George F. Kennan: An American Life

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George F. Kennan: An American Life
George F Kennan - An American Life.jpg
AuthorJohn Lewis Gaddis
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
GenreBiography
PublisherW. W. Norton & Company
Publication date
November 10, 2011 (hardcover)[1]
September 3, 2012 (paperback)[2]
Pages800
ISBN978-1594203121

George F. Kennan: An American Life is a nonfiction book about U.S. diplomat George F. Kennan by John Lewis Gaddis that won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography.[3][4]

Pulitzer.org describes this as "an engaging portrait of a globetrotting diplomat whose complicated life was interwoven with the Cold War and America’s emergence as the world’s dominant power".[3] In The New York Times in November 2011, Henry Kissinger said, the book "bids fair to be as close to the final word as possible on one of the most important, complex, moving, challenging and exasperating American public servants".[4] In April 2012 and after the Pulitzer prize was announced, Jonathan Haslam of The Guardian presented its review as a discussion of a "Pulitzer-winning life of an opponent of McCarthy and George Bush".[5] Fred Kaplan's review in The New York Times described the book as "an epic work—probing, engrossing, occasionally revelatory—but also a well-timed one".[6]

According to a review in The Economist, the circumstances of the biography were that Gaddis began conducting interviews and accumulating papers from Kennan in 1981 with the expectation that a posthumous biography would be published. Kennan was 78 at the time, but he did not die until 2005, which changed the context in which the book was published due to contemporaneous concerns about "economic misery and questions about the future of American dominance in international affairs".[7] Kennan granted access on the condition that the publication be posthumous.[6]

Gideon Rachman of The Financial Times describes Kennan as "a rare example of a diplomat who changed history through the power of his ideas and the clarity of his writing".[8] Kissinger reminds us that "the highest position he ever held was ambassador to Moscow for five months in 1952 and to Yugoslavia for two years in the early 1960s".[4] Kennan won two Pulitzer Prizes including one for his own 1967 Memoirs.[9]

Gaddis' book was also reviewed by Frank Costigliola in The New York Review of Books,[10] by John Gray in the New Statesman,[11] by Alex Danchev in Times Higher Education,[12] and by Rajiv Bhatia in The Hindu.[13]

On April 16, 2012, it was announced that the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography would be awarded for George F. Kennan: An American Life.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "George F. Kennan: An American Life [Hardcover]". Amazon.com. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  2. ^ "George F. Kennan: An American Life [Paperback]". Amazon.com. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "The 2012 Pulitzer Prize Winners: Biography or Autobiography". Pulitzer.org. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c Kissinger, Henry (November 10, 2011). "The Age of Kennan". The New York Times. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  5. ^ Haslam, Jonathan (April 17, 2012). "George F Kennan: An American Life by John Lewis Gaddis - review: A Pulitzer-winning life of an opponent of McCarthy and George Bush". The Guardian. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Kaplan, Fred (November 22, 2011). "America's Cold War Sage and His Discontents". The New York Times. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  7. ^ "History of diplomacy: Dealing with the enemy". The Economist. November 12, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  8. ^ Rachman, Gideon (November 18, 2011). "George F Kennan". The Financial Times. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  9. ^ Menand, Louis (November 14, 2011). "Getting Real: George F. Kennan's Cold War". The New Yorker. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  10. ^ Frank Costigliola (2011). "Is this George Kennan? [review of George F. Kennan: An American life, by John Gaddis]". The New York Review of Books. 58 (19, December 8, 2011): 4, 6, 8. ISSN 0028-7504. OCLC 1760105.
  11. ^ John Gray (January 23, 2012). "George f. Kennan: An American life, [review of book by John gaddis]". New Statesman. 58 (19, January 23, 2012). ISSN 1364-7431. OCLC 4588945.
  12. ^ Alex Danchev (December 22, 2011). "A Prophet Out of Place and Time [review of George F. Kennan: An American life, by John Gaddis]". Times Higher Education (December 22, 2011). ISSN 0049-3929. OCLC 230011245.
  13. ^ Rajiv Bhatia (December 4, 2012). "Long Story of a Tall Figure in American Diplomacy[review of George F. Kennan: An American Life, by John Gaddis]". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. OCLC 1781415. Retrieved December 28, 2012.
  14. ^ Columbia University Office of Communication and Public Affairs (April 16, 2012). COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY ANNOUNCES 96th ANNUAL PULITZER PRIZES IN JOURNALISM, LETTERS, DRAMA AND MUSIC (accessed December 29, 2012)

External links[edit]