THE WISE MEN: Six Friends and The Worm They Made by Walter & Evan Thomas Isaacson

THE WISE MEN: Six Friends and The Worm They Made

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An in-depth analysis of the lives of six Establishment internationalists who fathered the Marshall Plan, developed and promoted America's ""containment"" response to Soviet aggression and, in effect, established the thrust of US foreign policy in the postwar world. In their later years, Averell Harriman, Robert Lovett, Dean Acheson, John McCloy, George Kennan and Charles Bohlen became troubled that their concepts, as interpreted by others, produced a world divided into two hostile camps, a costly arms race and Vietnam. Time editors Isaacson and Thomas trace the lives of these men through their formative years and on into the world of international finance, law, diplomacy and public service. The authors manage gracefully and almost seamlessly to pre. sent an enormous mass of information as they trace the sometimes intertwining, sometimes diverging, careers and ideological development of their protagonists. We are made privy to their letters and diaries, and to their remembrances of consultations in boardrooms, government chambers, embassies, the Kremlin and the Oval Office. They were, say the authors, ""tough, pragmatic men"" who ""were the first to perceive--correctly--that Stalin was anything but a trustworthy ally."" Yet, ""by overselling their cause and by becoming fixated by some of their own rhetoric, they were doomed to watch as men less comfortable with subtleties and nuances shattered their vision of a stern yet stable modus vivendi between the US and USSR."" All in all, a fascinating guided tour through the corridors of power.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1986
Publisher: Simon & Schuster