George F. Kennan: An American Life - John Lewis Gaddis

In George F. Kennan: An American Life (Penguin Press, $39.95), John Lewis Gaddis looks into the life of the man credited with the creation of America’s foreign policy during the Cold War.  George Kennan is best known for the “Long Telegram” and “X Article” which set forth the strategy of containment that America adopted with considerable success.  This period in American international relations has been dissected at length, but Gaddis’s is the first book to discuss Kennan’s personal life. Drawing on private journals and countless interviews, Gaddis profiles the man behind the policies with the detail and compassion that are essential to any biography.

George F. Kennan: An American Life (Pulitzer Prize Winner) By John Lewis Gaddis Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780143122159
Availability: Backordered
Published: Penguin Books - August 28th, 2012

Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman - Robert K. Massie

She was born into minor Prussian nobility in 1729 and named Sophia Augusta Fredericka, but she would die 67 years later as Catherine The Great (Random House, $35), an empress of tremendous intellect and passions. Robert Massie, the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of Peter the Great, has written a masterfully researched and compelling account of Catherine’s draconian childhood and disastrous arranged marriage, at age fourteen, to the mentally and physically impaired heir to the throne of a culturally backward Russia.  The marriage was never consummated, but Catherine had three children by three different lovers.  During her reign she became a politically powerful and culturally influential force, leading armies, negotiating treaties, and corresponding with Voltaire and Diderot in an attempt to bring the aesthetic ferment of the French Enlightenment to an unsophisticated population. She also recruited European doctors to bring modern medical practices to St. Petersburg and Moscow, where she founded those cities’ first medical schools and hospitals.  Massie is so skilled at writing biography, and his subject is such a brilliant, multi-dimensional, and magnetic woman, that the combination makes for one of the best books of the season.

Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman By Robert K. Massie Cover Image
$40.00
ISBN: 9780679456728
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Random House - November 8th, 2011

Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman By Robert K. Massie Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9780345408778
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - September 18th, 2012

Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy [With 8 CD's] - Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life With John F. Kennedy: Interviews with Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. (Hyperion, $60) is a must-read (and listen-to) for American history and Kennedy buffs who want unfiltered commentary from the former First Lady. In interviews recorded only months after President Kennedy was assassinated, Jackie Kennedy reveals a deep grasp of political issues, offers her own insights into foreign leaders and domestic politicians, and describes some of the everyday experiences of life in the White House. The tapes were meant to be sealed for almost 50 years, but were released a few years early by Caroline Kennedy to coincide with the 50th anniversary of her father’s presidency. Listening to the tapes reminded me of how rarely we heard from Mrs. Kennedy during her husband’s presidency and for the rest of her life, even as she was and remained an iconic figure worldwide. Caroline Kennedy’s foreword and Michael Beschloss’s introduction and annotations of the text are also worth reading.

Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy By Caroline Kennedy (Foreword by), Michael Beschloss (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Caroline Kennedy (Foreword by), Michael Beschloss (Introduction by)
$60.00
ISBN: 9781401324254
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Hyperion - September 14th, 2011

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