Khrushchev's Cold War: The Inside Story of an American Adversary

( 2 )

Overview

Drawing on Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali's unrivaled access to Politburo and Soviet intelligence materials, this acclaimed study provides a gripping history of the crisis years of the Cold War. The authors bring to life head-to-head confrontations between the mercurial Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev and Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy, offering new insights into the Cuban missile crisis and startling narratives of the contests for Suez, Iraq, Berlin, and Southeast ...
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Khrushchev's Cold War: The Inside Story of an American Adversary

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Overview

Drawing on Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali's unrivaled access to Politburo and Soviet intelligence materials, this acclaimed study provides a gripping history of the crisis years of the Cold War. The authors bring to life head-to-head confrontations between the mercurial Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev and Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy, offering new insights into the Cuban missile crisis and startling narratives of the contests for Suez, Iraq, Berlin, and Southeast Asia.
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Editorial Reviews

Mark Atwood Lawrence
With their deeply researched Khrushchev's Cold War, Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali lift the veil of secrecy further than ever, exposing how Moscow made foreign policy decisions during Nikita Khrushchev's tempestuous reign as leader of the Soviet Union from 1955 to 1964. The book is indispensable for anyone hoping to understand the cold war's most dangerous phase, and how the world managed to survive it.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
In the crowded field of Cold War historiography, Fursenko and Naftali continue to unearth valuable gems from newly available Soviet government documents, a portion of which were first put to use in their history of the 1962 U.S.-Soviet standoff over Cuba (One Hell of a Gamble). Building on increased access to such material, they develop a fascinating picture of the inner dynamics of the Soviet state and its leadership during the Khrushchev era that far surpasses anything U.S. intelligence could manage at the time. They make a convincing case that Khrushchev's major, post-Stalin reorientation of Soviet foreign policy was rooted in competition on the global playing field (and a policy of social regeneration at home), along with a need to cloak the U.S.S.R.'s weaknesses in arms and resources vis- -vis the U.S. This volatile combination reinforces a strategy of bluffs and brinkmanship in several Cold War crises between 1956 and 1962-in the Middle East, Central Europe and the Caribbean. Yet perhaps most surprisingly, Khrushchev's foreign policy-despite an energy that, when unchecked, "tended toward recklessness"-came with a genuine desire for peaceful coexistence between the superpowers not seen again until Gorbachev. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Fursenko (Russian Academy of Sciences) and Naftali (Univ. of Virginia) go beyond their top-flight "One Hell of a Gamble," an account of the Cuban missile crisis. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A Strangelovian paradox: The only way to preserve peace is to court war. So believed Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev, who combined political cunning and a remarkable survival instinct with a sad awareness that "the Soviet position in the superpower struggle was so weak that Moscow had no choice but to try to set the pace of international politics." Confronted with five major crises-Egypt's seizure of the Suez Canal and subsequent intervention by France and England, a coup in Iraq, the Cuban missile showdown and workers' uprisings in Hungary, East Germany and Poland-that threatened to turn the Cold War hot in an instant, Khrushchev refused to cede ground until he was certain the Soviet position had been clearly understood. The West paid attention-perhaps too much attention. Thus, write historians Fursenko and Naftali (who previously collaborated on a book about the Cuban Missile crisis, One Hell of a Gamble, 1997), Khrushchev was able to mislead the opposition; for instance, he realized early on that Washington overestimated the Soviet's nuclear capability, especially its nuclear attack force, which was minimal, since the USSR lacked aircraft carriers, midair refueling capabilities and even the necessary long-range rocketry. Thanks to Khrushchev's skills, the U.S. and its allies spent untold amounts of money on things military, which the Soviet leader hoped would bankrupt them. But, as it happens, Khrushchev had to fight many battles back home; though his spirited shoe-banging helped prevent the outbreak of nuclear conflict, his critics at home "blamed Khrushchev for taking Moscow unnecessarily to the brink of war in 1956," and even closer to that brink in Cuba in 1962. Working withrecently released Soviet documents, the authors offer a nuanced picture of the Soviet leader and of a time marked by fear and plenty of pettiness (as when Khrushchev, touring the U.S., was refused admission to Disneyland). Sobering-even scary-and necessary reading for historians of the modern era.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393058093
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/10/2006
  • Pages: 640
  • Sales rank: 1,142,940
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Aleksandr Fursenko, one of Russia’s leading historians, is a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Timothy Naftali, a frequent contributor to Slate and NPR, is director of the federal Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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Table of Contents


Introduction     5
Red Star Ascendant     15
Geneva     23
Arms to Egypt     57
Suez     53
Twin Crises     114
"Khrushchey's Comet"     133
Coup in Iraq     158
"A Bone in My Throat"     185
Khrushchev in America     214
Grand Design     241
The Crash Heard Round the World     263
Castro and Lumumba     292
Southeast Asian Test     323
"He is a Son of a Bitch"     338
Iron Ring     367
"The Storm in Berlin is Over"     388
Meniscus     409
"I Think We Will Win this Operation"     438
Cuban Missile Crisis     465
"Leaving Fear Astern"     493
Legacy     529
Acknowledgments     547
Notes     549
Abbreviations     625
Index     626
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2006

    THE MASTER OF BRINKMANSHIP

    This book is an excellent and brilliant narrative about one of the most dangerous periods in contemporary history, namely: The Cold War. The authors have used new archival material and other sources to tell a fascinating story about one of the key leaders who brought the world to the brinkship of war, especially during the Cuban Missle Crisis in 1962. This book includes unknown facts about Krushchev's standing in the Iraq revolution in 1958 as well as in other foci of conflict such as Asia and Africa. One of the main conclusions to be drawn from this book is the weakness of the CIA -and the West- to place Humint agents in the Soviet Union .With the exception of Colonel Oleg Penkovsky,the Western countries had only limited information about the policy- making processes during Khrushchev's time. Both authors use a lively language to describe not only Khrushchev but also his rivals and the inner circle machinations of the Politburo. In the end , the Soviet leader paid a heavy price for his hubris and his tough - pressure tactics did not earn him much. I highly recommend this book to those who want to have a broad picture about the high noon of The Cold War.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2010

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