Book review (ish) The Hawk and the Dove

#Russia #policy #respectfulDisagreement

Read this book.

The Hawk and the Dove: Paul Nitze, George Kennan, and the History of the Cold War

Nicholas Thompson, 2009

Reviewed by Jason Criss Howk

Read this book.

1. You probably don’t understand the Soviet-US Cold War as well as you think you do.

2. America has forgotten how to disagree on policy yet remain respectful of each other. Rivals can remain friends and still disagree on policy.

3. Congress has a role in foreign policy too. Presidents should include them.

Nitze sums up the best way to view policy disagreements (among other things) in the final chapter…it’s brilliant.

“Think about how tension works in a bow or guitar, which depend on strings being pulled simultaneously in opposite directions.” -the starting point as described by Thompson

“(On) the great problems with which all of us have been wrestling…including the individual versus society, change versus the continuing order, East versus West, [I will add Democrat versus Republican].

In each case the answer is to be found not in the elimination of one of the opposites

or in any basic compromise between them

but in striving for a harmony in tension between the opposites.” -Nitze

I am using this book in my Fall college intro to International Relations Course. Because the next generation especially needs to understand points 1 and 2.

Written by the grandson of Nitze who had access to all the personal letters and conducted interviews with both men.

Best book you will read this year.

Further reading: Nitze, Tension Between Opposites: Reflections on the Practice and Theory of Politics

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