There were two George F. Kennans. The first was the well-known diplomat and ambassador to the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia - a tough political realist and man of the world who gained fame as the theorist of America's Cold War 'containment' strategy. This was a 'persona' which Kennan adopted in order to carry out his professional responsibilities. The second, largely unknown but real George Kennan was a writer and aesthete - a shy, lonely man who felt alienated from both his country and his times, and a man who made major contributions to American literature.Thus argues Lee Congdon in ""George Kennan: A Writing Life"", a groundbreaking study of Kennan's life and thought. Congdon narrates Kennan's legendary work in the foreign service, his later career as a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, and the schools of thought to which he made significant contributions: political realism, antidemocratic social and political criticism, Spenglerian gloom, and conservative cultural analysis. Congdon concludes that notwithstanding his great accomplishments as a diplomat and geo-political strategist, Kennan merits consideration above all else as an original and penetrating American writer.