Sputnik Escalates the Cold War
Teaser Image

Brzezinski, Zbigniew (1928–)

Prominent international relations scholar, diplomat, and U.S. national security advisor from 1977 to 1981. Born the son of a Polish diplomat on 28 March 1928 in Warsaw, Poland, Zbigniew Brzezinski received his PhD from Harvard University in 1953 and became a U.S. citizen in 1958. Following his graduation, he joined the faculty of Harvard and then moved on to Columbia University in 1960, where he stayed until 1977.

Brzezinski also served as a foreign policy advisor to President John F. Kennedy and as a member of the State Department's influential policy planning staff during the Lyndon B. Johnson administration. In 1968 Brzezinski resigned his State Department post in protest over America's Vietnam War policies. He subsequently returned to academia and directed the Trilateral Commission from 1973 to 1976. After serving as foreign policy advisor to Jimmy Carter's successful 1976 presidential campaign, Brzezinski was named Carter's national security advisor in 1977.

As national security advisor, Brzezinski played a critical role in the normalization of relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC) as well as in the 1978 Camp David Accords. Most significant perhaps, to both Carter and Brzezinski, was the 1978 Iranian Revolution and the resultant hostage crisis that dominated their last year in office.

Following Carter's defeat in the 1980 election, Brzezinski returned to Columbia University. In 1989 he joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins University. He has written and edited numerous books on international relations.

Brent M. Geary


Further Reading
Brzezinski, Zbigniew. Power and Principle: Memoirs of the National Security Adviser, 1977–1981. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1983.
 

©2011 ABC-CLIO. All rights reserved.

  About the Author/Editor
  Introduction
  Essays
  A
  B
  C
  D
  E
  F
  G
  H
  I
  J
  K
  L
  M
  N
  O
  P
  Q
  R
  S
  T
  U
  V
  W
  Y
  Z
  Z
  Documents
  Images
ABC-cLIO Footer