E.T.A. Hoffmann and the cult of natural magic
This thesis has endeavoured to closely examine the personal
relationship between Kennedy and Macmillan to determine its impact on the
making of Anglo-American foreign policies. The result establishes that their
relationship was a complex contribution to the making of Anglo-American
foreign policies in the early 1960s, but that it was not a significant factor in the
development of those policies. The interpretation of their relationship by scores
of writers spanning three decades has largely been responsible for creating and
extending the myth of the existence in the early 1960s of a 'Golden era' in
Anglo-American relations crowned by the unique and intimate personal
relationship between President Kennedy and Prime Minister Macmillan.
Indeed, the genuine friendship cultivated between these two men distinguished
their relationship from other bilateral relationships they had had with other
heads of state and government.
Nevertheless, this research which has been based largely on archival
material reveals the tangible limits of the influence this famous personal
relationship actually had on Anglo-American diplomacy. During the brief era in
which the KennedylMacmillan relationship existed, American policy makers
had been generally successful at persuading London to accept, albeit with
occasional acute reticence, American initiatives and policy goals. Macmillan's
leadership was an important factor in this acquiescence but not a crucial one.
Seen from the point of view ofWashington and in particular President Kennedy
and his White House aides, Prime Minister Macmillan's importance to the
United States was focused on his political position as head of the Conservative
Party. Kennedy's policy was based on the calculation that Macmillan's political
life was essential to the smooth running ofAnglo-American relations.
This thesis analyses the decision making process at the executive level
in five case studies and firmly establishes that Kennedy was not personally
influenced by Macmillan in the shaping of American foreign policy. Likewise,
Macmillan's actions were chiefly predicated upon American institutional
policies and not on his friendship with Kennedy. The result of this research will
show that the personal relationship between John F. Kennedy and Harold
Macmillan as such made no significant impact on the making of Anglo-
American foreign policies.