The Not-Quite-Secret Government: The CFR is “the Most Powerful Private Organization in the United States…”

Cross-posted from Lars Schall’s blog.

German financial journalist Lars Schall talked with U.S. historian Laurence Shoup about the history of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and his latest book, “Wall Street’s Think Tank”. Shoup makes clear that the CFR is still calling the shots when it comes to the focus and the goals of U.S. foreign policy.

The CFR is a „school for statesmen“ that „comes close to being an organ of what C. Wright Mills has called the Power Elite — a group of men, similar in interest and outlook, shaping events from invulnerable positions behind the scenes.“

Joseph Kraft: „School of Statesmen“, Harper’s Magazine, July 1958

The U.S. historian Laurence H. Shoup co-authored in 1977 with William Minter the groundbreaking book “Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign Relations and United States Foreign Policy”. In 2015, Shoup returned to this research subject, when he published “Wall Street’s Think Tank: The Council on Foreign Relations and the Empire of Neoliberal Geopolitics, 1976-2014” – see here.

The CFR is “the most powerful private organization in the United States…”

Laurence H. Shoup received his Ph.D. in History from Northwestern University in 1974. He is the author of several books, including Imperial Brain Trust (with William Minter) and Rebels: A People’s History of Early California, 1769‐1901, as well as many articles in scholarly and popular publications. He has taught U.S. history at the University of Illinois, San Francisco State University, Sonoma State University, and elsewhere, and has been active in the anti‐war and social justice movements since the 1960s.

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