Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection


Chris Beam

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 025, 026

Scope and Content Note

Interview includes discussions of: Muskie’s first knowledge about his appointment to Secretary of State; the decision to take the Secretary of State position; protecting the senatorial staff when Muskie left the Senate; the embassy raid in Iran; not wanting to seek reelection in 1982; the financial burden of being in the Senate; the financial burden of being Secretary of State; people seeking Muskie’s presidential nomination in 1980; the election of 1980; Muskie’s enthusiasm as a legislator after his presidential races; success in budgeting through the seventies; the impact Reagan had on budgeting after his term; Muskie’s preparedness for the Secretary of State position; State Department staff; daily briefings; the rarity of a legislator turned Secretary of State; comparisons between Muskie and other Secretaries; relationship between Muskie and Zbigniew Brzezinski; Iran hostage crisis during Muskie’s tenure as SOS; the Carter administration and the Iran hostage crisis; the military option in Iran; the Algerian government’s involvement in the Iranian crisis; the Shah and his impact on the hostage crisis; invasion of Cambodia and Southeast Asian issues; Soviet occupation of Afghanistan; concern over Soviet intervention in Poland; Central America issues in Nicaragua and El Salvador; the Middle East in 1979 and 1980; Camp David Accords; Reagan and the SALT II Treaty; issues Muskie may have tackled if Carter had been reelected; and views on the Middle East in 1990 (Pre Gulf War).

Use Restrictions

Copyright Bates College. This transcript is provided for individual Research Purposes Only; for all other uses, including publication, reproduction and quotation beyond fair use, permission must be obtained in writing from: The Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College, 70 Campus Avenue, Lewiston, Maine 04240-6018.