The Kremlinologist: Llewellyn E Thompson, America's Man in Cold War Moscow

The Kremlinologist: Llewellyn E Thompson, America's Man in Cold War Moscow

The Kremlinologist: Llewellyn E Thompson, America's Man in Cold War Moscow

The Kremlinologist: Llewellyn E Thompson, America's Man in Cold War Moscow

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Overview

An Owl in a Hawk’s World: Top diplomat Llewellyn E Thompson was everywhere the Cold War was.

Winner of the New Mexico/Arizona Book Award for Best Biography

Winner of the New Mexico/Arizona Book Award for Best Biography

Against the sprawling backdrop of the Cold War, The Kremlinologist revisits some of the twentieth century's greatest conflicts as seen through the eyes of its hardest working diplomat, Llewellyn E Thompson. From the wilds of the American West to the inner sanctums of the White House and the Kremlin, Thompson became an important advisor to presidents and a key participant in major global events, including the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War. Yet unlike his contemporaries Robert S. McNamara and Dean Rusk, who considered Thompson one of the most crucial Cold War actors and the "unsung hero" of the Cuban Missile Crisis, he has not been the subject of a major biography—until now.

Thompson's daughters Jenny and Sherry Thompson skillfully and thoroughly document his life as an accomplished career diplomat. In vigorous prose, they describe how Thompson joined the Foreign Service both to feed his desire for adventure and from a deep sense of duty. They also detail the crucial role he played as a negotiator unafraid of compromise. Known in the State Department as "Mr. Tightlips," Thompson was the epitome of discretion. People from completely opposite ends of the political spectrum lauded his approach to diplomacy and claimed him as their own.

Refuting historical misinterpretations of the Berlin Crisis, the Austrian State Treaty, and the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Thompsons tell their father's fascinating story. With unprecedented access to Thompson's FBI dossier, State Department personnel files, letters, diaries, speeches, and documents, and relying on probing interviews and generous assistance from American and Russian archivists, historians, and government officials, the authors bring new material to light, including important information on the U-2, Kennan's containment policy, and Thompson's role in US covert operations machinery.

This unique and monumental biography not only restores a central figure to history, it makes the crucial events he shaped accessible to a broader readership and gives contemporary readers a backdrop for understanding the fraught United StatesRussia relationship that still exists today.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781421424545
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 03/01/2018
Series: Johns Hopkins Nuclear History and Contemporary Affairs
Pages: 600
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.97(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Jenny Thompson runs an English-language school in Estepona, Spain. Before she retired, Sherry Thompson was the director of a nonprofit foundation. The authors, daughters of Llewellyn E Thompson, spent eight years of their childhood in Moscow.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Part I
1. The Beginning
2. Into the World
3. To Moscow
4. The Siege of Moscow
5. The Germans in Retreat
6. Conferences
7. The Hot War Ends and the Cold War Begins
8. The Truman Doctrine
9. The Birth of Covert Operations
10. Overseas Again
Part II
11. Chief of Mission
12. The Trieste Negotiations
13. The Austrian State Treaty Negotiations
14. Open Skies, Closed Borders
Part III
15. Khrushchev's Decade (1953–1964)
16. Moscow 2
17. Khrushchev's First Gamble: Berlin Poker
18. Dueling Exhibitions
19. The Russian Is Coming
20. U-2: The End of Détente
21. Picking Up the Pieces
22. Working for the New President
23. Meeting in Vienna
24. The Twenty-Second Congress of the Communist Party
25. Up the Down Escalator
26. Goodbye Moscow, Hello Washington
27. Thirteen Days in October
28. Limited Test Ban
Part IV
29. The Lyndon Johnson Years
30. Strand One
31. Thompson's Vietnam
32. Strand Two
33. Strand Three
34. Moscow 3
35. The Six-Day War
36. Glassboro
37. 1968
38. "Retirement," So to Speak
Notes
Bibliography
Index

What People are Saying About This

William Taubman

Combining a charming family memoir with meticulous diplomatic history, Ambassador Llewellyn Thompson’s daughters’ wonderful account illuminates everything from their adventures growing up in the Moscow embassy, to Stalin’s and Khrushchev’s relations with presidents from Roosevelt to Johnson, to the Cold War’s main crises in Berlin, Cuba, and Vietnam.

Vladislav M. Zubok

A wonderful achievement; with every page, my appreciation grew. The authors succeed in commemorating the role of their father, Llewellyn Thompson, an unsung hero of the Cold War, while going beyond a simplistic portrayal of American motives and decision making in the longest confrontation of the twentieth century. Meticulously researched and infused with empathy for both sides, The Kremlinologist is a valuable contribution to Cold War scholarship.

Alex Beam

In The Kremlinologist, Jenny and Sherry Thompson's masterful biography of the legendary Ambassador Llwellyn Thompson, his daughters resurrect a bygone—and sorely missed—era of American diplomacy. Exercising archival and anthropological diligence, no archive has gone unvisited, no eyewitness has not been interviewed. This book will find its deserved place as an exemplary addition to the history of twentieth-century American diplomacy.

From the Publisher

By telling the detailed personal story of Ambassador Llewellyn E Thompson, the most brilliant American master of negotiation and compromise, The Kremlinologist will help diplomats deal successfully with future crises. Highly recommended.
—Sergei N. Khrushchev, author of Nikita Khrushchev and the Creation of a Superpower

A wonderful achievement; with every page, my appreciation grew. The authors succeed in commemorating the role of their father, Llewellyn Thompson, an unsung hero of the Cold War, while going beyond a simplistic portrayal of American motives and decision making in the longest confrontation of the twentieth century. Meticulously researched and infused with empathy for both sides, The Kremlinologist is a valuable contribution to Cold War scholarship.
—Vladislav M. Zubok, author of A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev

A remarkable, insightful picture of Ambassador Llewellyn Thompson as a person and of his role in the conduct of American diplomacy. Well researched and beautifully written, The Kremlinologist will be fascinating reading for anyone interested in foreign policy, the work of diplomats, and the history of the Cold War.
—Jack F. Matlock Jr., former US Ambassador to the USSR, author of Reagan and Gorbachev: How the Cold War Ended

Combining a charming family memoir with meticulous diplomatic history, Ambassador Llewellyn Thompson’s daughters’ wonderful account illuminates everything from their adventures growing up in the Moscow embassy, to Stalin’s and Khrushchev’s relations with presidents from Roosevelt to Johnson, to the Cold War’s main crises in Berlin, Cuba, and Vietnam.
—William Taubman, author of Khrushchev: The Man and His Era

Thoroughly researched and beautifully written, The Kremlinologist is an analytically piercing biography of America’s longest serving and most influential Soviet expert, Ambassador Llewellyn E Thompson. Both an intimate portrait and an insider’s account of life in Moscow during the Cold War, it reveals new and fascinating details about the many US–Soviet crises that Thompson helped to resolve during the Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson administrations.
—Martin J. Sherwin, coauthor of American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer

In The Kremlinologist, Jenny and Sherry Thompson's masterful biography of the legendary Ambassador Llwellyn Thompson, his daughters resurrect a bygone—and sorely missed—era of American diplomacy. Exercising archival and anthropological diligence, no archive has gone unvisited, no eyewitness has not been interviewed. This book will find its deserved place as an exemplary addition to the history of twentieth-century American diplomacy.
—Alex Beam, author of The Feud: Vladimir Nabokov, Edmund Wilson, and the End of a Beautiful Friendship

Sergei N. Khrushchev

By telling the detailed personal story of Ambassador Llewellyn E Thompson, the most brilliant American master of negotiation and compromise, The Kremlinologist will help diplomats deal successfully with future crises. Highly recommended.

Martin J. Sherwin

"Thoroughly researched and beautifully written, The Kremlinologist is an analytically piercing biography of America’s longest serving and most influential Soviet expert, Ambassador Llewellyn E Thompson. Both an intimate portrait and an insider’s account of life in Moscow during the Cold War, it reveals new and fascinating details about the many US–Soviet crises that Thompson helped to resolve during the Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson administrations."

Jack F. Matlock Jr.

A remarkable, insightful picture of Ambassador Llewellyn Thompson as a person and of his role in the conduct of American diplomacy. Well researched and beautifully written, The Kremlinologist will be fascinating reading for anyone interested in foreign policy, the work of diplomats, and the history of the Cold War.

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