make the most of Lovereading
Search our site
Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

Creating the National Security State A History of the Law That Transformed America by Douglas T. Stuart

Creating the National Security State A History of the Law That Transformed America


Creating the National Security State A History of the Law That Transformed America by Douglas T. Stuart

For the last sixty years, American foreign and defense policymaking has been dominated by a network of institutions created by one piece of legislation--the 1947 National Security Act. This is the definitive study of the intense political and bureaucratic struggles that surrounded the passage and initial implementation of the law. Focusing on the critical years from 1937 to 1960, Douglas Stuart shows how disputes over the lessons of Pearl Harbor and World War II informed the debates that culminated in the legislation, and how the new national security agencies were subsequently transformed by battles over missions, budgets, and influence during the early cold war. Stuart provides an in-depth account of the fight over Truman's plan for unification of the armed services, demonstrating how this dispute colored debates about institutional reform. He traces the rise of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the transformation of the CIA, and the institutionalization of the National Security Council. He also illustrates how the development of this network of national security institutions resulted in the progressive marginalization of the State Department. Stuart concludes with some insights that will be of value to anyone interested in the current debate over institutional reform.


This book provides a rich historical account of the creation and implementation of the National Security Act of 1947, which led to the rise of a national security bureaucracy within the executive branch. Stuart covers a wide range of political actors who shaped national security policy during the middle of the 20th century, including Ferdinand Eberstadt, George Marshall, and James Forrestal... Scholars from many backgrounds will find this book to be informative. --A. L. Warber, Choice [T]he value in Creating the National Security State is the extensive analysis of the debates leading to the passage of the 1947 National Security Act and the fate of the act's institutional components. --Diane Putney, H-Net Reviews At a time when much talk of recasting the national security policies of Western countries, the United States for a start, as well as the institutions in charge of those policies, Douglas Stuart's book on the 1947 National Security Act is a timely contribution in that it lays the historical foundations for such a debate. --Francesco N. Moro, International Spectator Stuart's research and analysis is largely persuasive and clearly presented. Unravelling bureaucratic clashes represents the strength of the text. --Kaeten Mistry, Journal of American Studies

About the Author

Douglas T. Stuart holds the J. William Stuart and Helen D. Stuart Chair in International Studies at Dickinson College. He is also an adjunct professor at the U.S. Army War College. His books include The Limits of Alliance: NATO Out-of-Area Problems since 1949 and Organizing for National Security.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

24th June 2012


Douglas T. Stuart

More books by Douglas T. Stuart
Author 'Like for Like'


Princeton University Press


360 pages


Legal history
Laws of Specific jurisdictions



It has enriched my leisure time by introducing me to a world of books which I would not have previously considered.

Val Rowe

It has opened my eyes to different authors and genres. Just log on and try, you will be surprised and not want for reading material again.

Jocelyn Garvey

I read new, exciting writers and established authors before publication and there is a great website full of brilliant books and opinions.


I love reading because my cares & woes vanish for an hour or two whilst I read of the joys, adventures, lives of the characters in the book.

Jennifer Moville

It is a website dedicated to those who adore reading It really is a one stop shop for book lovers. Love it!

Edel Waugh

Lovereading has given me the opportunity to delve into new and exciting worlds of authors who I would never have tried before.

Glynis Elliott

Lovereading tells me about new books before they hit the shelves, lets me find other authors I may like and has great prize draws!

Sheila Dale

Ever purchased a book, read a few pages & thought I'm not going to enjoy this? Honest book reviews mean you'll never have that problem again

Jill Peters