Magazine October 19, 2009, Issue

Parallel Lives

George Kennan (Foreign Policy Association/via YouTube)
The Hawk and the Dove: Paul Nitze, George Kennan, and the History of the Cold War, by Nicholas Thompson (Henry Holt, 416 pp., $27.50)

In February 1946, George Kennan despaired that the U.S. government, mystified by Soviet unwillingness to cooperate in its plans for shaping the post-war world, understood neither the nature of Stalin’s Soviet Union nor its implications for the United States. Irritated that his State Department superiors had ignored the analysis he had been providing as chargé d’affaires at the embassy in Moscow, he made the most of the opportunity when Washington queried the embassy about Stalin’s truculence in recent speeches and the USSR’s rejection of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. As Kennan later wrote of his response, “Nothing

To Read the Full Story
Paul Lettow, the author of Ronald Reagan and His Quest to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, served as the senior director for strategic planning on the National Security Council staff from 2007 to 2009.

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


The Week

The Week

In a matter of about three weeks, the Left’s view of Afghanistan has gone from “the good war” to “the next Vietnam.


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