Origins Of The Cold War: The Novikov, Kennan, And Roberts 'Long Telegrams' Of 1946

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Origins Of The Cold War: The Novikov, Kennan, And Roberts 'Long Telegrams' Of 1946

Edited by Kenneth M. Jensen
United States Institute of Peace, 1991
71 pp. $9.95

George Kennan's "long telegram" from Moscow to Washington of February 1946 is the single best-known dispatch in American diplomatic history. Its advocacy of containment and analysis of the sources of Soviet conduct soon appeared in the famous "X" article in this journal and shaped the conventional wisdom of a generation. Also in 1946 the British chargé in Moscow, Frank Roberts, sent London a long analysis of fundamental Anglo-Soviet incompatibilities. The Roberts text is here reproduced from the British Public Record Office archives. That September Nikolai Novikov, Soviet Ambassador in Washington, sent his long analysis to Moscow. In 1990, as an aspect of glasnost, the Soviet Foreign Ministry released the Novikov text, with Foreign Minister Molotov's underlinings. Novikov saw the U.S. government preparing for war with the Soviet Union as part of a drive for world supremacy. Although such sentiments differ little from what was appearing in Pravda at the time, it is fascinating to see them adumbrated in such detail in an important secret document. Having these three documents together in one publication is a boon to scholars and teachers.

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