Only these two Americans held positions of great influence throughout the entirety of the Cold War, and they were the chief advocates for the opposing strategies for winning--and surviving--that harrowing conflict. Both men came to power during World War II, reached their professional peaks during the Cold War's most frightening moments, and fought epic political battles that spanned decades. Yet despite their very different views, Paul Nitze and George Kennan dined together, attended the weddings of each other's children, and remained good friends all their lives. In this masterly double biography, Nicholas Thompson brings Nitze and Kennan to life. Nitze--the hawk, and Thompson's grandfather--was a consummate insider who believed that the best way to avoid a nuclear clash was to prepare to win one. More than any other American, he was responsible for the arms race. Kennan--the dove--was a diplomat turned academic who authored what was arguably history's most influential, if not its longest, telegram. The often-misunderstood architect of the Cold War's containment strategy, Kennan exercised more influence on foreign affairs than any other private citizen. Thompson's vividly written book weaves a fascinating narrative that follows these two rivals and friends from the beginning of the Cold War to its end, thus telling the story of the last half-century from an intriguing vantage point. http://www.newamerica.net/events/2009/cold_wars_friendliest_quarrel
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