Buy Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of American National Security Policy during the Cold War Updated by John Lewis Gaddis (ISBN. Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of Postwar American National Security Policy. Front Cover ยท John Lewis Gaddis. Oxford University Press, John Lewis Gaddis, Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of Postwar American National Security Policy List: 20th Century. Subjects: Cold War.

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Strategies of Containment

I learned so much from this book. That is why Kennan plays such a central role in this book. Jan 18, Maciek rated it it was amazing Shelves: Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Aug 30, Mark Bowles rated it it was amazing. For those for whom this is “history”, it is essential to understand the mindset that framed policy contianment the Cold War Era.

Many ensuing presidents failed to exhibit Kennan’s patience.

Gaddis ultimately asserts that Kennan’s ideas laid the foundation that allowed the United States to perform as well as possible in the Cold War. In asymmetrical containment Kennan, New Look, Detente the US tried to avoid playing to Soviet strengths conventional arms, for instance and defined American interests more narrowly, usually by focusing on threats that combined hostility, capability, and a vital area of the world.

The revised edition adds a final chapter which discusses both the theory and implementation of the Ronald Reagan administration. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. George F Kennan and the Strategy of Containment. Carter gets a more sympathetic treatment of his strategy than you would expect, and a lot of Reagan’s achievement is rightly attributed to Gorbachev, explicitly citing Kennan’s prediction in the “X” article that change in Soviet behavior would only be possible with a new generation of leadership.


This was difficult for the Russians because they liked to compartmentalize issues. He thought the goal of policy should be to protect the security of the nation and advance the welfare of its people.

He was one of the first into Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and was one of the last Cold War arms negotiators – alpha and omega. Its like one of those professors that writes his PhD thesis and then never stops rewriting and teaching it from then on.

Orals Reading Notes: Strategies of Containment, John Lewis Gaddis

X article does not leave the reader with a clear strategy a government could implement. View all 4 comments. Gaddis seems to prefer asymmetrical containment, but he does a great job across the board in explaining how these different strategists saw the geopolity, US goals, US capabilities, and designed strategies.

Gaddis srrategies the official biographer of George Kennan author of the Long Telegramhandpicked by him for the purpose.

It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. He concludes, provocatively, that Reagan more effectively than any other Cold War president drew upon the strengths of both approaches while avoiding their weaknesses. But, this view did not change from the zero-sum assumptions of the IKE administration this was ledis belief that any victory for communism was a defeat for the US.

Ends with a summary of what can be transferred to future grand strategies. Further, the Soviet threat in and in were quite different. Christi Bartman, for inspiring my interest in the subject.

One begins their examination of Cold War history, perhaps, with Kennan, but there his story ends. Relative to my previous reading, the book was more work for me this time because it assumes the reader already knows Cold War history well. The author evaluates the various strategies of successive administrations according to the criteria of whether ends and means are distinguished, on the axis of symmetrical and asymmetrical responses to provocation and the prevailing political climate politics are the art of the possible.


Dividing the war into five stages the expanded edition identifies a sixthGaddis demonstrates that each shift in National Security policy was either an embrace of Kennan’s concepts, a reaction against them, or a reconciliation of these two poles.

No trivia or quizzes yet. Accomplishing this necessitated massive increases in government military spending. It continues to be an excellent treatment of the Cold War, in large part because of Gaddis’ systematic list-based congainment. I will say that I think that there could have been a greater focus on Carter and Reagan, but it was sufficient.

Instead it focuses on strategy. Kennan, he wrote a 19 page “telegram. However even before the war ended they became competitors and soon morphed into cold war enemies This tells the story. Gaddis’ approach of breaking down how each administration and leader saw the requirements of containment and then how they executed the policy leiws on those perceptions is outstanding.

The book is remarkably apologetic of Nixon and Kissinger, who are often criticized or maligned.