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Memoirs 1950-1963 by George F. Kennan (125,000 words)

George F. Kennan’s first volume of memoirs is
Memoirs 1925-1950.

In the second volume of his memoirs, George Kennan resumes the narrative of his remarkable career, re-creating his development as a historian and analyzing the crucial issues of the twentieth century.


“I don’t see how a memoir could be better; even if you aren’t interested in the subject at hand, the language carries you along. And the story here told — with all action subject to the finest Kennan introspection — is both important and absorbing... All of it is graced by the Kennan style; all is stamped with the Kennan foreign‐policy trademark [which] consists of an ability to think clearly about complicated matters with an utter independence of mind. He draws on a superb stock of historical knowledge... Most of the conclusions that George Kennan has reached over the years involve, in one way or another, the Soviet Union, and they emerge with admirable clarity from this book... [Kennan is the] most brilliant and civilized of students of the public scene.” —
John Kenneth Galbraith, The New York Times

“Delightfully written and appallingly frank... Mr. Kennan writes with a freedom and a sensitivity which carry the reader easily into a much deeper understanding of the difficulties of foreign policy-making in a mass democracy of the American model.” — D.C. Watt,
New Statesman

“[An] engrossing volume... this volume and its predecessor form one of the outstanding memoirs of our time.” — Richard W. Leopold,
The American Historical Review

“[T]his second volume of his memoirs can be read with as much speed and pleasure as a novel... This book is frank, honest, and introspective, and it therefore reveals a great deal about Kennan as a person... Kennan is obviously a complex, fascinating character — intelligent, proud, articulate, independent-minded, dedicated to serving his country, concerned over the fate of the world, generous in giving of his time to others, and yet suffering the pangs of frustration, loneliness, and alienation from his native land.” — Thomas T. Hammond,
The Russian Review

“As scholar and diplomatist, policymaker and critic of policy, George F. Kennan possesses a rare combination of expertise and experience... This book is notable for its lucid style and for the verbal portraits which it presents of such persons as Acheson, Dulles, Truman, Eisenhower, Stalin, and Tito... this volume ranks as an important contribution to our understanding of American postwar foreign policy.” — Robert L. Pfaltzgraff, Jr.,
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science

“[T]here is much here worth any serious student’s time, indeed close attention... Kennan should and will be read” —
Kirkus

“Kennan writes so well it is no doubt his intention that, though he shows himself plainly as a public figure, as a private person he remains elusive — a sort of Marquand character: gentlemanly, conservative (in the best sense), urbane, direct and honest; yet to any but his friends very private. I’m glad. There are so few celebrated men who refuse to become celebrities.” — Richard J. Walton,
The Washington Post