Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Lawrence Ziring

Second Advisor

William C. Ritchie

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This thesis examines the impact of personality on the making of American foreign policy. John Foster Dulles and Henry A. Kissinger dominated the American foreign policy process. Their performance allows the political analyst to study the relationship between personality and policy-making.

What follows is a study of John Foster Dulles and Henry Kissinger, their personal background and development, and especially the problems they faced as presidential advisors. Both men were challenged by wars in the Middle East. These Middle East conflicts are here presented as case studies and they reveal how each of these figures met the test. Efforts are made to show how early-life experience influences the handling of world events.