Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection


Don Nicoll

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 301


Alan Platt was born August 14, 1944 in Jamaica, New York and grew up on Long Island. His parents were Ruth and Philip Platt. He attended private schools in Long Island and then went to Princeton where he majored in international politics. From there, he went to the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies for his master’s and then to Columbia for his Ph.D. in international politics. He accompanied his advisor, Roger Hilsman, to Washington, D.C. to work on his unsuccessful congressional campaign in 1972. Through friends, he was hired by Senator Muskie’s office to work as a legislative assistant from 1972 to 1975. He later taught at Stanford and wrote a book on his experiences called The US Senate and Strategic Arms Policy. He returned to D.C. a few years later as a political appointee in the Carter administration. He worked in that administration until January 1980, soon after the Russians invaded Afghanistan, when he made the difficult decision to return to Stanford. He then went from Stanford to the Rand Corporation, which moved to Washington. He was still living and working in Washington, D.C. at the time of this interview.

Scope and Content Note

Interview includes discussions of: Platt’s educational background; 1972 elections; Platt’s employment as Senator Muskie’s legislative assistant; Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Subcommittee on Arms Control; Henry Kissinger; War Powers Act; Senator Muskie’s ability to sort through new information and think on his feet; Armed Services Committee under Nixon; Vietnam and the early investigations into Kissinger and his wire tapping; Muskie’s relationship with Kissinger; Muskie’s friends in the Senate and on his staff; OPIC; Muskie as Secretary of State; Platt’s later career; and traveling with Muskie.

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.