The Hawk and the Dove

The Hawk and the Dove Paul Nitze, George Kennan and the History of the Cold War

The Hawk and the Dove
Paul Nitze, George Kennan and the History of the Cold War

 

The Hawk and the Dove fits into a series of books on the Cold War that I am reading.  This biography’s focus is on the relationship and rivalry between Paul Nitze, a political insider who worked with several Presidents and George Kennan, a diplomat turned academic.   The author of this book is Nicholas Thompson, grandson of Paul Nitze.

His narrative is easy to follow and paints a very good picture of the two men and the impact the Cold War had on them.   Nitze, the Hawk, felt the  development & stock piling of nuclear weapons was essential for the United States. He felt the U.S.S.R, was a constant threat and the U.S. must be able to defend itself at a moments notice.  (The U.S.S.R. did the same thing. )  It had to be this way while at the same time trying to achieve peace through diplomacy.

Whereas Kennan felt by coming to understand how the U.S.S.R. thinks; the better the United States can have more fruitful talks with the U.S.S.R. Further he felt having nuclear weapons on hand would only keep agitating the precarious situation.

Thompson lays out the details of the time period as smoothly as he paints a picture of the two men’s lives & careers in words.  I enjoyed this book and learning about yet another aspect into these men’s lives and the Cold War Period.

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