Dean Acheson (Magill's Literary Annual 1977)
Dean Acheson has been acknowledged as one of the great statesmen of our time and one of the most dynamic Secretaries of State in our history. Appropriately, the focus of this biography by David S. McLellan, Professor of Political Science at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, is on Acheson’s service in the Department of State. Acheson cast a striking figure; his style, his courage, his eloquence, and his arrogance are invariably noted by admirers and critics alike. McLellan clearly falls into the first category. The thrust of his biography is on Acheson’s actions as a leading foreign policymaker. Although somewhat cursorily, the author also attempts to illuminate Acheson’s character, the basis for his strong convictions and sense of personal honor. It may be assumed that Acheson’s family background and education determined his patrician bearing, as well as his orientation toward public service. In this context, Harvard Law School was a particularly crucial phase in Acheson’s development. So was the young Acheson’s association with such admirable men as Felix Frankfurter, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Louis Brandeis. Acheson’s clerkship under Justice Brandeis may be seen as a particularly significant formative period, for the “moral grandeur of Brandeis” had a profound impact on him. Acheson came to adopt a code of conduct to which he adhered uncompromisingly throughout his life. In the eyes of McLellan, the core of Acheson’s conduct was the conviction...
(The entire section is 1704 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1977)
Best Sellers. XXXVI, February, 1977, p. 36.
Christian Science Monitor. LXVIII, October 13, 1976, p. 29.
Guardian Weekly. CXV, October 17, 1976, p. 18.
New York Times Book Review. September 12, 1976, p. 7.
New Yorker. LII, July, 1976, p. 1527.
(The entire section is 28 words.)