«Watch Italy»: A Confidential Report on Italian Affairs by C.D. Jackson (August 1962)


  • Giacomo Mazzei Sapienza Università di Roma

Parole chiave:

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, US-Italian Relations, Cold War, Transatlantic Networks, C.D. Jackson, Pro Deo International University


The online digitized collections of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library hold a treasure-trove of historical documents relating, among things, to the Kennedy White House’s policy on Italy during the height of that country’s postwar “economic miracle”, the formation of its first Center-Left governing coalition, and the transformative papacy of John XXIII. The present relatively overlooked document, an August 1962 report by Cold War strategist and long-time publishing executive C.D. Jackson, from President Kennedy’s office files, offers a poignant example of American views of Italy at that juncture. Jackson’s involvement in Italian affairs intersected with the activities of the Pro Deo international university, an institution with close ties to the Vatican and the CIA, funded at the time by both American and Italian businesses. The document, therefore, springs from state-private networks of the kind that played a pivotal role in Cold-War transatlantic relations. This is also one of several reports on the many different countries that Jackson visited that summer. Those other reports, which too are held at the Kennedy Library and are accessible on the Internet, would deserve scrutiny as well.