In September 1952, John Lukacs, then a young and unknown
historian, wrote George Kennan (1904-2005), the U.S. ambassador to
the Soviet Union, asking one of the nation's best-known diplomats
what he thought of Lukacs's own views on Kennan's widely debated
idea of containing rather than militarily confronting the Soviet
Union. A month later, to Lukacs's surprise, he received a personal
reply from Kennan.
So began an exchange of letters that would continue for more than
fifty years. Lukacs would go on to become one of America's most
distinguished and prolific diplomatic historians, while Kennan, who
would retire from public life to begin a new career as Pulitzer
Prize-winning author, would become revered as the man whose
strategy of containment led to a peaceful end to the Cold War.
Their letters, collected here for the first time, capture the
writing and thinking of two of the country's most important voices
on America's role and place in world affairs. From the division of
Europe into East and West after World War II to its unification as
the Soviet Union disintegrated, and from the war in Vietnam to the
threat of nuclear annihilation and the fate of democracy in America
and the world, this book provides an insider's tour of the issues
and pivotal events that defined the Cold War.
The correspondence also charts the growth and development of an
intellectual and personal friendship that was intense, devoted, and
honest. As Kennan later wrote Lukacs in letter, "perceptive,
understanding, and constructive criticism is . . . as I see it, in
itself a form of creative philosophical thought." It is a belief to
which both men subscribed and that they both practiced.
Presented with an introduction by Lukacs, the letters in
Through the History of the Cold War reveal new dimensions
to Kennan's thinking about America and its future, and illuminate
the political-and spiritual-philosophies that the two authors
shared as they wrote about a world transformed by war and by the
clash of ideologies that defined the twentieth century.
Subjects: Political Science
You do not have access to this book on JSTOR. Try logging in through your institution for access.
Log in to your personal account or through your institution.
Table of Contents
Export Selected Citations
Export to NoodleTools
Export to RefWorks
Export to EasyBib
Export a RIS file
(For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...)
Export a Text file