Getting Real

New Yorker Magazine – George F. Kennan’s Cold War

Being a blogger is easy – there is lots of good stuff that wants your attention. All you have to do is decide which to chose.

This article will not be popular because it takes a lot of thinking – and because Kennan had a low opinion of Americans.

It starts out:

The most peculiar thing about Kennan, a man not short on peculiarities, is that he had little love for, or even curiosity about, the country whose fortunes he devoted his life to safeguarding.

And ends:

This was the danger that the United States faced after Europe had destroyed itself in the Second World War. We had power over other nations to a degree unprecedented in our history, possibly in the world’s history, and it was natural for us to conclude that we deserved it. “Power always thinks it has a great soul,” as another Adams, John, once said. Containment was intended as a continual reminder that we do not know what is best for others. It is a lesson to be ignored only with humility.

Humility in Americans?


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