George F. Kennan Quotes

It is urgently necessary that we recognize our own limitations as a moral and ideological force among the Asiatic peoples. Our political philosophy and our patterns for living have very little applicability to masses of people in Asia. They may be all right for us, with our highly developed political traditions running back into the centuries and with our peculiarly favorable geographic position; but they are simply not practical or helpful, today, for most of the people in Asia.

Half a century later there were many Asian countries which had adopted democratic style governments. While Kennan was right at the time, what he did not anticipate is the rapid rise of communications technology and the consequent expansion of American cultural values. The Asians became different people, and when they did so, they adopted democratic forms of government albeit more heavily guided by strong leaders than America and other industrial democracies.
George F. Kennan
George F. Kennan
  • Born: February 16, 1904
  • Died: March 17, 2005
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Historian

George Frost Kennan was an American diplomat and historian. He was best known as an advocate of a policy of containment of Soviet expansion during the Cold War. He lectured widely and wrote scholarly histories of the relations between the USSR and the United States. He was also one of the group of foreign policy elders known as "The Wise Men".