Office of the Historian Releases Final Volume of Foreign Relations, 1969-1976: Volume XVI, Soviet Union 1974-1976

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
May 16, 2012

Today, the Office of the Historian released Volume XVI, Soviet Union 1974-1976, the final of five volumes of Foreign Relations, 1969-1976. This volume covers relations between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Nixon-Ford administrations and presents documentation on how matters as diverse as strategic arms limitation, European security, the Middle East, Jewish emigration, and Angola intersected to influence the course of Soviet-American relations during the presidency of Gerald R. Ford.

Documents published here reveal that Secretary of State Henry Kissinger retained the central role in the formulation and implementation of foreign policy on the Soviet Union that he occupied during the Nixon administration, and that his influence remained undiminished in meetings between Ford and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev at Vladivostok in 1974 and at Helsinki in 1975. The volume covers the struggle in Washington between politicians and policymakers over détente, and in particular the October 1974 negotiations leading to the so-called Jackson-Vanik amendment to the Trade Act of 1974, which linked the extension of most favored nation status to an increase in Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union. These negotiations highlighted the domestic political implications of détente. Although the Secretary of State was the driving force in Soviet affairs, the documents reveal that President Ford also played an important role in policy making. While Ford supported Kissinger’s objectives, he also advocated close consultation with Congress, demonstrating that Ford—at least in style, if not in substance—pursued anything but a continuation of his predecessor’s approach to foreign policy.

This volume was compiled and edited by David C. Geyer. The volume and this press release are available on the Office of the Historian website here. Copies of the volume will be available for purchase from the U.S. Government Printing Office online here. (GPO S/N 044-000-02647-3 ISBN 978-0-16-088462-7), or by calling toll-free 1-866-512-1800 (D.C. area 202-512-1800). For further information, contact

PRN: 2012/771