"Dean of Cold War historians" discusses the life of George F. Kennan '25
John Lewis Gaddis, who has been deemed the “dean of Cold War historians” by The New York Times, discussed his new biographical book, “George F. Kennan: An American Life,” at the Wilson School on March 1, 2012. He was joined in conversation by Bart Gellman ’82, author in residence and visiting lecturer in public and international affairs at the Wilson School. John Ikenberry, the Albert G. Milbank Professor of Politics and International Affairs, introduced Gaddis to the assembled crowd. The talk was co-sponsored by the Wilson School and the Center for International Security Studies.
George F. Kennan ’25 has been noted as the one of the key architects of the “Marshall Plan,” which was designed to rebuild Europe following World War II, as well as the author of the policy of “containment” espoused by U.S. Presidents from Harry S. Truman to Ronald Reagan. He is regarded as one of the United States’ most influential diplomats. Kennan was a faculty member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton from 1956 until his death in 2005 at age 101. In writing the biographical account of Kennan, Gaddis had unprecedented access to George Kennan’s diaries and personal papers.
Watch the discussion here: