George Kennan and the Dilemmas of US Foreign Policy

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Oxford University Press, USA, Dec 8, 1988 - Biography & Autobiography - 416 pages
This political-intellectual biography is the first to consider the thought of George Frost Kennan in the context of his many years of government service and subsequent political counsel. Drawing on in-depth and original research in a variety of archival collections, Mayers presents a comprehensive, critical review of Kennan's participation in foreign policy--from fledgling diplomat in Moscow in 1933 to respected critic on the sidelines. Stressing throughout the various intellectual and political sources of Kennan's analyses and recommendations, Mayers first details Kennan's early career, the formation of his personality, and intellectual influences through the end of World War II. He then analyzes the important period from 1946 to 1950, when Kennan was acknowledged as the American government's chief expert on Soviet affairs and held a high level place in the day-to-day formulation of foreign policy. Finally, Mayers discusses Kennan's record after his retirement as a critic of America's external policy, particularly his support of a policy of sensible detente and nuclear arms limitation as the only alternative to global destruction. The most exhaustive account to date of a towering figure in American postwar foreign policy, diplomacy, and intellectual history, this book will attract a wide readership among students, scholars, and general readers.

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