Kennan and the Cold War: An Unauthorized Biography

Kennan and the Cold War: An Unauthorized Biography

by David Felix

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With his policy of containment, US diplomat George F. Kennan (1904 2005) devised a way to resist the Soviet Union's attempt to conquer the world for Communism. That way was to go to the brink of war to prevent war. His idea was first expressed in his famous Long Telegram from Moscow on February 22, 1946.It took genius to see a wartime ally as a dangerous adversary, and to convince the American leadership to act upon it. Back in the United States, the young diplomat first acted as deputy commandant in the National War College. He then operated as director of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff to restore Europe from wartime destruction. By 1950 Kennan began to reverse his thinking, believing that the military component of American policy was going too far. While his old colleagues continued to develop US power, given point by the atomic bomb, Kennan withdrew from government and began a new career as a public intellectual campaigning for a more peaceable policy in his eighteen books, and articles and talks.The breakdown of the Soviet economy in the 1980s showed that Kennan was right the second time as well. Always sympathetic to the Russian people and culture, which the later Soviet leaders appreciated, Kennan was able to welcome the new non-Communist Russia into a more peaceable relationship with the democracies that ended the Cold War. His life and works have become a national treasure.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781351510240
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 07/05/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 220
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

David Felix is professor emeritus of history in the City University of New York. His research interests include the history of ideas, economic history, and biography. He is the author of Biography of an Idea: John Maynard Keynes and the General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, Keynes: A Critical Life, Marx as Politician, and other works.      

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Strategic Life vii

1 Lonely 1

2 The Professional 15

3 Containment: The Idea 39

4 Containment: The Policy Planning Staff Executes 55

5 Containment: The CIA Executes 69

6 CIA: A Larger Context 77

7 Doubles 85

8 Containment on Second Thought 97

9 Embassies 117

10 Scholar 131

11 Presbyterian Saint 139

12 Public Intellectual 151

13 Consummation 161

14 Ecce, Homo 171

15 After Kennan 181

Notes 185

Bibliography 199

Index 207

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