American Visions of Europe: Franklin D. Roosevelt, George F. Kennan, and Dean G. Acheson / Edition 1

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American Visions of Europe sets three learned and elegantly written portraits against the background of the dramatic events and foreign policy controversies of the twentieth century. John Lamberton Harper's careful examination of three men and their policies—Roosevelt's partial internationalism, aiming at the retirement of Europe from world politics while avoiding American entanglement; Kennan's partial isolationism, aspiring to restore Europe's centrality and autonomy through temporary American engagement; and Acheson's accommodating interventionism, establishing the United States as a permanent power in Europe—creates a new and unique look at the "American Century" through its most prominent protagonists.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Harper's writing is clear, concise and jargon free, and his research is solidly based on both primary and secondary sources. This well-written work should be required reading for anyone interested in the personalities and policies of the early, formative years of the cold war." Library Journal

"Harper creatively melds biography with cultural and diplomatic history in this triptych of portraits of important architects of US policy towards Europe ...An absorbing study of the linkages between personal and diplomatic perspectives—illuminating as historical background in this period of European integration and diminished American power." Kirkus Reviews

"John Harper has written a finely crafted meditation on Europe's role in the imagination of twentieth-century American statesmen. At a time when we and the Europeans again face uncharted dilemmas, Harper's account challenges, instructs and sometimes disquiets." Charles S. Maier, Harvard University

"John Harper has done something that no one else has done to date. Not only that, he has done it exceedingly well. He has enabled us to see our European interest in a perspective we did not have before. A book of great relevance for the present juncture." Robert Tucker, Johns Hopkins University

"Through the intertwined lives of three American statesmen, John Harper has illuminated America's ambivalent attachment to Europe with rare eloquence and insight." Ronald Steel, University of Southern California

"...urbane, thoughtful ruminations on America's vexed relationship with the continent that is its cultural and institutional home." The Washington Times

"In a first-rate treatment of the ideas that shaped American diplomatic culture at midcentury, Harper shows how cultural milieu, education, and early career contacts with Europeans shaped the European vision of each protagonist and, in turn, influenced American Cold War diplomacy for a generation." Choice

"...wonderfully erudite work....a brilliant exposition of the basically unchanging problems of U.S. European policy, from Wilson through Truman, by means of the study of the approaches of three very major practitioners...." Dan Simpson, Foreign Service Journal

"Taken together, as an investigation of a theme, the triptych works surprisingly well....Taken singly, as biographies in miniature, they are even more impressive....They are explored throughout with exceptional sympathy and discrimination." Alex Danchev, Times Higher Education Supplement

Library Journal
In the past 50 years, many people have influenced the course of American foreign policy. Yet if one were to name three prominent players of the diplomatic game, probably none would rank higher than Roosevelt, Kennan, and Acheson. Harper (European studies and American foreign policy, John Hopkins Univ. Bologna Ctr., Paul H. Nitze Sch. of Advanced International Studies) uses collective biography to investigate the lives and contributions of his subjects. He reveals how their thoughts and actions determined America's approach toward Europe and the world since 1940. Roosevelt sought to limit European involvement in world politics after the war, while Kennan and Acheson worked to create a stable postwar Europe under American control. Harper's writing is clear, concise, and jargon-free, and his research is solidly based on both primary and secondary sources. This well-written work should be required reading for anyone interested in the personalitics and policies of the early, formative years of the Cold War. Recommended for academic libraries and for all history and political science collections.-Ed Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames, Ia.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521566285
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 387
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction; Part I: 1. Franklin Roosevelt, Europe, and American diplomatic culture, 1882–1932; 2. The Roosevelt administration and the European question, 1933–1941; 3. The Roosevelt solution, 1941–1945; Part II: 4. George F. Kennan: the sources of estrangement, 1904–1944; 5. Three worlds instead of two: George F. Kennan and Europe, 1944–1950; Part III: 6. Dean Acheson, 1893–1947: a Victorian for all seasons; 7. Acheson and Europe, 1949–51: a statesman's progress; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.

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