Secretaries of State Since WWII

This section gives information on each Secretary of State since World War II.  In addition to brief text and references, video clips on several are also included.



John Foster Dulles -- 1953-1959

John Foster Dulles came to the State Department in the Eisenhower Administration with a rich diplomatic background which included work on the establishment of the United Nations and negotiation of the complex peace treaty with Japan. He was a vigorous foe of communism and seen as a moralistic hard-liner who harshly castigated proponents of “neutralism,” advocated development of nuclear weapons for “massive retaliation” in case of attack and was prepared to engage in “brinksmanship” to advance U.S. interests. Later assessments credit him with carrying out flexible policies that helped secure the peace during the turbulent Cold War years of the 1950s.

  • Beal, John Robinson. John Foster Dulles: A Biography. New York, Harper, 1957.
  • Immerman, Richard H. Piety, Pragmatism, and Power in U.S. Foreign Policy. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 1999.