Soviet Conduct and American Policy

Authors

  • William Appleman Williams

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14452/MR-009-05-1957-09_3

Keywords:

History, Imperialism

Abstract

It has been ten years since the Honorable George Frost Kennan offered his now-famous estimate of Soviet conduct, and a proposed American policy derived therefrom, for consideration by American leaders and the country at large. Both were immediate successes, and rapidly won a near-monopoly position in the policy and opinion market places. His analysis established the framework and set the tone for all but a tiny corner of the subsequent discussion of Soviet behavior. In similar fashion, his concept of "containment" as a counter policy became the guide for Washington's posture and action toward Moscow. And since containment sought the extensive mellowing or the collapse of Soviet power, it implicitly aimed at ultimate "liberation." Hence, as Kennan was to acknowledge in 1954, the seemingly different ideas are in reality "only the two sides of the same coin." Having exercised such a persuasive influence upon the policy of a great power, Kennan justly became a domestic and international figure of major stature.

Published

1957-09-02

Issue

Section

Articles