Biography and History

John Lewis Gaddis (1941- ) is a diplomatic historian noted for his analysis of the Cold War. He has spent his career at Ohio University and Yale University, and is the authorized biographer of noted diplomat and historian George F. Kennan.

Gaddis was educated at the University of Texas, earning his B.A. in 1963, M.A. in 1965, and Ph.D. in 1968. He taught briefly as an assistant professor at Indiana University Southeast before obtaining a position at Ohio University, Athens. At Ohio University, Gaddis was assistant professor of history (1969-1971), associate professor (1971-1976), professor (1976-1983), and distinguished professor of history (1983-1997). He also served as the director of their Contemporary History Institute from 1987 to 1993. Since 1997, Gaddis has been the Robert A. Lovett Professor of History at Yale University where he teaches courses in Cold War history, international studies, and biography. He has also taught as a visiting professor at the Naval War College, University Helsinki, Princeton University, and Oxford University.

Gaddis's scholarship focuses on the Cold War. Drawn to the relationship between history and current events, he began his study during the Cold War and has continued to reassess his positions as new documents are released. His publications include The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1941-1947 (1972), Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of Postwar American National Security (1982), The Long Peace: Inquiries into the History of the Cold War (1987), We Now Know: Rethinking Cold War History (1997), The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past (2002), Surprise, Security, and the American Experience (2004), and The Cold War: A New History (2006). His most recent project is an authorized biography of George F. Kennan.

Source: From the finding aid for MC256

  • John Lewis Gaddis Papers on George F. Kennan. 1982-1989 (inclusive).

    Call Number: MC256

    John Lewis Gaddis (1941- ) is a diplomatic historian noted for his analysis of the Cold War. The John Lewis Gaddis Papers on George F. Kennan contain interviews conducted by Gaddis for his authorized biography of noted diplomat and historian George F. Kennan and include transcripts and recordings of the interviews.

  • John Lewis Gaddis Papers on George F. Kennan. 1982-1989 (inclusive).

    Call Number: MC256

    John Lewis Gaddis (1941- ) is a diplomatic historian noted for his analysis of the Cold War. The John Lewis Gaddis Papers on George F. Kennan contain interviews conducted by Gaddis for his authorized biography of noted diplomat and historian George F. Kennan and include transcripts and recordings of the interviews.