Costigliola selected to edit Kennan Diaries

Noted diplomatic historian Frank Costigliola of the University of Connecticut has been selected to edit the diaries of George F. Kennan, the renowned 20th century diplomat, historian, and public intellectual. Professor Costigliola holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University and is the author of the forthcoming Roosevelt’s Lost Alliances: How Personal Politics Helped Start the Cold War (Princeton University Press, January 2012), in addition to two other books and more than two dozen articles, including an essay on Kennan that appeared in The Journal of American History. He is also a past president of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEH, the Norwegian Nobel Institute, and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

Costigliola’s was one of nine submissions received for the project which was announced last December with ads in the New York Review of Books and The Chronicle of Higher Education, as well as on numerous listservs, and the Mudd Manuscript Library blog. He plans a single volume of approximately 600-700 pages and projects a completion date of December 2014. (See Costigliola’s proposal .) Notified of the selection, Costigliola commented, “I am honored by the opportunity to make available to Kennan buffs, scholars of U.S. and international history, and general readers the magnificent, 80-year-long chronicle of this most gifted diplomat, public intellectual, and writer.”

The Kennan Papers are one of the most used collections at the Mudd Manuscript Library and the diaries themselves were only opened in 2009. Kennan was a diplomat and a historian, noted especially for his influence on United States policy towards the Soviet Union during the Cold War and for his scholarly expertise in the areas of Russian history and foreign policy. While with the Foreign Service, Kennan advocated a policy of "containment" that influenced United States relations with the Soviet Union throughout the Cold War, and he served in various positions in European embassies, as well as ambassador to the Soviet Union. His career as a historian was spent at the Institute for Advanced Study, where he continued to analyze the history of Russia, the Soviet Union and United States foreign policies, and foreign affairs.

UPDATE, FEBRUARY 2014: This book has been published by Norton, a full ten months ahead of Costigliola’s original projection. We are very pleased to see Mr. Kennan’s diary printed in a handsome and well-edited volume.