George Kennan and American Diplomacy

Saturday, September 20, 2014

9 am - 4 pm

Led by Joseph Harrington

The short book American Diplomacy, 1900–1950 by the late scholar-diplomat George F. Kennan, is an unusual classic: a critique of US foreign policy widely used in the training of american diplomats. Participants will discuss this text and and assess whether there is a place in the foreign policy of a democracy for Kennan’s “realist” style of dispassionate analysis. For the first session, please read as much as possible of American Diplomacy.

Joseph Harrington holds a master’s degree in history from the University of Connecticut and has led numerous Newberry seminars.

Materials List

Note: The Newberry Bookstore has a limited stock of these texts. Please remember to call (312) 255-3520 in advance to check current availability.

Required Text(s):

  • George Kennan, American Diplomacy: Sixtieth-Anniversary Expanded Edition, (2012, University of Chicago Press: ISBN-13: 978-022643148-2).


  • John Lukacs, George Kennan: A Study of Character (2007, Yale University Press; ISBN: 9 780300 143065).

Readings for the First Session:

  • For the first session, please read as much as possible of Kennan’s American Diplomacy.

This class is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program.

Cost and Registration Information 

One session, $132.
Register Online.