By John Lukacs
In September 1952, John Lukacs, then a tender and unknown historian, wrote George Kennan (1904-2005), the U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union, asking one of many nation's best-known diplomats what he considered Lukacs's personal perspectives on Kennan's broadly debated notion of containing instead of militarily confronting the Soviet Union. A month later, to Lukacs's shock, he obtained a private answer from Kennan.
So all started an alternate of letters that will proceed for greater than fifty years. Lukacs could move directly to turn into considered one of America's so much extraordinary and prolific diplomatic historians, whereas Kennan, who may retire from public lifestyles to start a brand new profession as Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, could develop into respected because the guy whose technique of containment resulted in a relaxed finish to the chilly struggle. Their letters, amassed right here for the 1st time, trap the writing and taking into account of the country's most crucial voices on America's position and position in international affairs. From the department of Europe into East and West after global struggle II to its unification because the Soviet Union disintegrated, and from the warfare in Vietnam to the specter of nuclear annihilation and the destiny of democracy in the US and the area, this booklet presents an insider's journey of the problems and pivotal occasions that outlined the chilly War.
The correspondence additionally charts the expansion and improvement of an highbrow and private friendship that was once extreme, committed, and sincere. As Kennan later wrote Lukacs in letter, "perceptive, figuring out, and optimistic feedback is . . . as I see it, in itself a kind of inventive philosophical thought." it's a trust to which either males subscribed and they either practiced.
Presented with an advent by way of Lukacs, the letters in Through the heritage of the chilly War demonstrate new dimensions to Kennan's pondering the USA and its destiny, and remove darkness from the political—and spiritual—philosophies that the 2 authors shared as they wrote a couple of international reworked by way of battle and through the conflict of ideologies that outlined the 20 th century.