American Cold War Strategy: Interpreting NSC 68 / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 30%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 89%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (45) from $1.99   
  • New (1) from $7.00   
  • Used (44) from $1.99   


Written in 1950, NSC 68 laid out the rationale for American Cold War strategy. This volume includes the complete text of NSC 68, followed by commentaries from former officials, specialists on American foreign policy, and American and foreign scholars. Ernest May's analytical essays discuss the many ways in which this historical document can be read, remembered, and understood.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312066376
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 3/15/1993
  • Series: Bedford Cultural Editions Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 228
  • Sales rank: 713,140
  • Product dimensions: 5.48 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Ernest R. May is one of the leading diplomatic historians in the United States. He is the Charles Warren Professor of History at Harvard University, where he has taught for over three decades and served as dean of Harvard College, director of the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government, and chair of the History Department. In 1988 he won the Gravemeyer Award for Ideas Contributing to World Order. Among his many books, the most recent are Thinking in Time: The Uses of History for Decision Makers, and The Making of the Monroe Doctrine. He is also the advisory editor to the Bedford Books in American History series.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


Introduction: NSC 68: The Theory and Politics of Strategy


NSC 68: United States Objectives and Programs for National Security (April 14, 1950)


1. Biases, Official and Scholarly

2. Eyewitness Testimony
George F. Kennan, Director of the State Department Policy Planning Staff, 1947-1950
Dean Acheson, Secretary of State, 1949-1953
Paul H. Nitze, Director of the State Department Policy Planning Staff, 1950-1953

3. Later Officials' Retrospects
Robert R. Bowie, Director of the State Department Policy Planning Staff, 1953-1957
Carl Kaysen, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, 1961-1963
Robert D. Blackwill, Assistant to the President for European and Soviet Affairs, 1989-1990
Georgi M. Kornienko, American Expert, Foreign Ministry of the USSR, 1949-1990

4. Interpreters of U.S. Foreign Policy
Realism: Paul Y. Hammond
Revisionism: William Appleman Williams
Neorealism: Samuel F. Wells, Jr.
Postrevisionism: John Lewis Gaddis
Post-Postrevisionism: Lloyd Gardner

5. American Interpreters of American History
U.S. Political History: Alonzo L. Hamby
U.S. Intellectual History: Bruce Kuklick
U.S. Cultural History: Emily S. Rosenberg

6. A World Historian and a Social Scientist
Modern World History: Walter McDougall
International Relations and Foreign Policy Theory: Deborah Welch Larson

7. Foreign Scholars
The United Kingdom: Zara Steiner
Germany: Helga Haftendorn
Norway: Geir Lundestad
Russia: Vladislav Zubok
People's Republic of China: Shu Guang Zhang

8. Afterword


Chronology of the Cold War, 1944-1954
Some Public Opinion Polls, 1948-1951
Suggestions for Further Reading


The Postwar Division of Europe (map)
The Spread of Communism in China and Korea (map)

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)