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American Diplomacy
takes pleasure in making available to its readers an announcement released by the Office of the Historian, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C., on September 8, 1998.

~ Ed.

Foreign Relations Volume Covering Berlin, Cuba Crises Released

During the Presidency of John F. Kennedy, the Cold War reached its most dangerous moments, especially in Berlin and over Cuba. Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, volume V, Soviet Union, released on September 8, 1998, by the Department of State, documents the central role of the U.S.-Soviet conflict in the conduct of U.S. foreign policy during the Kennedy Presidency. The volume also presents a comprehensive account of the scope of this conflict around the globe as well as the special quality of the narrower and more strictly bilateral relations between Washington and Moscow.

The editors of this volume of the Kennedy triennium of the Foreign Relations series have gone beyond the usual structure and content of a Foreign Relations volume and have brought together in this single volume the essential framework of U.S.-Soviet relations, linking the important documentation published in a dozen other Foreign Relations volumes. A companion volume to this one is Volume VI, Kennedy-Khrushchev Exchanges, which includes all the correspondence between the two leaders, published in 1996. These previously published volumes present the documentary record of American policies with respect to major geographic regions as well as the critical negotiations in arms control and U.S. national security planning and preparations responding to Soviet aggressive actions and the perceived threat of international communism.

This volume, beginning with a full record of the planning for the Vienna Summit with Chairman Khrushchev in June 1961, presents the record of the Kennedy White House and State Department global view of the Cold War and of Soviet actions and ambitions around the world. What makes this volume different from others in the long-standing Foreign Relations series is that the editors have provided editorial notes that alert readers to detailed documentation about U.S.-Soviet conflicts in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the Caribbean in other Foreign Relations volumes. The editors have also included a broad selection of previously classified CIA reports, estimates, and evaluations of Soviet intentions and military and economic strengths around the world, which were referred to the President and his advisers. This volume seeks to make readers aware, through this unusual structure and content, of the scope
and overlapping of the various U.S.-Soviet encounters that comprised the Cold War.

Within the broader context of U.S.-Soviet relations, essential diplomatic business went forward between the two countries concerning the status of the U.S. Embassy, the development of bilateral trade at a time of mounting U.S. grain surpluses, and negotiations leading to agreements on cultural and scientific exchanges and a limited nuclear test ban treaty. In 1962 talks on U.S.-Soviet cooperation in space exploration were held and travel restrictions on Soviet visitors to the United States were lifted. During the summer of 1963 tensions eased further as agreement was reached on the establishment of a “Hot Line” to allow the leaders of the two nations to communicate with each other and avoid unintentional moves to the brink of war and other dangers.

The Office of the Historian has prepared a summary of the volume.

For further information, contact David S. Patterson, General Editor of the Foreign Relations series, by telephone: (202) 663-1127, fax: (202) 663-1289, or by e-mail: The texts of the volume, the summary, and this press release will soon be available on the Office’s Web site: Copies of Volume V can be purchased from the U.S. Government Printing Office.

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