Six close friends shaped the role their country would play in the dangerous years following World War II. They were the original best and brightest, whose towering intellects, outsize personalities, and dramatic actions would bring order to the postwar chaos, and whose strong response to Soviet expansionism would leave a legacy that dominates American policy to this day.
In April 1945, they converged to advise an untutored new president, Harry Truman. They were Averell Harriman, the freewheeling diplomat and Roosevelt’s special envoy to Churchill and Stalin; Dean Acheson, the secretary of state who was more responsible for the Truman Doctrine than Truman and for the Marshall Plan than General Marshall; George Kennan, self-cast outsider and intellectual darling of the Washington elite; Robert Lovett, assistant secretary of war, undersecretary of state, and secretary of defense throughout the formative years of the Cold War; John McCloy, one of the nation’s most influential private citizens; and Charles Bohlen, adroit diplomat and ambassador to the Soviet Union.
Together they formulated a doctrine of Communist containment that was to be the foundation of American policy, and years later, when much of what they stood for appeared to be sinking in the mire of Vietnam, they were summoned for their steady counsel. It was then that they were dubbed “the Wise Men.” Working in an atmosphere of trust that in today’s Washington would seem quaint, they shaped a new world order that committed a once-reticent nation to defending freedom wherever it sought to flourish.
©2012 Walter Isaacson and E. Thomas (P)2013 Random House Audio
This book sounds incredibly interesting and I love Walter Isaacson's works, but I could not get passed the first chapter because of the narrator. His performance was slow, boring, and hesitant with a bunch of mispronunciations.
It was tough getting through the over pronunciation of every word and every "a" pronounced "ā", but I had to stop when he pronounced Joseph Stalin as Joseph Stalēn. Come on!
Very disappointing it since I really rely on audiobooks during my commute to and from work.
The reader's cadence, or lack thereof, renders this book unendurable.
Retained a different reader.
The story here is pretty decent and at times very engaging. However, the speaker gets so many words wrong that it breaks any sort of momentum. A lot of times, narrators have a hard time with foreign words or proper nouns. That's not the problem here; the narrator simply mispronounces regular English words at a rate of about 1 in 500. Thus, count on hearing a clunker every few minutes. I read the reviews ahead of time and wasn't angry about this. On the contrary, I laughed out loud and related some of the worst examples to my friends. However, it's easy to say that this sort of comedy is inappropriate for a history book.
Say something about yourself!
Yes because I learned a lot. This book filled in some gaps in my knowledge the Wise Men.
It found the narration both annoying and humorous. I didn't realize I'd been pronouncing Staleen's name wrong all this time.
This is a VERY in-depth look at the lives of these men. A bit too in-depth for my taste.
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