The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made

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Simon and Schuster, Feb 28, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 864 pages
2 Reviews
A captivating blend of personal biography and public drama, The Wise Men introduces the original best and brightest, leaders whose outsized personalities and actions brought order to postwar chaos: Averell Harriman, the freewheeling diplomat and Roosevelt's special envoy to Churchill and Stalin; Dean Acheson, the secretary of state who was more responsible for the Truman Doctrine than Truman and for the Marshall Plan than General Marshall; George Kennan, self-cast outsider and intellectual darling of the Washington elite; Robert Lovett, assistant secretary of war, undersecretary of state, and secretary of defense throughout the formative years of the Cold War; John McCloy, one of the nation's most influential private citizens; and Charles Bohlen, adroit diplomat and ambassador to the Soviet Union.

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User Review  - cwhouston - LibraryThing

This is a very enjoyable history of the origins of the cold war and national security policy making into the 70s. It's much better at covering the period between 1944 to the mid 50s than it is for the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ebethe - LibraryThing

Very good, well written. Much more gossipy than a history written by professional historians. The book ends in 1986, before the fall of the Soviet Union, so the last chapter discusses what might have ... Read full review

Selected pages


Architects of the American Century
World of Their OwnTo the manner born
Tap DaysTo run with the swift
Joint VenturesHarriman and Lovett on Wall Street
World CourtsMcCloy and Acheson before the
A Pretty Good ClubKennan and Bohlen in the Foreign Service
On Active ServiceEnlisting in a noble cause
Heavenly Twins McCloy and Lovett at the War Department
Missions to MoscowHarriman Acheson Bohlen and Kennan wrestle with a biting bear

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About the author (2012)

Walter Isaacson, University Professor of History at Tulane, has been CEO of the Aspen Institute, chairman of CNN, and editor of Time magazine. He is the author of Leonardo da Vinci; The Innovators; Steve JobsEinstein: His Life and UniverseBenjamin Franklin: An American Life; and Kissinger: A Biography, and the coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made. He and his wife live in New Orleans. Facebook: Walter Isaacson, Twitter: @WalterIsaacson

Evan Thomas is the author of The Very Best Men: Four Who Dared: The Early Years of the C.I.A.; Robert Kennedy: His Life; The War Lovers: Roosevelt, Lodge, Hearst and the Rush to Empire, 1989; Sea of Thunder: The Last Great Naval Command, 1941-1945; and John Paul Jones. His most recent book is Ike’s Bluff: President Eisenhower’s Secret Battle to Save the World.

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