 through 023.1/4–462; “U.S. Publishes Long-Secret China Papers of ’43,” New York Times, March 21, 1962, p. 2; passim, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1964–1966, PR 10 Foreign Relations of the U.S.; passim, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1967–1969, PR 10 Foreign Relations of the U.S.; Gaddis Smith, “Last View of the Chinese Scene,” New York Times Book Review, February 25, 1968, pp. 3 and 35; passim, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1970–1973, PR 10 Foreign Relations of the U.S.; transcript of HAC meeting with Kissinger, November 12, 1976, pp. 14–19, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 3, 1976–Report; J[ohn] P G[lennon], March 23, 1979, NARA, RG 59, PA Lot File 82D297, Box 6, The Historian’s Office 1979; and passim, NARA, RG 59, PA Lot File 82D297, Box 11, PA/HO. In December 1977, after the “deaths of Chou and Mao and the purge of Chou’s main political opponents,” Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian Affairs Richard Holbrooke finally cleared the 1949 China volume despite “believ[ing] there is some risk in making the material public.” See Holbrooke to Hodding Carter, December 1, 1977, NARA, RG 59, PA Lot File 82D297, Box 11, PA/HO.
  32. See, for example, Winnacker to Noble, June 22, 1961 and Noble to Winnacker, August 28, 1961, NARA, RG 59, CDF 1960–1963, 023.1/6–2261; U.S. Embassy Reykjavik to Department of State, January 26, 1965, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1964–1966, PR 10 Foreign Relations of U.S and minutes of 1965 HAC meeting, pp. 17-21, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, 1965–Minutes.
  33. Thomas Mann to Department of State, September 27, 1961, NARA, RG 59, CDF 1960–1963, 023.1/9–2761.
  34. U.S. Embassy The Hague to Department of State, December 15, 1964 and U.S. Embassy The Hague to Department of State, October 12, 1965 in NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1964–1966, PR 10 Foreign Relations of U.S.; U.S. Embassy The Hague to Department of State, March 14, 1968; Department of State to U.S. Embassy The Hague, March 24, 1969; U.S. Embassy The Hague to Department of State, April 15, 1969; and Department of State to U.S. Embassy The Hague, December 24, 1969 in NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1967–1969, PR 10 Foreign Relations of US.
  35. U.S. Embassy Tehran to Department of State, February 8, 1967, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1967–1969, PR 10 Foreign Relations of U.S. Within a few days, Iran granted permission to print the documents in question. See U.S. Embassy Tehran to Department of State, February 13, 1967, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1967–1969, PR 10 Foreign Relations of U.S.
  36. U.S. Embassy Paris to Department of State, February 4, 1970, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1970–1973, PR 10 Foreign Relations of US.
  37. U.S. Embassy Paris to Department of State, February 6, 1971, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1970–1973, PR 10 Foreign Relations of US.
  38. Jack Dixon to Dudley Miller, May 11, 1972 attached to U.S. Embassy London to Department of State, May 17, 1972, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1970–1973, PR 10 Foreign Relations of US.
  39. Alfred Atherton through Rodger Davies to Joseph Sisco, November 5, 1969, NARA, RG 59, Records Relating to Israel and Arab-Israeli Affairs, 1951–1976, Office of Israel and Arab-Israel Affairs, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, POL 3 Palestine Entity 1969.
  40. In 1971, Gleason reported to the HAC that the Italian Desk’s requested excisions left the documents “so completely gutted that the reader would scarcely be aware of the existence of the Italian Communist Party.” He advised that “if we cannot secure reconsideration of this wholesale slaughter, I would certainly be obliged to recommend the excision of the entire [1948 Italian] compilation. To print what would be permitted by the desk would simply amount to a fraud. We have never been guilty of that!” By 1973, the Bureau of European Affairs reduced its excisions to allow HO “to present the main lines of American policy quite clearly and directly,” albeit with only implicit allusions to the covert operation. See Fredrick Aandahl to Franklin, March 22, 1973, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, 1973–Minutes and Gleason, report to Advisory Committee, pp. 3–4, attached to record of the 1971 HAC meeting, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, 1971–Minutes.
  41. For additional substantive clearance consultations with foreign governments, see passim, NARA, RG 59, CDF 1955–1959 and 1960–1963, 023.1; passim, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1963, 1964–1966, and 1967–1969, PR 10 Foreign Relations of US; and passim, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1970–1973, PR 10 Foreign Relations of US.
  42. Chester Bowles (Acting) to U.S. Embassy Paris, May 9, 1961 and Chester Bowles (Acting) to U.S. Embassy London, May 9, 1961 in NARA, RG 59, CDF 1960–1963, 023.1/5–961 and Chester Bowles (Acting) to U.S. Embassy Moscow, May 10, 1961; Chester Bowles (Acting) to U.S. Embassy Brussels, May 10, 1961; and Chester Bowles (Acting) to U.S. Embassy Bonn, May 11, 1961 in NARA, RG 59, WTC Lot File 83D222, Box 8, April–June 1961.
  43. Chester Bowles (Acting) to U.S. Embassy Moscow, May 10, 1961. NARA, RG 59, WTC Lot File 83D222, Box 8, April–June 1961.
  44. U.S. Embassy San Jose to Secretary of State, February 5, 1973 and U.S. Embassy San Jose to Secretary of State, February 12, 1973 in NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1970–1973, PR 10 Foreign Relations of US.
  45. Denis Clift to Kissinger, “Soviet Use of Declassified Documents,” October 8, 1975, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, National Security Adviser Presidential Country Files for Europe and Canada, Box 18, USSR (23). Available at Federation of American Scientists, Project on Government Secrecy website, http://www.fas.org/sgp/library/nsc1975.pdf. Document located via Steven Aftergood, “Soviet Use of Declassified U.S. Documents,” Secrecy News, July 13, 2005, http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/secrecy/2005/07/071305.html.
  46. Noble to Murphy, October 31, 1958, NARA, RG 59, CDF 1955–1959, 023.1/10–3158.
  47. See Department of State Press Release No. 463, August 23, 1960, NARA, RG 59, CDF 1960–1963, 023.1/8–2260; William Macomber to William Fulbright, September 17, 1960, NARA, RG 59, CDF 1960–1963, 023.1/8–2660; Brooks Hays to John Moss, March 14, 1961, NARA, RG 59, CDF 1960–1963, 023.1/2–2861; Franklin to Kennan, June 18, 1963, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1963, CR 16–1 Belgrade; and Benjamin Read to Walt Rostow (with attached “Suggested Reply”), April 21, 1967, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1967–1969, PR 10 Foreign Relations of the U.S.
  48. Robert B. Stewart, report of 1967 HAC meeting, pp. 10–12 (quote from p. 12), Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, 1967—Report. See also minutes of 1963 HAC meeting, p. 18, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, 1963–Minutes; report of 1963 HAC meeting, p. 5, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, 1963–Report; minutes of 1967 HAC meeting, pp. 8–9, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, 1967—Minutes; Franklin to Robert Ferrell, April 5, 1968, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1967–1969, PR 10; Herbert Feis, “Speaking of Books: Unpublic Public Papers,” New York Times Book Review, April 21, 1968, pp. 2 and 58; and James MacGregor Burns, “Speaking of Books: The Historian’s Right to See,” New York Times Book Review, November 8, 1970, pp. 2 and 42.
  49. Frank Costigliola argues that “many of the documents published in the Foreign Relations of the United States volumes for the war and immediate postwar years undermined the Manichaeism of the orthodox interpretation” in Roosevelt’s Lost Alliances: How Personal Politics Helped Start the Cold War (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012), p. 8. For accounts of the backlash against Cold War revisionism that erupted in the 1960s, see Peter Novick, That Noble Dream: The “Objectivity Question” and the American Historical Profession (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), pp. 445–457 and Mark Philip Bradley, “The Charlie Maier Scare and the Historiography of American Foreign Relations, 1959–1980” in Frank Costigliola and Michael J. Hogan, eds., America in the World: The Historiography of American Foreign Relations since 1941, 2nd Edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), pp. 9–29, especially pp. 11–15.
  50. Noble was replaced by William Franklin, the long-time Deputy Chief of HD and HO, who oversaw the preparation of the wartime conference volumes in the 1950s. Franklin received a Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in 1941. He joined the Department in 1941 and became the Assistant Chief of RE for Foreign Policy Studies in 1947. He served as Noble’s principal deputy from 1952 to 1962. Kennedy’s National Security Action Memorandum on FRUS is printed in Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961–1963, vol. XXV, Organization of Foreign Policy; Information Policy; United Nations; Scientific Matters, Document 41 (http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1961-63v25/d41) and reported in “Kennedy Asks Publication of War Records,” Los Angeles Times, September 8, 1961, p. 16. HO built support within the Department for Presidential endorsement of the series in 1960 and 1961. Kennedy’s intervention took the form of a NSAM instead of an Executive Order after the Defense Department objected to the latter. See passim, NARA, RG 59, CDF 1960–1963, 023.1/11–2360 through 023.1/4–1561. See also passim, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 1, 1961–Report and Advisory Committee on the Foreign Relations Series 1961–1964; passim, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, 1963–Report; Dean Rusk to Dexter Perkins (and attached Robert Manning through S/S to Rusk, December 21, 1962), December 29, 1962, NARA, RG 59, CDF 1960–1963, 023.1/12–2962; passim, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1964–1966, ORG P and PR 10 Foreign Relations; and passim, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1967–1969, ORG P and PR 10 Foreign Relations of U.S.
  51. William Langer and Gleason, The Challenge to Isolation, 1937–1940 (New York: Harper/Council on Foreign Relations, 1952) and Langer and Gleason, The Undeclared War, 1940–1941 (New York: Harper/Council on Foreign Relations, 1953). See also Langer, In and Out of the Ivory Tower: The Autobiography of William L. Langer (New York: N. Watson Academic Publications, 1977) and Peter Novick, That Noble Dream: The “Objectivity Question” and the American Historical Profession (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), p. 305.
  52. Minutes of 1965 HAC meeting, p. 22, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, 1965–Minutes.
  53. Minutes of 1967 HAC meeting, p. 4, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, 1967–Minutes.
  54. Report of 1967 HAC meeting, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, 1967–Report. In his transmittal of the report to Secretary of State Rusk, Committee Chair Robert Stewart emphasized this paragraph. See Stewart to Rusk, March 18, 1968, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1967–1969, PR 10 Foreign Relations of US.
  55. Record of 1968 HAC meeting, p. 4, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, 1968–Minutes. HAC Chair Stanley Metzger’s transmittal of the HAC’s report to Rusk claimed that FRUS was “an opinion-moulder of no little importance” and that, if the 20-year line had been upheld, “this year would have witnessed the publication of the year 1948, recording in significant detail Soviet pressure on Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. Publication several years ago of the 1945, 1946[,] and 1947 volumes might have thrown into sharper relief some of the recent writings of historians of the origins of the Cold War, ‘revisionist’ or otherwise.” The HAC believed that “fuller attention of the contemporary significance” of accelerating FRUS “might well provide a climate of opinion within the Department which would be more benign to the Historical Office’s problems of manpower, clearance, and editing.” See Metzger to Rusk, November 21, 1968, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1967–1969, PR 10 Foreign Relations of U.S.
  56. Elmer Plischke to William Rogers (with attached report of 1969 HAC meeting), January 12, 1970, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1970–1973, PR 10 Foreign Relations of US.
  57. William Blair to Walter LaFeber, July 20, 1971, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1970–1973, PR 10 Foreign Relations of US.
  58. Congressional requests for the accelerated China volumes from 1956 to 1972 demonstrate the earliest manifestation of this trend. See congressional correspondence from William Knowland, Hubert Humphrey, and William Fulbright in passim, NARA, RG 59, CDF 1955–1959, 023.1; passim, NARA, RG 59, CDF 1960–1963, 023.1; passim, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1963, PR 10 Foreign Relations of U.S.; passim, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1964–1966, PR 10 Foreign Relations of U.S.; passim, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1967–1969, PR 10 Foreign Relations of U.S.; and passim, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1970–1973, PR 10 Foreign Relations of U.S.
  59. Carol M. Barker and Matthew H. Fox, Classified Files: The Yellowing Pages: A Report on Scholars’ Access to Government Documents (New York: The Century Fund, 1972), especially pp. 26–38; William Shirer, “History as the Loser,” New York Times, June 26, 1971, p. 29; Herbert Feis, “The Other Secrets,” New York Times, July 30, 1971, p. 33; Arthur Schlesinger, “The Secrecy Dilemma,” New York Times Magazine, February 6, 1972, pp. 12–13, 38–42, 50; Chalmers Roberts, “Foreign Relations’ Secrets: Less Revealing Than Enriching,” Washington Post, January 7, 1973, p. B6.
  60. Report of 1971 HAC meeting, p. 2, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, 1971–Report.
  61. “Action Ordered on Papers,” New York Times, March 15, 1972, p. 25 and report of 1971 HAC meeting, p. 2, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, 1971–Report. See also Kunzig to Nixon, July 2, 1971, NARA, RG 59, PA Lot File 82D297, Box 8, NSSM–113: 1971: Permanent File.
  62. Record of 1971 HAC meeting, pp. 6, 8–11, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, 1971–Minutes. For background on the Council, see passim, NARA, RG 59, Kogan Papers Lot File 83D230, Box 3, Council on Classification Policy; passim, NARA, RG 59, PA Lot File 82D297, Box 6, Council on Classification Policy (CCP) and Freedom of Information and CCP 1979; passim, NARA RG 59, PA Lot File 82D297, Box 7, Freedom of Information and Freedom of Information & CCP 1978; and passim, NARA, RG 59, PA Lot File 82D297, Box 8, January-Freedom of Information-Mar. 1975; Freedom of Information Apr.–Dec. 1975; Freedom of Information 1976; Council on Classification Policy 1976; and Freedom of Information & CCP 1977.
  63. See Executive Order 11652 (signed March 8, 1972), Federal Register, Vol. 37, No. 48, pp. 5209–5218 (published March 10, 1972) and Secrecy: Report of the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy, S. Doc. 105–2 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1997), p. 55. National Security Study Memorandum 113 began the process that culminated in E.O. 11652. See NSSM 113, “Procedures for Declassification and Release of Official Documents,” January 15, 1971, Richard Nixon Presidential Library, http://www.nixonlibrary.gov/virtuallibrary/documents/nssm/nssm_113.pdf; passim, NARA, RG 59, PA Lot File 82D297, Box 8, NSSM–113: 1971: Permanent File; passim, NARA, RG 59, PA Lot File 82D297, Box 9, NSSM 113: 1972: Permanent File; and passim, NARA, RG 59, Kogan Papers Lot File 83D230, Box 1, Declassification (Executive Order) 11652.
  64. Nixon to Rogers, March 8, 1972; John Ehrlichman to Rogers, March 10, 1972; John Richardson through Macomber to Rogers, March 22, 1972; Rogers to All Assistant Secretaries and Office Heads, March 30, 1972; and Rogers to Ehrlichman, March 30, 1972 in NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1970–1973, PR 10 Foreign Relations of US; report of 1971 HAC meeting, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, 1971–Report.
  65. “Action Ordered on Papers,” New York Times, March 15, 1972, p. 25.
  66. Aandahl replaced Everett Gleason as the Foreign Relations Division Chief in 1972 after serving as a FRUS compiler and then overseeing other FRUS historians working on Western Europe compilations for two decades.
  67. See record of 1972 HAC meeting, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, 1972–Minutes and report of 1972 HAC meeting, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, 1972–Report.
  68. Franklin to Former Members of the Advisory Committee on Foreign Relations, January 23, 1973, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, Advisory Committee 1971 and 1972.
  69. Aandahl memorandum, November 8, 1973, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, 1973–List of Members.
  70. Aandahl through Franklin to Carol Laise, November 29, 1973 and HO org chart, September 1973 in Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Historian, Paul Claussen Files, 1972–2005 (Lot File 08D437) (henceforth Claussen Papers Lot File 08D437), Box 2, Foreign Relations Memoranda, Etc. 1974–1981.
  71. Aandahl’s memorandum did catalyze PA engagement in HO. In October 1974, Frank Wisner and Carol Laise directed HO to undertake a comprehensive review of its purposes and functions. HO organized two committees to undertake a bottom-up examination of the Office’s activities and organization. Many of the committees’ recommendations informed the acceleration and reorganization initiatives that followed. See Wisner to Laise, October 23, 1974; Committee “O” of the Historical Office to Laise, November 27, 1974; William Slany to Laise (with attached report), December 5, 1974; Franklin, Dougall, Costrell, Aandahl, and Kogan to Laise, January 14, 1975; and Wisner to Laise, January 27, 1975 in NARA, RG 59, PA Lot File 82D297, Box 8, Public Affairs: Historical Office. In 1974, Franklin reported to the HAC that “lack of money had not caused major delay in the Foreign Relations series. Printing funds had been adequate, and the delays had come from clearance difficulties.” Aandahl clarified that “the severest pinch was felt in the small editorial staff of the Publishing and Reproduction Division,” which was in the Bureau of Administration. A few days after the Committee meeting, Aandahl elaborated: “in the two years since the [acceleration] directive was issued . . . the Department has added three historians to the staff [and] provided additional funds for printing and binding.” See minutes of 1974 HAC meeting, p. 7, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, 1974–Minutes and Aandahl to LaFeber, November 13, 1974, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, Advisory Committee 1974.
  72. Aandahl to Franklin, November 7, 1974 and report of 1974 HAC meeting attached to LaFeber to Franklin, December 26, 1974 in Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, Advisory Committee 1974.
  73. Minutes of 1974 HAC meeting, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, 1974–Minutes.
  74. Aandahl to LaFeber, November 13, 1974, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, Advisory Committee 1974.
  75. Report of 1974 HAC meeting attached to LaFeber to Franklin, December 26, 1974, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, Advisory Committee 1974.
  76. Laise to Kissinger, March 4, 1975, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, Advisory Committee 1974. Emphasis in original.
  77. Minutes of 1975 HAC meeting p. 10, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, 1975–Minutes.
  78. Report of 1976 HAC meeting attached to Covey Oliver to Cyrus Vance, February 11, 1977, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 3, 1976–Report.
  79. John Reinhardt to Kissinger, July 8, 1976, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1976, P760114–0202.
  80. Minutes of 1975 HAC meeting p. 10, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, 1975–Minutes.
  81. David Trask and William Dyess to Reinhardt, July 15, 1976; Trask to Staff of PA/HO, July 22, 1976; and Trask to HO Staff, July 22, 1976 in NARA, RG 59, Kogan Papers Lot File 83D230, Box 2, Declassification: HO Role and Procedures. The reorganization reflected previous recommendations from Aandahl to PA. See Committee “O” of the Historical Office to Laise, November 27, 1974 and Aandahl through Trask to Blair, May 26, 1976 in NARA, RG 59, PA Lot File 82D297, Box 8, Public Affairs: Historical Office. See also Reinhardt to Kissinger, August 23, 1976, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1976, P760138–1010.
  82. For implementation of this procedure, see Aandahl to Peter Johnson, July 8, 1977, Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Historian, FRUS Clearance Files, 1961–1963 (Lot File 04D114) (henceforth FRUS Clearance Lot File 04D114), Box 3, 1952–1954, Vol. IV, American Republics Clearance Folder.
  83. Trask to PA/HO Staff (with attached “Memorandum on the Acceleration of Foreign Relations”), August 25, 1976, Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Historian, Edward Keefer Files, 1972–2008 (Lot File 09D480) (henceforth Keefer Papers Lot File 09D480), Trask Acceleration Plan—1976 FRUS. For Trask’s outreach to CIA, see chapter 9.
  84. David Baehler and Ronald Landa to Ralph Goodwin, September 2, 1976, Department of State, Keefer Papers Lot File 09D480, Trask Acceleration Plan—1976 FRUS.
  85. Neal Petersen to Goodwin, August 31, 1976; Evans Gerakas to Goodwin, August 31, 1976; and William Sanford to Goodwin, September 2, 1976 in Department of State, Keefer Papers Lot File 09D480, Trask Acceleration Plan—1976 FRUS.
  86. N. Stephen Kane to Goodwin, September 3, 1976, Department of State, Keefer Papers Lot File 09D480, Trask Acceleration Plan—1976 FRUS.
  87. William Slany earned a Ph.D. from Cornell University and joined the Historical Division in 1958 after serving as an intelligence analyst in the Department for the preceding two years. Starting out as a compiler working on volumes covering Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, Slany rose through the FRUS ranks to serve as a division chief, Associate Historian, and General Editor before becoming the longest-tenured director in the history of the Office of the Historian (and its bureaucratic predecessors). He managed HO and FRUS during the two critical decades from 1981 to 2000. See chapters 9-12.
  88. William Slany and Edwin Costrell to PA/HO Staff, October 26, 1976, NARA, RG 59, Kogan Papers Lot File 83D230, Box 2, Foreign Classified Documents General and U.S. Embassy London to Department of State (with attached Harry Harcombe to Pratt Byrd, September 20, 1976), September 28, 1976, NARA, RG 59, Kogan Papers Lot File 83D230, Box 2, Foreign Gov. Inf: Great Britain.
  89. See Franklin to Jerome Perlmutter, September 24, 1963, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, 1963–Minutes and Franklin to Perlmutter, November 14, 1967, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1967–1969, PR 10.
  90. Slany to Trask, Aandahl, Costrell, and Kogan, November 2, 1976, NARA, RG 59, Kogan Papers Lot File 83D230, Box 2, Foreign Relations 2. In 1979, Government Printing Office cost overruns (blamed on inflation, clearance delays, and HO revisions to typeset manuscripts) threatened to overwhelm HO’s budget. This experience encouraged HO and PA to begin planning to work with commercial printers. See Trask to Washington, May 15, 1979; Trask to Blair, June 25, 1979; and Leon Ramey to Blair, July 10, 1979 in NARA, RG 59, PA Lot File 82D297, Box 6, The Historian’s Office 1979; and Terry McNamara to William Dyess, January 15, 1981, NARA, RG 59, PA Lot File 82D297, Box 1, PA/HO.
  91. William Blair through Eagleburger to Kissinger, November 17, 1976, NARA, RG 59, PA Lot File 82D297, Box 8, Public Affairs: Historian’s Office 1977. For an earlier version of this memorandum, prepared before the HAC meeting, see draft Reinhardt to Kissinger, October 14, 1976, NARA, RG 59, Kogan Papers Lot File 83D230, Box 2, Foreign Relations 2.
  92. U.S. Delegation [Secretary in Brussels] to Secretary of State, December 7, 1976, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1976, 1976 Secto 32013 and Kissinger to Ford, December 7, 1976, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1976, P760188–2320. According to PA’s briefing memorandum for Kissinger’s meeting with the HAC, HO also planned to “make suitable recommendations [for improving FRUS] to the new Administration,” but there is no record of PA or HO seeking to employ Kissinger’s approval of Blair’s recommendation after Carter’s inauguration. See Blair to Kissinger, November 9, 1976, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 3, 1976–Minutes. Kissinger’s most consequential action regarding HO in November 1976 was his endorsement of expanding the HAC’s mandate to include the Office’s policy studies work in addition to FRUS. See transcript of HAC meeting with Kissinger, November 12, 1976, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 3, 1976–Report.
  93. Glennon, “A Brief History of Efforts by HO . . . ,” [no date] attached to “Future Issues Facing the Foreign Relations Series,” Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 3, 1979–Correspondence.
  94. Minutes of 1976 HAC meeting, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 3, 1976–Minutes and Edward Keefer, paper prepared for 1978 AHA Conference, [April 11, 1978?], Department of State, Keefer Papers Lot File 09D480, 1978 FR Papers—AHA.
  95. This figure was derived from analysis of the source notes in digitized volumes from the 1952–1954 subseries conducted in July 2013: 76.4 percent of the 1952–1954 documents came from the Department of State’s central decimal files, 17.3 percent came from decentralized “lot” files, 4.1 percent came from the Eisenhower Library, 0.4 percent from the Truman Library, and 0.2 percent from military records.
  96. Keefer, paper prepared for 1978 AHA Conference, [April 11, 1978?], Department of State, Keefer Papers Lot File 09D480, 1978 FR Papers—AHA.
  97. Trask to [Secretary of J.C.S.], October 7, 1976, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1976, P760159–1184 and Trask to Calvin Pastors, October 7, 1976, NARA, RG 59, CFPF 1976, P760159–1185.
  98. Jack Pfeiffer to Daniel Reed, June 23, 1977, NARA, RG 59, Kogan Papers Lot File 83D230, Box 2, Foreign Relations 2, and “Associate Historian for the Western Hemisphere and Europe (WHE)” attached to Trask to Members of the Advisory Committee, November 2, 1977, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 3, 1977–Correspondence.
  99. See passim, Department of State, Keefer Papers Lot File 09D480, Interagency Agreement for Off Historians.
  100. No author identified, “Tensions in the Office of the Historian,” November 4, 1977, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 3, Advisory Committee-1977. All other documents in this folder are attributed to Slany.
  101. “Agenda Item 4: Meetings of Committee Members with Groups of Staff Members (Except the Senior Officers of HO), Group A,” “Group B,” and “Group C,” in Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 3, 1977–Correspondence and minutes of 1977 HAC meeting, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 3, 1977–Minutes.
  102. Slany to Trask, November 28, 1977, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 3, Advisory Committee-1977.
  103. D[avid] F T[rask] to Fred[rick Aandahl], [no date] (with attached Blair to Hodding Carter, March 2, 1977 and Jimmy Carter to the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, February 25, 1977), Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 2, Advisory Committee History 1970s and earlier and Rusk to Department of State Management Operations, April 7, 1977; minutes of public hearing (with attached statement by Trask), April 8, 1977; and Trask to Rusk, October 12, 1977 in Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 6, FRAC–Hearings.
  104. Trask to Lloyd Gardner (with attached comments on minutes of 1977 HAC meeting), December 28, 1977, NARA, RG 59, Kogan Papers Lot File 83D230, Box 2, Foreign Relations 2.
  105. Trask (with Slany and Baehler) memorandum, June 26, 1978, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 3, 1978–Correspondence.
  106. Baehler, report on FRUS consultations and Trask to Consultants on the Foreign Relations Series, December 12, 1978 in Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 3, 1979–Correspondence.
  107. Trask memorandum, [no date], Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 3, 1979–Correspondence.
  108. Trask briefing paper, [no date], NARA, RG 59, Kogan Papers Lot File 83D230, Box 2, Foreign Relations 2. Trask prepared a detailed statistical refutation of the initial version of the McGovern amendment’s implied charge that the triennial volumes would cut the documentation printed in FRUS by two-thirds. See Trask memorandum, October 31, 1978, Department of State, HAC Lot File 96D292, Box 3, 1978–Correspondence. Discussion of the amendment at the 1978 HAC meeting is in minutes of 1978 HAC meeting, pp. 20–21, NARA, RG 59, Kogan Papers Lot File 83D230, Box 2, Foreign Relations 2.
  109. Wayne Cole, Robert Divine, Gardner, Betty Unterberger, and Leopold, report of SHAFR ad hoc committee, May 8, 1979 attached to Trask to Blair, June 13, 1979, NARA, RG 59, PA Lot File 82D297, Box 6, The Historian’s Office.