Contending With Kennan: Toward a Philosophy of American Power

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Contending With Kennan: Toward a Philosophy of American Power

By Barton Gellman
Praeger, 1984
172 pp. $21.95
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This is an extraordinarily well-balanced and perceptive study of the thought of George F. Kennan. Gellman acquits his subject of the charges of inconsistency favored by many "Kennan-bashers" while delineating clearly Kennan's elitism and fundamental lack of sympathy with the American democratic process. The book could have done more to relate Kennan to other thinkers, especially Reinhold Niebuhr. The author, a recent Princeton graduate, is now a Rhodes scholar.