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Author Gaddis, John Lewis.

Title George F. Kennan : an American life / John Lewis Gaddis.

Imprint New York : Penguin Press, 2011.


Location Call No. OPAC Message Status
 Axe 3rd Floor Stacks  327.73 K361Bg 2011    ---  Available
Description xi, 784 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (p. [703]-749, [751]-762) and index.
Contents 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 : 1947-1948 -- Policy dissenter : 1948 -- 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.
Summary A remarkably revealing view of how this greatest of Cold War strategists came to doubt his strategy and always doubted himself.
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.
Awards Winner of the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography.
Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Biography.
Subject Kennan, George F. (George Frost), 1904-2005.
United States -- Foreign relations -- 1945-1989.
World politics -- 1945-1989.
United States -- Foreign relations -- Soviet Union.
Soviet Union -- Foreign relations -- United States.
Cold War -- Diplomatic history.
Diplomats -- United States -- Biography.
Ambassadors -- United States -- Biography.
ISBN 9781594203121 (hardcover)
1594203121 (hardcover)

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