Sketches from a Life

Sketches from a Life Beginning with his first foreign service post in and ending seven decades later Kennan s account is rich with the insight of a major historical participant Whether relating the perils of Hitler

  • Title: Sketches from a Life
  • Author: George F. Kennan
  • ISBN: 9780393321395
  • Page: 263
  • Format: Paperback
  • Beginning with his first foreign service post in 1927 and ending seven decades later, Kennan s account is rich with the insight of a major historical participant Whether relating the perils of Hitler s Germany or revisiting Kennan s days as ambassador to the Soviet Union, Sketches from a Life is as riveting as great literature, and one of the most invaluable documents ofBeginning with his first foreign service post in 1927 and ending seven decades later, Kennan s account is rich with the insight of a major historical participant Whether relating the perils of Hitler s Germany or revisiting Kennan s days as ambassador to the Soviet Union, Sketches from a Life is as riveting as great literature, and one of the most invaluable documents of our time.

    One thought on “Sketches from a Life”

    1. I've decided to write a review of this book, of all the Kennan works and Kennan themed book in order to briefly set forth my by now standard argument that George Frost Kennan was one of the most important Americans of the 20th C.Princeton grad, career diplomat, Russia expert, academic. From 1945-1950 or so, the thoughts of George Kennan steered the American ship of state vis a vis its policy towards the Soviet Union following World War 2. His 1946 "Long Telegram" from Moscow to the State Departm [...]

    2. These sketches contain memories, observations, and reflections mostly from travels spanning sixty years - from 1927 to 1988. Although drawn from contemporary diaries and letters, the short pieces show a remarkable consistency in mood and outlook throughout, mixing wistfulness, bordering on nostalgia, for the past with dark forebodings about a soulless future. The old specialist on Russian history and politics relishes warm personal words from Mr. Gorbachev on a visit to the US in 1988, but fails [...]

    3. Having read and liked Kennan's memoirs covering 1925-1950, then seeing an exerpt from this, it seemed like a "must-read." Now I'm very glad I read it, but I wouldn't call it a slam-dunk "enjoyable" read. Yes, there's lots to enjoy -- his writing is wonderful and some of his descriptions are poetic -- but it's wistful throughout. Kennan was complex and apparently often unhappy with the world around him, but he was an excellent observer with a keen power of reflection. His sense of "lost in time" [...]

    4. George Kennan was a diplomat and historian. He was ambassador to Berlin until the U.S. declared war (and was then held for six months in Germany). Later he was ambassador to Moscow. Kennan was an architect of the Marshall Plan and Truman Doctrine. As the U.S. became more rabidly anti-Soviet he argued, against the tide, that he had favored political and economic strategies rather than military methods of containment, and ultimately Kennan became a non-person in government. This memoir is more abo [...]

    5. George Kennan, little know today, was a real pioneer. He alone was instrumental in exposing to the world the worst conditions possible in the world in Russia. Then came the communists and Stalin and the bad things got worse. Kennan worked for the US government and Russian people to hold the Soviet government accountable. He was as knowledgeable about Russian affairs as Arman Hammer.You have to be interested in Russian civilization and culture to endure this, else you will put it down and never p [...]

    6. Supremely enjoyable book. I'd almost classify it as a travelogue. Documenting his decades in foreign service and academia, this book is rich in personal observation. Spoiler: if you're looking for the inside scoop that covers his falling-out with Acheson and Dulles, you will be disappointed. But this book fills in all the background that punctuates our lives: weekend excursions, long train rides, and personal reflection.

    7. I found this interesting as a travel narrative, but it is not a book that deals with Kennan's views on diplomacy or diplomatic history.

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