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.