In George F. Kennan: An American Life (Penguin Press, $39.95), John Lewis Gaddis looks into the life of the man credited with the creation of America’s foreign policy during the Cold War. George Kennan is best known for the “Long Telegram” and “X Article” which set forth the strategy of containment that America adopted with considerable success. This period in American international relations has been dissected at length, but Gaddis’s is the first book to discuss Kennan’s personal life. Drawing on private journals and countless interviews, Gaddis profiles the man behind the policies with the detail and compassion that are essential to any biography.
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