Talk:John Foster Dulles

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I have restored unexplained deletions from this article. If it turns out that there was a reason for them then I apologise. DJ Clayworth 22:03, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

No I'm not. The situation is more confused than I thought. DJ Clayworth 22:07, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Senate service?[edit]

He's listed as a Senator, but if he was the article should say when and from which state, which it doesn't.

Rlquall 16:02, 13 Oct 2004 (UTC)


If he were so religious (or confident) why would he refuse to shake Zhou Enlai's deny legitimacy?

No. He knew very well Zhou (a builder of nations, not a millionaire lawyer) was a far more greater man than he was. It was a gesture of pure jealousy. Religious? Like the vast majority of pious people, he also had the illusion of being close to his god, although his deeds rarelly followed the example set by his ideals, if any.


He was born on February 25, 1988 (not the 2nd) and he went to public schools in Watertown, New York, not in New York City.

Date corrected 20:04, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Presbyterian elder[edit]

Not only was JFD the son of a Presbyterian minister, he was himself a liberal Presbyterian elder, and an ecumenist who opposed the conservatives in the Presbyterian Church. 20:37, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

According to Alan Stang's book The Actor, Dulles was important in the Federal Council of Churches and World Council of Churches in the 1940s. Basically he promoted 'one worldism' and seemed sympathetic to communism and communist / 'one world' fronts. Gary North mentions this side of him

Nazi activities and threatened to revolt if Dulles did not end the firm's association with Hitler et al. What is the deal with the et al?

Bricker Amendment[edit]

For some time I have been working on revisions to the Bricker Amendment article. I finally posted it and have a PR at Wikipedia:Peer review/Bricker Amendment/archive1. I'd welcome comments. I know all those references may seem extravagant, but I'm hoping to get it as an FA and those voters want lots of footnotes. PedanticallySpeaking 16:27, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Nazi Collaborator?[edit]

I would be interested in knowing more about this. This is not common knowledge! Any idea as to the extent of his support?--Tbkflav 00:27, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, same question here. From what I've found on Kinzer's book so far, he's not at all sympathetic to Dulles (and it's hard to see how one could be, to me) but I've not yet found any mention of this. He was a big corporate lawyer at the time, of course (not enough on his business life in the article, btw) and most really big companies in the world *could* be called Nazi collaborators if you defined that really loosely, but that wouldn't warrant this remark. -Lewis Here's Kinzer talking on Dulles (midpage somewhere) Ah, here: Again, buried midpage somewhere. -Lewis

He appears to be mentioned this article from The Guardian -- "How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power" -,12271,1312540,00.html -- as a 1933 director of Consolitated Silesian Steel Company in Germany...

[This refers to Preston Bush - GW's Grandfather] "Bush's friend and fellow 'bonesman' Knight Woolley, another partner at BBH [Brown Brothers Harriman], wrote to Averill Harriman in January 1933 warning of problems with CSSC after the Poles started their drive to nationalise the plant. 'The Consolidated Silesian Steel Company situation has become increasingly complicated, and I have accordingly brought in Sullivan and Cromwell, in order to be sure that our interests are protected,' wrote Knight. 'After studying the situation Foster Dulles is insisting that their man in Berlin get into the picture and obtain the information which the directors here should have. You will recall that Foster is a director and he is particularly anxious to be certain that there is no liability attaching to the American directors.'"

Containment v. Liberation (peaceful or otherwise)[edit]

"In 1950, Dulles published War or Peace, a critical analysis of the American policy of containment, which at the time was favored by many of the foreign policy elites in Washington. Dulles criticized the foreign policy of Harry S. Truman. He argued that containment should be replaced by a policy of "liberation". When Dwight Eisenhower became President in January, 1953, he appointed Dulles as his Secretary of State. As Secretary of State, Dulles still carried out the “containment” policy of neutralizing the Taiwan Strait during the Korean War which had been established by President Truman in the Treaty of Peace with Japan of 1951."

John Foster Dulles was a very complex and confusing character. His actions did not always coincide with his rhetoric. From War or Peace it appears that Dulles was in favor of military containment based upon a policy of alliances that would flexibly respond to any crisis. Yet he believed that it would be dangerous to regard the military as the prime means through which to fight the "cold" war. He claimed to favor liberation through such means as political warfare, psychological pressure, and propaganda. He believed that the Soviet Union was based upon a rigid and overextended infrastructure that would collapse under pressure if the Politburo was not allowed the chance to consolidate power both within the USSR and the recently acquired conquests following WWII. Yet, there is an apparent contradiction in his thought even before his appointment as Secretary of State. On the campaign trail in support of Eisenhower in 1952, he called for the liberation of the peoples of Eastern Europe. What was important with his speeches is that he failed to include the word "peaceful" before liberation, such as what Eisenhower was doing. Refer to Sherman Adams' Firsthand Report. This is only one such example of the contradictions which occured throughout the years leading up to 1959. I am only attempting to study John Foster Dulles, so therefore do not understand much of what he said and did as Secretary of State. Another good starting point would be Reenacting the Story of Tantalus: Eisenhower, Dulles, and the Failed Rhetoric of Liberation by Chris Tudda in the Journal of Cold War Studies. The last sentence of the excerpt above seems to be completely wrong. The Six Fleet had been ordered to by Truman to place itself between Taiwan and mainland China at the outbreak of the Korean War. Truman hoped to prevent both the communists from attacking Taiwan and the nationalists from attacking the mainland. He wanted to keep the conflict minimized to a "limited war" in Korea instead of a "general" war invovling much of Asia. Eisenhower revoked this order in his First State of the Union address in what has become known as the "Unleashing" of Chiang Kai-Shek. Dulles and Eisenhower saw no need to protect the communists from the nationalists when the Red Army was fighting the UN forces in Korea. Also, Dulles appeared to actually desire offering support for the nationalists in an assault on the mainland during the Formosa Straits Crisis of 1954-1955, a stance hardly reconcilable with a policy of containment. Yet another example of the contradictions of Dulles. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by TDavidA (talkcontribs) 07:17, 26 April 2007 (UTC).

TDavidA 07:20, 26 April 2007 (UTC)


"neutrality has increasingly become an obsolete and, except under very exceptional circumstances, it is an immoral and shortsighted conception." According to US Department of State: American Foreign Policy: Current Documents 1956 this quotation was in a speech held on June 9, 1956 and not 1955. --Vistor 20:44, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

The United States of America does not have friends; it has interests[edit]

Is this quote certain ?

On December 1958, Dulles and Dr. Milton Eisenhower attended Mexico's new president Adolfo Lopez Mateos' inauguration, where Dulles made the candid quote, "The United States of America does not have friends; it has interests"

Apollon 16:27, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

"first American priest" comment[edit]

It's not correct to say that Avery Dulles was the "first American priest" to be directly appointed cardinal. The bishops who become cardinals are also priests. Dulles is the first American to become a cardinal who had not been a priest. (unsigned comment by

Refuse to shake hands with Zhou?[edit]

This is widely circulated, but chasing back footnote to footnote, I don't find documentation from the time. I would be very happy if someone could supply one! ch (talk) 06:45, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

There are after-the-time comments such as this, which are possibly factual Tedickey (talk) 23:35, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
If there's no contemporary report, it might be a later construct, e.g, see this Tedickey (talk) 23:38, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Quote on Jews[edit]

There should perhaps be relevant information about a statement that Dulles made on Jewish influence over American foreign policy. Although the quote has often been recycled by anti-semitic people, much of it has been validated by resarchers Mearsheimer and Walt, authors of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. [1] ADM (talk) 08:17, 4 July 2009 (UTC)


There are good reasons to believe he shot JFK. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:26, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Probable. You should add it! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:35, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

Minor correction applied[edit]

Dulles' grandfather was John Welsh Dulles (not Welch) and he was a missionary in India, not China. (source is a blocked URL at famousamericans-dot-net, sorry.) He even wrote a book about it. rudra (talk) 22:36, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

World War II[edit]

What did John Foster Dulles do during WW 2? The only mention of the war period is his work in November 1945 at the founding of the UN.--TGC55 (talk) 17:19, 13 January 2012 (UTC)


Is there a reason that Dulles involvement in the Guatemalan coup is given just a sentence here? The coverage it has received merits a brief paragraph at the very least, methinks. Vanamonde93 (talk) 16:12, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

I have no particular knowledge of the subject, but I note that the name Dulles is not mentioned in our entry for 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état. To the extent that the coup was the work of the CIA, the key figure would not be John Foster Dulles but his brother Allen W. Dulles, no?
I see that John Foster was very involved in some diplomatic wrangling at an Inter-American Conference here but the amount of material publicly available from that book is limited. Brother Allen seems to be the main player by far here. John Foster gets mentioned mostly as being of the same mind as his brother throughout the 1940s and 1950s, tied to the same business interests and equally fearful and vocal of Communist revolution, etc., but when you read carefully he seems a bit player in the coup itself compared to his brother as head of the CIA.
Meanwhile this one-sentence section really needs work: Allen_Dulles#Coup_in_Guatemala
Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 17:41, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Well, the coverage in the 1954 article is not the best, either; I came across the name a few times since I've been writing the Guatemalan Revolution article, and because the other related articles are so poor I basically started from scratch. I'll tweak them all a little bit shortly; I'm not talking kilobytes of content, but a couple more sentences might help. And oh, yeah, Allen Dulles certainly requires work. Vanamonde93 (talk) 18:56, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

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