6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

The Kremlinologist: Llewellyn E. Thompson, America's Man in Cold-War Moscow

In The Kremlinologist, diplomat Llewellyn E. Thompson’s daughters, Jenny and Sherry Thompson, trace their father’s journey from boyhood in rural Colorado and New Mexico to U.S. ambassador to the USSR to presidential advisor on Soviet Affairs. What started as a private exploration into their family’s history, filled with anecdotes and documents from their family archives, evolved into a heavily researched and complex portrait of the man who would go on to become America’s diplomatic connection to Nikita Khrushchev and serve on John F. Kennedy’s Executive Committee of the National Security Council during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and later as advisor to Lyndon B. Johnson and again as Ambassador to the Soviet Union during the contentious Vietnam era. On the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, The Kremlinologist is also a timely historical document about one of its developers and driving forces behind the SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks) process, written by two non-historians who have struck the right balance between academic distance and lively prose. Including both recently declassified information and intimate personal details, The Kremlinologist will be of value to historians and readers who are looking for a more complete picture of that moment in history, at a time when U.S.-Russia affairs are again at the forefront of the American consciousness.

Jenny Thompson is the owner and director of an English-language school in southern Spain. Before she retired, Sherry Thompson was the director of a nonprofit foundation and now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The authors, daughters of Llewellyn E. Thompson, spent eight years of their childhood in Moscow.

Charles Kraus of the Wilson Center will serve as moderator.