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Working in the World

Jimmy Carter and the Making of American Foreign Policy

Miller Center Series on the American Presidency

304 pages / 6.00 x 9.00 inches / None

Political Science & Political History

  Hardcover / 9780807124451 / January 2000

In nine detailed case studies based on interviews with participants and on recently released documents in the Carter presidential library, Robert Strong carefully examines how the thirty-ninth president of the United States addressed and accomplished the work of foreign policy during his term. Working in the World illuminates the nature and range of the “work” the presidency is given to do in foreign affairs; offers insight into American foreign policy during what we now know was the decline of the cold war; and defends foreign policy making in the Carter years against the oversimplifications of contemporary punditry.

Strong evaluates American relations with the Soviet Union as well as steps taken by the Carter administration to win ratification of the Panama Canal treaties, bring peace to the Middle East, promote human rights, and resolve the Iranian hostage crisis. The case studies focus on major and minor foreign policy decisions, giving particular attention to what Carter thought regarding each issue at hand and what he knew before choosing a course of action.

With the introduction of new archival evidence, Strong effectively argues for substantial reevaluation of Carter’s foreign policy performance. Working in the World, an important opening salvo in Carter revisionism, is a significant addition to the study of American foreign policy and the presidency. 

Robert A. Strong, William Lyne Wilson Professor of Politics at Washington and Lee University, is the author of Decisions and Dilemmas: Case Studies in Presidential Foreign Policy Making and Statesmanship and Bureaucracy: Henry Kissinger and the Making of American Foreign Policy.

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