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George W. Liebmann, a Baltimore lawyer, is the author of a number of historical works, most recently America’s Political Inventors (Bloomsbury).
This is a massive biography of an economic historian whose popular fame rests on his having been made one of 65 Companions of Honour by the Queen while remaining a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain.
These books on postwar French history are meritorious and complementary. Professor Logevall’s effort is a careful military and political history of the French Indo-Chinese war, including three chapters on its aftermath. Mr. Fenby’s readable biography discusses the major events in De Gaulle’s life and supplies a good introduction to it for the uninitiated.
This selection from around 65,000 pieces of correspondence, edited by Learned Hand’s granddaughter, a professor emerita of English at the Claremont Graduate School, could not have been better done.
These two volumes shed considerable light on the fateful events of 1945-46, events determinative of much that followed in American foreign relations.
As with her previous biography, Susan Hertog is concerned with her subjects as icons of feminism, with their efforts to balance (or not balance) their careers with the traditional requirements of “piety, purity, submissiveness, and domesticity.”
This authorized biography of American statesman George Kennan has been 30 years in the writing, its publication being deferred until after Kennan’s death in 2004. The writer was the first to be given full access to Kennan’s voluminous unpublished diaries.
Donald Rumsfeld has produced, four years after his departure from government, a memoir of no stylistic distinction. It contains few if any interesting revelations, save, perhaps, those relating to President Nixon’s choice of vice presidents.
Harold Macmillan’s prescription in 1933 was an apparatus of state-sanctioned codes for each industry that would bear a considerable resemblance to Roosevelt’s National Recovery Administration, subject to various forms of public review.
A half-dozen biographical essays or theses have now been written on George Kennan, including John Lukacs’s recent and compelling George Kennan: A Study of Character (2007). This latest endeavor, by Lee Congdon, is an effort to assess Kennan as a literary figure rather than as a political one.
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