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

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

3.7 3
by Jonathan Haslam
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

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…  See more details below

Overview

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.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

The Russian Review

"[C]omprehensive and erudite . . . Haslam has written an excellent book, one that assumes an important place in the historiography of the Cold War."—Norman M. Naimark, The Russian Review

— Norman M. Naimark

Choice

Selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2011 in the Central Eastern Europe category. 

— Choice Outstanding Academic Title

Political Science Quarterly

"[A]n invaluable analysis of the views and circumstances that created and propelled the Cold War. . . . for the serious student of international relations, Haslam's book provides the most judicious, thoroughly documented synthesis yet produced in the post-Cold War era."—Kathryn Weathersby, Political Science Quarterly

— Kathryn Weathersby

The Historian

"Every historian should read this book" — Helen Hundly, Wichita State University

— Helen S Hundley

Sunday Times - Orlando Figes
"This excellent book is the first to lift the veil on the Kremlin’s thinking in a comprehensive history of the global struggle that defined the 20th century… [Haslam’s] academic book is not for the lighthearted. But there are rich rewards in its fascinating insights and original, sometimes provocative arguments, which are bound to stimulate debate for years to come."—Orlando Figes, The Sunday Times
Times Literary Supplement - Robert Service
Russia’s Cold War is an exciting ride through post-war history…. [This] book lets off fireworks that light up many shadowy corners.”—Robert Service, Times Literary Supplement
The Russian Review - Norman M. Naimark
"[C]omprehensive and erudite . . . Haslam has written an excellent book, one that assumes an important place in the historiography of the Cold War."—Norman M. Naimark, The Russian Review
Sunday Telegraph - Michael Burleigh
"Jonathan Haslam has produced the first comprehensive account of Soviet policy between the October Revolution and the fall of the Berlin Wall, using an astonishing array of original materials that take readers into the heart of decision-making in Moscow and its satellites."—Michael Burleigh, Sunday Telegraph
Robert Jervis
"Both learned and provocative, Jonathan Haslam's new book sheds new light on not only Russia's Cold War but also on America's. The deep research and strong arguments will stimulate debate for years to come."—Robert Jervis, Columbia University

David Holloway
"A brilliant and original contribution to the literature on the Cold War. Haslam combines deep research with sharp insight to provide an illuminating account of the Soviet side of that conflict."—David Holloway, Stanford University

Charles Hill
"Jonathan Haslam pulls back the curtain to permit observations, many in considerable detail, of Soviet leaders' attitudes and actions during key episodes in the bipolar contest."—Charles Hill, author of Grand Strategies: Literature, Statecraft, and World Order

Times Higher Education - Harold Shukman
“Haslam’s purpose in this impressive study is t revisit the Cold War from the Russian point of view…Haslam, while focusing on Russia, digs deep into the political background of all sides. His sources are a wide range of archival materials…and he has used them to understand the initiatives and thoughts of all the political leaders whose role in the conduct and ending of the Cold War was significant.”—Harold Shukman, Times Higher Education Supplement
The Scotsman
“Russia’s Cold War brings new dimension to our understanding of the recent past.”—The Scotsman
Daily Telegraph - Simon Heffer
“Haslam’s superb research puts his book in a league of its own, and it is hard to imagine it being surpassed as an account of what went on inside Russian foreign policy in this period.”—Simon Heffer, Daily Telegraph
Church Times - Oksana Antonenko
“… essential reading for anyone, both in Russia and the West, who is interested in Cold War history.”—Oksana Antonenko, Church Times
Choice - D.J. Dunn
"A brilliant survey and analysis of the Cold War . . . With verve, clarity, logic and access to the rich archives of Russia, Europe, and the US, [Haslam] has produced a definitive study that will stand for years to come."—D.J. Dunn, Choice
RUSI Journal - Jeremy Black
“….this is a welcome book. It is clear, well-written and interesting….This first-rate book will enjoy much praise….extremely impressive.”—Jeremy Black, RUSI Journal
Choice - Choice Outstanding Academic Title
Selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2011 in the Central Eastern Europe category. 
Political Science Quarterly - Kathryn Weathersby
"[A]n invaluable analysis of the views and circumstances that created and propelled the Cold War. . . . for the serious student of international relations, Haslam's book provides the most judicious, thoroughly documented synthesis yet produced in the post-Cold War era."—Kathryn Weathersby, Political Science Quarterly
The Historian - Helen S Hundley
"Every historian should read this book" — Helen Hundly, Wichita State University
BBC History Magazine
“This is a very important book.”—BBC History Magazine 

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300168532
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
01/25/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
740 KB

Meet the Author

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.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Russia's Cold War: From the October Revolution to the Fall of the Wall 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great! Just wondering- are these humans, ponies, or cats? First I was like "humans." Then I was like, "ponies." Then I was all like, "cats." Hmm? But it was still great!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WRite!!!!!!
willyvan More than 1 year ago
Yale University Press claims that this book is ‘a thorough analysis of East-West relations from 1917 to 1989’. It is not. The years from 1917 to 1938 are covered in seven pages; the years from 1938 to 1943 are covered in another six. It is actually a history of the Cold War from 1944 to 1991. Further, this book has only been spell-checked, not properly proof-read or edited, witness the frequent omission of necessary prepositions and even the repetition of whole sentences, as on page 286. Haslam, Professor of the History of International Relations at Cambridge University, writes, “Relying solely on Western sources amounts to taking testimony from one side only in an unpleasant divorce. Under the rule of law no court would seriously allow such a practice.” He may have taken testimony from both sides, but he acts more like a prosecuting counsel than a judge. He writes, “however expansionist it [pre-revolutionary Russia] was, the West always found a route to accommodation.” Oh yes, the British state could always come to an understanding with feudal absolutism - the carnage of the Crimean War, the Russo-Japanese war and the First World War, were only incidental costs, borne by workers. Haslam acknowledges that Stalin’s dominance had ‘extended communism across one-third of the world’s surface’ but Haslam can only see Stalin’s ‘miscalculations’. Even US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles was more generous. He told the USA’s National Security Council in 1956, “the United States had very largely failed to appreciate the impact on the underdeveloped areas of the world of the phenomenon of Russia’s rapid industrialization. Its transformation from an agrarian to a modern industrialized state was an historical event of absolutely first class importance.” Gorbachev, Haslam tells us, was ‘relatively uneducated’ - compared to whom? To a professor at Cambridge University? In fact, Gorbachev graduated from Moscow State University with a degree in law and in 1967 he qualified as an agricultural economist with an MA from the Stavropol Institute of Agriculture. In all, this is a painfully conventional account. It sheds no new light on any of the events it deals with. Far better is D. F. Fleming’s The Cold War and its Origins, 1917-1960, a book which actually covers the whole period it claims to cover. Professor Fleming may not have had access to the Soviet archives, but he had a far more intelligent understanding of the dynamics of the Cold War.