The Colonial and Post-Colonial Worlds of Milton Osborne

In the first volume of his memoirs, the American diplomat and historian George Kennan describes the training he received in the late 1920s and early 1930s as a candidate for the State Department’s Division of Russian and Eastern European Affairs. A posting to the legation at Riga, classes in Russian history at the University at Berlin, private tutoring from Russian emigrés who were not systematic teachers but cultured people who conversed with the young man and had him read aloud for hours from Russian classics—the purpose of the program was not to produce “experts” in “Sovietology” but to provide the…

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