With the 2016 presidential campaign in full swing, voters might wonder where the varied, and conflicting, foreign policy ideas advanced by the candidates originate. David Milne’s excellent new book offers a great place to begin.
In February 1946, officials in Washington asked the U.S. embassy in Moscow why the Soviet government was failing to cooperate with American plans for the postwar international order. On the receiving end was George Kennan, a career foreign service officer who had risen to be the second-ranking American official in Moscow. Kennan replied with an extraordinary 5,300-word cable later dubbed the “long telegram.”