Russia's Cold War: From the October Revolution to the Fall of the Wall

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Yale University Press, 2011 - History - 523 pages

The phrase “Cold War” was coined by George Orwell in 1945 to describe the impact of the atomic bomb on world politics: “We may be heading not for a general breakdown but for an epoch as horribly stable as the slave empires of antiquity.” The Soviet Union, he wrote, was “at once unconquerable and in a permanent state of ‘cold war’ with its neighbors.” But as a leading historian of Soviet foreign policy, Jonathan Haslam, makes clear in this groundbreaking book, the epoch was anything but stable, with constant wars, near-wars, and political upheavals on both sides.

Whereas the Western perspective on the Cold War has been well documented by journalists and historians, the Soviet side has remained for the most part shrouded in secrecy—until now. Drawing on a vast range of recently released archives in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and Eastern Europe, Russia’s Cold War offers a thorough and fascinating analysis of East-West relations from 1917 to 1989.

Far more than merely a straightforward history of the Cold War, this book presents the first account of politics and decision making at the highest levels of Soviet power: how Soviet leaders saw political and military events, what they were trying to accomplish, their miscalculations, and the ways they took advantage of Western ignorance. Russia’s Cold War fills a significant gap in our understanding of the most important geopolitical rivalry of the twentieth century.

 

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Contents

Underlying Antagonisms
1
Ideology Triumphant
29
Cominformity
77
On the Offensive in Asia
112
Thaw
133
Sudden Frost
164
Taking the World to the Brink
175
Détente
214
Détente Fails
295
The Reagan Presidency
328
Down Comes the Wall
364
Conclusions
393
Notes
401
Bibliography
489
Index
509
Copyright

The Impact of Vietnam
270

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About the author (2011)

Jonathan Haslam is Professor of the History of International Relations at the University of Cambridge, Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and a Fellow of the British Academy. He is the author of numerous books, including The Nixon Administration and the Death of Allende’s Chile: A Case of Assisted Suicide and No Virtue Like Necessity: Realist Thought in International Relations Since Machiavelli.

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