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The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made: Acheson, Bohlen,... Study Guide & Plot Summary

Walter Isaacson
This Study Guide consists of approximately 31 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Wise Men.
This section contains 439 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made: Acheson, Bohlen,... Study Guide

The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made: Acheson, Bohlen,... Summary & Study Guide Description

The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made: Acheson, Bohlen,... Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made: Acheson, Bohlen,... by Walter Isaacson.

Plot Summary

The Wise Men, Six Friends and the World They Made is written by Walter Isaacson and Evan Thomas. It is the fascinating story of six men: George Kennan, Dean Acheson, Charles Bohlen, Robert Lovett, Averell Harriman and John McCloy. The six men became friends during their school days or in the beginning of their careers and they remained friends throughout their lives.

These six men became known as The Wise Men. They were all instrumental in the formulation of United States foreign policy during and after World War II. They each had their own area of expertise and principles. They did not always agree with one another but were never afraid to state their opinions. Because of this, they were each respected by the different Presidents who valued their input.

The six men were well educated at the best schools - Yale, Princeton and Harvard. All of these schools fostered a commitment to public service which each of the men felt. They served various Presidents on and off for their entire lives. After school, they each went their separate ways.

William Averell Harriman was the son of the owner of the Union Pacific Railroad and born into immense wealth. He went into business after his graduation from Yale. Harriman made his first trip to tsarist Russia as a child and would make many more in his life. Because of his business contacts and dealings with the Soviets, he became Roosevelt's special envoy to Churchill and Stalin. He functionsed as a roving diplomat throughout his life.

Dean Acheson first met Harriman during their days at Yale and after Yale, attended Harvard Law. He became the Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs just prior to World War II and Secretary of State under Harry Truman. He helped to formulate the Marshall Plan and the Truman Doctrine and was an influential adviser to Presidents throughout his life.

Charles Eustis Bohlen was a Harvard graduate. George Frost Kennan was a Princeton graduate. Both made their careers in the Foreign Service and became experts in Soviet Affairs.

Robert Abercrombie Lovett graduated from Yale and Harvard Law. He worked for Secretary of War Stimson during the war and then returned to the private sector. John Jay McCloy was a graduate of Amherst and Harvard Law. Although both men were in the private sector after World War II, they were very influential and their opinions well respected.

These six men helped formulate and shape the foreign policy of the United States from World War II through the Vietnam era. They were active in the various negotiations that shaped the post World War II world.

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This section contains 439 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made: Acheson, Bohlen,... Study Guide
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The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made: Acheson, Bohlen,... from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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