Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Richard C. Holbrooke Papers

Dates: 1987-1988

Co-author, Counsel to the President (1991), the memoirs of Clark Clifford; United States Ambassador to the United Nations, 1999-2001.

The papers of Richard C. Holbrooke mostly consist of transcripts of interviews conducted with Clark Clifford by Mr. Holbrooke while the two were collaborating on Clifford’s memoirs, Counsel to the President. The interviews document Clifford’s service as Naval Aide and Special Counsel to President Harry S. Truman, his legal and professional career, and his role as unofficial adviser to Presidents Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson.

[Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List]


ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: Less than one linear foot (about 1,600 pages).
Access: Open.
Copyright: Richard C. Holbrooke has donated to the U.S. government his copyright interest in all writings in this collection. Documents created by U.S. government employees in the course of their official duties are also in the public domain. Copyright interest in other documents presumably belongs to the creators of those documents, or their heirs.
Processed by: Kathryn Gridley (2005) as part of the Truman Library Internship Program.
Supervising Archivists: Randy Sowell and David Clark.


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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

1941 (April 24)Born, New York, New York
1962Received B.A. degree, Brown University.
1962-1972U.S. Foreign Service officer in Vietnam, Washington D.C., and Morocco.
1972-1977Managing Editor, Foreign Policy.
1976Coordinator for national security affairs, Carter-Mondale campaign.
1977-1981Assistant Secretary of State, East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
1991 Co-author, Counsel to the President, memoirs of Clark Clifford.
1993-1994 United States Ambassador to Germany.
1994-1996 Assistant Secretary for State for European and Canadian Affairs.
1995 Chief Negotiator of the Dayton Peace Accords that resolved the Bosnian conflict.
1999-2001 United States Ambassador to the United Nations
2001 Received the Truman Peace Award from the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
2009-2010 U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan
2010 (December 13) Died, Washington, D.C.

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COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The papers of Richard C. Holbrooke consist of transcribed interviews with Clark Clifford conducted by Richard C. Holbrooke and his assistant Brian VanDeMark, and of one interview conducted by Robert Dallek. Also included are transcripts of interviews with Marx Leva, George Ball, Jack Valenti, and Dean Rusk. The interviews document Clifford’s life and work as Naval Aide and Special Counsel to President Harry S. Truman. The interviews were conducted between Clifford and Holbrooke pursuant to their co-authorship of Clifford’s memoir Counsel to the President.

The collection consists of an entire series of interview transcripts arranged chronologically and dating from November 1987 to November 1988. It includes information concerning Clifford’s legal career, marriage, and early life. Clifford’s recollections focus on his role in the Truman administration in relation to the 1948 campaign, unification of the armed forces, the Taft-Hartley Act, Point Four, the recognition of Israel, and civil rights. Clifford also discusses his role as an informal adviser to Presidents Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon Johnson, and his service as Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam War. In the interviews, Clifford frequently compares the presidential styles of Truman and his successors in the White House. The accompanying folder title list has been annotated to indicate the topics discussed during each interview.

Related materials at the Truman Library include Clark Clifford’s oral history, the papers of Clark Clifford, and Clifford’s White House files.

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SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos. Series
1-2 CHRONOLOGICAL FILE, 1987-1988
Transcribed interviews of Clark Clifford and others conducted by Richard C. Holbrooke and others. Arranged chronologically.

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FOLDER TITLE LIST

Box 1

  • November 24, 1987
      [Lyndon Johnson, Vietnam, etc.]
  • December 1, 1987
      [atomic bomb]
  • December 8, 1987
      [John Kennedy, etc.]
  • December 28, 1987
      [1 of 3; Soviet Union, etc.]
      [2 of 3; early Truman administration, etc.]
      [3 of 3; Jesse Jackson, Carter administration, India trip, role of the President]
  • December 29, 1987
      [Henry Wallace, William O. Douglas, the Monday Evening Group, etc.]
    December 30, 1987
      [1 of 2; Naval service, etc.]
      [2 of 2; Eisenhower and Zhukov, Churchill, trip to Fulton, Alben C. Barkley, Berlin Airlift]
  • January 8, 1988
      [Lyndon Johnson]
  • January 11, 1988
      [Senator Robert Kerr, Estes Kefauver, Supreme Court, Lyndon Johnson]
  • January 12, 1988
      [Marshall and Israel, Dean Acheson, etc.]
  • February 2, 1988
      [1 of 2; Truman Doctrine, Dean Acheson, the military, etc.]
      [2of 2; Truman Doctrine, Clifford-Elsey memorandum, etc.]
  • February 3, 1988
      [1 of 2; 1944 Democratic Convention, Vice President Truman, etc.]
      [2 of 2; Harry S. Truman, Truman’s White House staff, etc.]
  • February 9, 1988
      [1 of 2; George Kennan, unification of the Armed forces, origins of the CIA, etc.]
      [2 of 2; Bull Halsey, Douglas MacArthur, etc.]
Box 2
  • February 10, 1988
      [1 of 2; JFK and 1960 campaign, 1960 Los Angeles convention, etc.]
      [2 of 2; Kennedy transition, Kennedy Inaugural, etc.]
  • March 2, 1988
      [1 of 2; the Clifford clan, the McAdams clan, etc.]
      [2 of 2; George McAdams Clifford, developing legal talents, advice to young lawyers, etc.]
  • March 7, 1988
      [1 of 2; Mr. Clifford’s childhood, early law practice, etc.]
      [2 of 2; courtship and marriage, living in the Depression, etc.]
  • March 25, 1988
      [1 of 2; Jacob Lashly, John Steelman, Point Four, etc.]
      [2 of 2; Abe Feinberg and the 1948 Campaign, Taft-Hartley, etc.]
  • April 1, 1988
      [Jesse Jackson, devotion to civil rights, etc.]
  • April 12, 1988 - Interview with Marx Leva
      [James Forrestal, Symington Committee, etc.]
  • April 20, 1988
      [1 of 2; Liberals vs. Conservatives in Truman Administration, Wardman Park Group, 1946 Election, etc.]
      [2 of 2; Whistlestop tour, Lyndon Johnson in 1948, Presidential ambition, etc.]
  • April 21, 1988
      [1 of 2; 1948 Election Strategy, "Turnip Day" Session, Dexter speech, etc.]
      [2 of 2; Clifford-Rowe Memorandum, Whistlestop tour, etc.]
  • May 2, 1988
      [college antics, becoming a lawyer, early legal career, etc.]
  • May 3, 1988
      [Reagan and civil rights, etc.]
  • May 4, 1988
      [1 of 2; partition and recognition of Israel, Dean Rusk, Howard Hughes, etc.]
      [2 of 2; State Department antipathy toward Israel, etc.]
  • May 27, 1988
      [1962 steel crisis, early contacts with Lyndon Johnson, etc.]
  • June 3, 1988
      [1 of 2; LBJ’s White House, Truman’s White House, etc.]
      [2 of 2; July 1965 Vietnam Buildup, Kennedy’s vs. Johnson’s handling of Vietnam, qualities of Presidential ability, etc.]
  • June 9, 1988 – Interview with George Ball
      [Clark Clifford, July 1965 Vietnam troop buildup, etc.]
  • June 17, 1988 – Interview With Jack Valenti
      [Clark Clifford and Vietnam, 1965]
  • November 14, 1988 - Interview with Dean Rusk
      [partition and recognition of Israel, Vietnam bombing halt proposal, LBJ and Tet, etc.]

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