Politics Foreign Affairs Culture

The Kennan Canon, Vermont Edition

Kennan’s final, and most engagingly radical, enthusiasm? Independence for the state of Vermont.

George Kennan Testifying Before Congress on Vietnam

Almost alone among the so-called Wise Men of the U.S. foreign policy establishment of the early Cold War years, George F. Kennan had the wisdom to imagine an alternative future to the perpetually warring empire into which the erstwhile republic transmogrified.

The author and reviser of Cold War containment policy was also, as Frank Costigliola’s absorbing new biography makes clear, a horndog par excellence. Upon turning 70, Kennan complained, “I wish they wouldn’t let female dental assistants wear such seductive clothes.”


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