Suzanne Brown

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Ernest C. Bolt

Second Advisor

Dr. W. Harrison Daniel

Third Advisor

Dr. John L. Gordon, Jr.


George Crews McGhee was an American diplomat whose state Department career spanned the Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations. Many valuable papers pertaining to McGhee's career are located at Georgetown University. The Lauinger Library holds both the George McGhee Papers and the Georgetown University Oral History Interview collection. Also, the McGhee files at the United states Department of state provide official documentation for McGhee's mission as ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany between 1963 and 1968.

Though McGhee did not create new policy, he played a significant role in implementation of American policy in the Middle East and later in West Germany. While ambassador, McGhee consistently supported American policy despite his own lack of influence on its formation. A study of his twenty-three year career reveals the influence of George Kennan and Loy Henderson on the formation of McGhee's own ideas concerning containment. This study also examines the major transition that affected American-west German relations during the 1960's, and provides insight into the dynamics of power operating in the state Department during this time.

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