George F. Kennan An American Life

ISBN-10: 1594203121

ISBN-13: 9781594203121

Edition: 2011

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Drawing on extensive interviews with George Kennan and exclusive access to his archives, an eminent scholar of the Cold War delivers a revelatory biography of its troubled mastermind. In the late 1940s, George Kennan wrote two documents, the "Long Telegram" and the "X Article," which set forward the strategy of containment that would define U.S. policy toward the Soviet Union for the next four decades. This achievement alone would qualify him as the most influential American diplomat of the Cold War era. But he was also an architect of the Marshall Plan, a prizewinning historian, and would become one of the most outspoken critics of American diplomacy, politics, and culture during the last half of the twentieth century. Now the full scope of Kennan's long life and vast influence is revealed by one of today's most important Cold War scholars. Yale historian John Lewis Gaddis began this magisterial history almost thirty years ago, interviewing Kennan frequently and gaining complete access to his voluminous diaries and other personal papers. So frank and detailed were these materials that Kennan and Gaddis agreed that the book would not appear until after Kennan's death. It was well worth the wait: the journals give this book a breathtaking candor and intimacy that match its century-long sweep. We see Kennan's insecurity as a Midwesterner among elites at Princeton, his budding dissatisfaction with authority and the status quo, his struggles with depression, his gift for satire, and his sharp insights on the policies and people he encountered. Kennan turned these sharp analytical gifts upon himself, even to the point of regularly recording dreams. The result is a remarkably revealing view of how this greatest of Cold War strategists came to doubt his strategy and always doubted himself. This is a landmark work of history and biography that reveals the vast influence and rich inner landscape of a life that both mirrored and shaped the century it spanned.
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Book details

List price: $39.95
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/10/2011
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 800
Size: 6.75" wide x 9.75" long x 1.75" tall
Weight: 2.596
Language: English

John Lewis Gaddis is Robert A. Lovett Professor of History and Political Science at Yale University.

Childhood: 1904-1921
Princeton: 1921-1925
The Foreign Service: 1925-1931
Marriage-and Moscow: 1931-1933
The Origins of Soviet-American Relations: 1933-1936
Rediscovering America: 1936-1938
Czechoslovakia and Germany: 1938-1941
The United States at War: 1941-1944
Back in the U.S.S.R.: 1944-1945
A Very Long Telegram: 1945-1946
A Grand Strategic Education: 1946
Mr. X: 1947
Policy Planner: 1947-194 8
Policy Dissenter: 194 8
Reprieve: 1949
Disengagement: 1950
Public Figure, Private Doubts: 1950-1951
Mr. Ambassador: 1952
Finding a Niche: 1953-1955
A Rare Possibility of Usefulness: 1955-1958
Kennedy and Yugoslavia: 1958-1963
Counter-Cultural Critic: 1963 - 1968
Prophet of the Apocalypse: 1968-1980
A Precarious Vindication: 1980-1990
Last Things: 1991-2005
Epilogue: Greatness
Abbreviations to Notes and Bibliography
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