Imposing, Maintaining, and Tearing Open the Iron Curtain: The Cold War and East-Central Europe, 1945-1989 by Mark Kramer, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Imposing, Maintaining, and Tearing Open the Iron Curtain: The Cold War and East-Central Europe, 1945-1989

Imposing, Maintaining, and Tearing Open the Iron Curtain: The Cold War and East-Central Europe, 1945-1989

by Mark Kramer
     
 

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The Cold War began in Europe in the mid-1940s and ended there in 1989. Notions of a “global Cold War” are useful in describing the wide impact and scope of the East-West divide after World War II, but first and foremost the Cold War was about the standoff in Europe. The Soviet Union established a sphere of influence in Eastern Europe in the mid-1940s that

Overview

The Cold War began in Europe in the mid-1940s and ended there in 1989. Notions of a “global Cold War” are useful in describing the wide impact and scope of the East-West divide after World War II, but first and foremost the Cold War was about the standoff in Europe. The Soviet Union established a sphere of influence in Eastern Europe in the mid-1940s that later became institutionalized in the Warsaw Pact, an organization that was offset by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) led by the United States. The fundamental division of Europe persisted for forty years, coming to an end only when Soviet hegemony in Eastern Europe dissolved. Imposing, Maintaining, and Tearing Open the Iron Curtain: The Cold War and East-Central Europe, 1945–1989, edited by Mark Kramer and Vít Smetana, consists of cutting-edge essays by distinguished experts who discuss the Cold War in Europe from beginning to end, with a particular focus on the countries that were behind the iron curtain. The contributors take account of structural conditions that helped generate the Cold War schism in Europe, but they also ascribe agency to local actors as well as to the superpowers. The chapters dealing with the end of the Cold War in Europe explain not only why it ended but also why the events leading to that outcome occurred almost entirely peacefully.

Editorial Reviews

Melvyn P. Leffler
In this collection of essays, some of the world's most distinguished scholars reflect on the most recently opened archival documents and provide penetrating assessments of the Cold War in Europe—from start to finish.
Norman Naimark
This impressive volume of essays explores the rise and fall of the Soviet bloc in light of the newest archival evidence from around the world. Expertly edited by Mark Kramer and Vit Smetana, the book should be read by anyone interested in the history of the East-West confrontation and its dynamic relationship to the emergence of communism in East Central Europe and its precipitous collapse in 1989.
The Russian Review
The twenty-four articles here . . . do provide impressive coverage of a wide variety of topics. The reader will find studies of great-power relations, accounts of machinations within the Soviet Bloc, old-fashioned foreign policy reviews, and big-picture essays, from many of the leading scholars in the field. . . .The idea underpinning the book is a good one, and the volume will certainly have value as a reference on the Soviet Bloc and its disintegration.
Slavic Review
Central Europe and the Onset of the Iron Curtain, contains excellent contributions by Laszlo Borhi on Hungary and Smetana on Czechoslovakia, both of which show that Sovietization was a top-down process, undertaken locally but with the pace and timing determined by Moscow’s wider strategic interests. . . .a reexamination of a global conflict in a specific, nonglobal setting, the collection succeeds admirably.
The Hungarian Historical Review
The international group of authors has enriched the secondary literature on the history of the Cold War with an impressive collection of essays that bears testimony to thorough research and impressive knowledge.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780739181850
Publisher:
Lexington Books
Publication date:
11/22/2013
Series:
Harvard Cold War Studies Book Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
582
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)

Meet the Author

Mark Kramer is director of Cold War Studies at Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, where he is also a Senior Fellow.

Vit Smetana is a senior research fellow at the Institute for Contemporary History of the Czech Republic’s Academy of Sciences and teaches modern international history at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague.

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