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Kennan and Cold War Policy

Episode description

Like I said at the end of last episode, there were some broader Cold War issues that I wanted to talk about and some history that I wanted to churn through that didn’t quite fit into the framework of the longer shows. That’s because I want those longer ones to be narrowly focused on the French and the relevant US decision-making rather than a panoramic picture—otherwise they’d be six hours instead of three and we wouldn’t have gotten even as far as we are now.

Come next show, though, some of that decision-making on the US part is going to be inscrutable unless you’re already an expert on the period or unless you’re as anti-American as SFD appears to be and you don’t need to suss out the motives behind bad decisions coming from Washington. What this show is going to do is fill in those gaps in, hopefully, an hour, give or take.

So at the outset of the Cold War, which, if you’re being generous, began even before the end of the Second World War in Europe, there were two huge questions weighing on the minds of western policymakers, and on the minds of the men in London and Washington in particular. First: What is Communism? And second, what are we going to do about it?

With regard to Republican wrongdoing and the Trump Administration’s sustained attack on the civil service and the State Department in particular:

Trump Versus the Deep State

The Diplomat Who Quit the Trump Administration

How Rex Tillerson Wrecked the State Department

episodes iconEpisodes

Vietnam VIII: End of Indo-China

August 1st, 2018

3:51:42

Here it is, the end of the last real battle of the French war: Dien Bien Phu. After this it’s just Geneva and the transition from French ignobility to American monstrosity.

That all comes next time though. For …

Vietnam VII: Dien Bien Phu

July 18th, 2018

2:32:04

Finally we’re here, at the end of the French War, at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu.

Some cool show news: we’re registered for the People’s Choice Podcast Awards. Which means I filled out a form at podcastawards.c…

Vietnam VI: Learning Curve

June 25th, 2018

2:38:49

And here we are, finally, finally making it to the end of the French War.

We still have Dien Bien Phu and the denouement to wrap up, which we’ll do in the next episode, maybe in the fastest-ever-produc…

Vietnam V: Giap and de Lattre

June 19th, 2018

2:16:08

I’m trying something a little different with these show notes, especially since, with that interim show about Kennan already done, I don’t have any other story I want to be telling apart from the cast. So I’ve got a c…

Vietnam IV: The First Indochina War

May 14th, 2018

3:07:17

We’re getting into the French War proper now, and we’ll make it almost all the way to the outbreak of the war in Korea by the end of this one.

I’ve got some videos whose audio I couldn’t use, for various reason…

SFD Short—Refugees

May 1st, 2018

38:09

Hey folks,

I thought I’d try something new with the show notes this time around and just give you the script. The only time I give this a real thorough proofread for typos, etc, is when I’m recording it, and I …

Vietnam III: The World at War

April 23rd, 2018

2:13:38

Well, we’re making time now, and I hope that keeps up. I’ve got some interesting stuff to show you today. First is the cover image for the show. That’s Ho Chi Minh on the left and Vo Nguyen Giap on the right along wi…

SFD Talk—Vietnam in the US Imagination

April 17th, 2018

1:55:50

Hey folks, in lieu of notes this time, I’m going to give you the full outline that Rob and I were ostensibly working off in the show. Which should be enlightening, especially as we spend a lot of time talkin…

Announcement—Vietnam Talk

April 9th, 2018

1:40
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