George F. Kennan: An American Life

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George F. Kennan: An American Life

Format:  CD/Spoken Word,

0 pages

Publisher: Blackstone Audio Inc

Publish Date: Feb 2012

ISBN-13: 9781455155385

ISBN-10: 1455155381

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Publisher: Blackstone Audio Inc
Publish Date: Feb 2012
ISBN-13: 9781455155385
ISBN-10: 1455155381
Format: CD/Spoken Word
Number of Pages: 0
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 1.2
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 5.5 x 6.0 x 1.75


Review by Library Journal (2012-08-01)

Prolific author and New York Times-heralded "Dean of Cold War Historians", Gaddis presents a massive and magnificent biography of George Frost Kennan (1904-2005). A Times obit described Kennan as "the American diplomat who did more than any other envoy of his generation to shape U.S. policy during the cold war". Drawing on unprecedented access to Kennan's personal papers and diaries as well as numerous interviews with the subject, his family members, and many influential diplomats and government officials, Gaddis reveals how Kennan's work continues to influence American foreign policy. This exhaustive analysis weaves details of the subject's life with his numerous high-level relationships with world leaders and reminds listeners of the dilemmas and aspirations our nation faced during this period.

Verdict: Professional narrator Malcolm Hillgartner's lively, personable reading of this huge work is impressive as he maintains listener interest in this important addition to our understanding of American foreign policy during the Cold War. Highly recommended for all university libraries and government wonks.

- Dale Farris, Groves, TX

(c). Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Library Journal (2011-09-15)

George F. Kennan (1904-2005) exerted a profound influence on the conduct of American foreign policy, especially during the years of the Cold War. His famous 1947 Foreign Affairs article, "Sources of Soviet Conduct", published under the pseudonym X, laid the theoretical groundwork for "containing" the Soviet Union in those hectic and dangerous postwar years. As Kennan's authorized biographer, Gaddis (The Cold War: A New History)-himself one of our most distinguished diplomatic historians-had unfettered access to Kennan's diaries and personal papers. The result is a nearly 800-page book with by far the most sophisticated and nuanced examination of Kennan's remarkable contributions to our nation during his lengthy life. Gaddis's portrayal of Kennan's personal life is more workmanlike, with less nuance.

Verdict: Gaddis has crafted an in-depth study of Kennan as a thinker and practicing diplomat. The focus on Kennan as foreign policy maker will not trouble most scholars of the diplomatic arts, but for the average reader the level of detail may prove more burdensome. Highly recommended for Cold War scholars and for all library collections, alongside Nicholas Thompson's more personal The Hawk and the Dove: Paul Nitze, George Kennan, and the History of the Cold War.

[See Prepub Alert, 5/2/11.] - Ed Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames

(c). Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Awards and Recognitions

  • National Book Critics Circle Awards, 2011 (United States)
  • Lionel Gelber Prize, 2012 (Canada)
  • Arthur Ross Book Awards, 2012 (United States)
  • Pulitzer Prize, 2012 (United States)

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