In This Review
George Kennan And The Dilemmas Of U.S. Foreign Policy

George Kennan And The Dilemmas Of U.S. Foreign Policy

By David Mayers

Oxford, 1988, 402 pp.

Too much of previously published commentary on the ideas of George Kennan has focused narrowly on his role as the author of "containment." This excellent intellectual biography explores almost sixty years of Kennan's published and unpublished writings. One of the most interesting themes involves the tension between Kennan's preference for a foreign policy conducted by a highly educated and well-mannered elite and the turbulent, inefficient reality of American democratic society. In this century only Walter Lippmann can be compared with Kennan in terms of the quantity, range and power of ideas expressed over so long a time.