AUTHORThompson, Nicholas
TITLEThe Hawk and the Dove: Paul Nitze, George Kennan and the History of the Cold War
PUBLISHERHenry Holt and Company
CITYNew York, NY

The author, Paul Nitze’s grandson, presents dual biographies of Paul Nitze and George Kennan, two personalities who influenced U.S. policy throughout the Cold War. Both men played roles in the administrations of various presidents from Harry S. Truman to Ronald Reagan. The book contrasts their fundamental differences on nuclear weapons policy over time: Kennan as "dove" and Nitze as "hawk." Kennan's position was that nuclear weapons were too powerful to leave in human hands, while Nitze advocated that a war with the Soviets could be averted by a survivable U.S. nuclear arsenal. Having been in foreign service in the Soviet Union, Kennan felt that Nitze’s policy was seen as a threat by the Soviets and would heighten the nuclear arms race. The author shows that despite their often opposing views on many issues, the two men remained friends. Written for the general reader, the narrative provides interesting insights into the arms race and treaty negotiations as well as the lives of the two protagonists. Extensive notes and a solid bibliography attest to the quality of the author’s research.

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