American Realism: Kennan, Kissinger and the American Style of Foreign Policy
Division II; Writing-Intensive;
Cross-listed as PSCI355 / LEAD355
This is not the current course catalog
George Kennan is widely considered to be the author of the containment strategy that ultimately won the Cold War. Henry Kissinger served as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State. In addition to their distinguished careers in government, both men have published well regarded and popular scholarship on various aspects of American foreign policy, international relations, and nuclear weapons. This tutorial will first examine the nature of their relationship to both Realist and Wilsonian perspectives on American foreign relations. We will then examine their experiences as strategists and policymakers during the most crucial moments of the Cold War. One of the key questions we will seek to answer is why Kennan and Kissinger disagreed on so many important issues, ranging from the Vietnam War to the role of nuclear weapons, despite their shared intellectual commitment to Realism. Finally, we will also examine some of the more recent biographies of both men, including John Lewis Gaddis’s Pulitzer prize-winning George F. Kennan: An American Life and Niall Ferguson’s Kissinger: 1923-1968: The Idealist.
The Class: Type: tutorial
Requirements/Evaluation: five 6-page papers, five 2-page response papers
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Enrollment Preference: Political Science majors, Leadership Studies concentrators (foreign policy track), and History majors.
Distributions: Division II; Writing-Intensive;
Attributes: PSCI International Relations Courses;