Kaplan, Lawrence. NATO and the United States: The Enduring Alliance (Boston: Twaine Publishers, 1988), 237 pages.
The only thing better suited to sell a book than talent is timing. For Lawrence Kaplan, of the Lyman L. Lemnitzer Center for NATO Studies at Kent State University, these two conditions collided in a perfectly-placed accretion of historical experience and perspective in 1988. His examination of The Enduring Alliance in no way anticipated the climactic fall of the Soviet Union, but was in fact the freshest and most authoritative account of NATO history in print when it collapsed. Did Kaplan have it wrong? Did he miss something? And how does the organization which emerged compare (or contrast) with the NATO Kaplan knew, let alone the one he envisioned? Better reasons than these to read his book include his very detailed narrative fluidity, which transports the reader into the sinews of decades of intricate diplomatic exchange whose causal nuances can not be translated into summary form; his staggering subject mastery of those different eras; and last but not least, his merciful brevity. It is for these reasons and many others that Kaplan’s work is to be reliably discovered in the bibliographic indices of all credible authors who followed in the discipline, to include House, Peterson, and Sloan.