The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made (Paperback)
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With a new introduction by the authors, this is the classic account of the American statesmen who rebuilt the world after the catastrophe of World War II.
A captivating blend of personal biography and public drama, The Wise Men introduces six close friends who 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 leave a legacy that dominates American policy to this day.
The Wise Men shares the stories of 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.
About the Author
Walter Isaacson is the bestselling author of biographies of Jennifer Doudna, Leonardo da Vinci, Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin, and Albert Einstein. He is a professor of history at Tulane and was CEO of the Aspen Institute, chair of CNN, and editor of Time. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2023. Visit him at Isaacson.Tulane.edu.
Evan Thomas is the author of ten books, including the New York Times bestsellers JOHN PAUL JONES, SEA OF THUNDER, and FIRST: SANDRA DAY O’CONNOR. Thomas was a writer, correspondent, and editor for thirty-three years at Time and Newsweek, including ten years as Newsweek’s Washington bureau chief. He appears regularly on many TV and radio talk shows. Thomas has taught at Harvard and Princeton.
“A wealth of new information and insights on the people and events that shaped the first four decades of the Cold War.”
— The Boston Globe
“Must be read if we are to understand the postwar world.”
— Robert A. Caro, author of Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson
“Isaacson and Thomas have fashioned a Cold War Plutarch.”
— San Francisco Chronicle
“A richly textured account of a class and of a historical period.”
— New York Times Book Review