The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

from Jim Rowe to George Ball, and use them to further the interests of the
presidents he served. His sense of what was politically feasible made him a very
effective presidential adviser.
The most interesting passages in this long memoir deal with Clifford's role
in two key foreign policy issues: the recognition of Israel in 1948 and the de-
cision to wind down the Vietnam War twenty years later. In both instances,
Dean Rusk was a key adversary who accused Clifford of allowing domestic
factors to influence what he felt were matters that should be decided on inter-
national considerations alone. Clifford responded by asserting that "domestic
politics was a legitimate and unavoidable part of a successful policy" (p. 537).
Thus he felt in 1948 that the American people's sense of obligation to the sur-
vivors of the Holocaust in Palestine was more important than access to Arab
oil; two decades later, Clifford felt that the need to heed the growing anti-war
sentiment at home outweighed whatever commitment the U.S. had to defend
South Vietnam. In both cases, Clifford is persuasive in contending that do-
mestic factors must play a key role in the formation of foreign policy in a
democracy.
Clifford chronicles his long-standing personal relationship with Lyndon
Johnson, which began in the Truman years and reached its peak when LBJ
appointed him secretary of defense in 1968. Although Johnson turned to Clif-
ford for advice frequently after he reached the White House, the two men were
never intimate. The emotional distance between them gave Clifford the per-
spective he needed when he became convinced that the United States could not
win the war in Vietnam and should strive for peace negotiations. Clifford
feared that in the process of persuading Johnson to limit the bombing and
wind down the war, he had lost the president's favor, but as secretary of de-
fense he served LBJ far better than those closer to him who kept pressing for
military victory in Vietnam. Despite the strain in their relationship, Clifford
was able to maintain his friendship with Johnson. On the day in 1969 when
Nixon became president, it was Clark Clifford who hosted a farewell luncheon
for Lyndon, Lady Bird, and their closest friends in Washington. It was a char-
acteristically generous and thoughtful deed by a man who took great pride in
trying to ease the burden of American presidents.
University of Texas at Austzn ROBERT A. DIVINE
The Vztal South: How Preszdents Are Elected. By Earl Black and Merle Black.
(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992. Pp. x + 400, Acknowledg-
ments, tables, maps, notes, index. $29.95.)
In The Vztal South, the brothers Black argue that the electoral votes of the
South have become the keystone for Republican domination of presidential
politics since the mid-196os. Their book combines extensive and thoughtful
election analysis with well-written narratives about modern southern politics.
Unless the Republican grip on voters in Dixie is broken, they contend that the
Democratic party faces almost insurmountable barriers in regaining control of
the White House.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101215/. Accessed May 22, 2015.