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George F. Kennan and the Making of American Foreign Policy, 1947-1950
     

George F. Kennan and the Making of American Foreign Policy, 1947-1950

by Wilson D. Miscamble
 

When George C. Marshall became Secretary of State in January of 1947, he faced not only a staggering array of serious foreign policy questions but also a State Department rendered ineffective by neglect, maladministration, and low morale. Soon after his arrival Marshall asked George F. Kennan to head a new component in the department's structure—the Policy

Overview

When George C. Marshall became Secretary of State in January of 1947, he faced not only a staggering array of serious foreign policy questions but also a State Department rendered ineffective by neglect, maladministration, and low morale. Soon after his arrival Marshall asked George F. Kennan to head a new component in the department's structure—the Policy Planning Staff. Here Wilson Miscamble scrutinizes Kennan's subsequent influence over foreign policymaking during the crucial years from 1947 to 1950.

Editorial Reviews

Foreign Affairs - William G. Hyland
A good analytical examination of American foreign policy as seen through the lens of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff. . . . As such it embraces much more than the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. The author insists that there was no grand design to American policy in these years, but one is impressed by the pervasive and lucid intellect of Ambassador Kennan.
From the Publisher
Finalist for the 1993 Hoover Presidential Library Association Book Award

"A good analytical examination of American foreign policy as seen through the lens of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff. . . . As such it embraces much more than the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. The author insists that there was no grand design to American policy in these years, but one is impressed by the pervasive and lucid intellect of Ambassador Kennan."—William G. Hyland, Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs
A good analytical examination of American foreign policy as seen through the lens of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff. . . . As such it embraces much more than the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. The author insists that there was no grand design to American policy in these years, but one is impressed by the pervasive and lucid intellect of Ambassador Kennan.
— William G. Hyland
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Kennan's tenure in the mainstream of American foreign-policymaking was relatively brief--limited to his service as director of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff and, later, as its counselor--but his influence was mighty. Miscamble describes Kennan's contribution to Washington's post-World War II commitment to restore and secure Western Europe and stabilize the Far East--two major projects that laid the foundation for four decades of U.S. foreign policy. In apprising the extent to which Kennan's recommendations influenced the Truman administration, Miscamble spotlights him as more a policymaker than a theorist. He offers penetrating analyses of Kennan's efforts to implement the Marshall Plan, for instance, and of his crucial role in making the newly established National Security Council effective. And he cogently argues that Kennan's ``containment'' doctrine defined the Soviet threat as not essentially military in nature, and that his encouragement of political and economic stability in Japan and Western European countries helped them to resist that threat. Miscamble teaches history at Notre Dame. Illustrations. (May)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691024837
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
05/17/1993
Series:
Princeton Studies in International History and Politics Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
444
Product dimensions:
6.06(w) x 9.24(h) x 1.03(d)

What People are Saying About This

Ullman
This book is the most insightful treatment of George Kennan that has yet been published and the best work I know on the making of U.S. foreign policy during this period. The work is an astonishing scholarly accomplishment. Miscamble offers fresh interpretations and a new sense of the context in which policy was made and of the complex influences on the policymakers.
Richard H. Ullman, Princeton University

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