Stalin's Cold War: Soviet Foreign Policy, Democracy and Communism in Bulgaria, 1941-48

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Stalin’s Cold War presents a highly original analysis of the Soviet leader’s role in the gestation of the Cold War. Drawing on rich new evidence from Soviet, East European and British archives, the book offers fresh and illuminating insights into the evolution of Stalin’s strategy in the transition from cooperation with the United States and Britain during World War II to ideological and geopolitical confrontation. The book reveals Stalin’s efforts to grapple with the dynamic interaction between democratic and communist parties in the domestic politics of European countries in the aftermath of World War II, and his key role in the gradual but inexorable shift towards communist monopoly of power in the countries of Eastern Europe.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
‘This book gives us a textured and incisive analysis of Stalin’s policies and actions in Eastern Europe. Using the newest archival materials in Moscow and Sofia, Dimitrov portrays Stalin’s ambivalence, equivocation, and inconsistencies as well as his paranoia and brutality. He captures the competing strains of thinking in Moscow and vividly portrays how local dynamics in Bulgaria and the Balkans helped shape the diplomacy of the Great Powers. Stalin had no master plan; his actions were contingent, but they were also determinative. Dimitrov paints a complex and vivid picture of local circumstances that enables us to see why the grand alliance of World War II collapsed. This book is indispensable for understanding the origins of the Cold War and the division of Europe.’ - Melvyn P. Leffler, Stettinius Professor of American History, University of Virginia

‘This book is a magisterial work of scholarship. Based on a thorough reading of Soviet, Bulgarian and other archives it provides an abundance of new information and intelligent analysis. It shows Stalin’s policies in an entirely new light, and at the same time it gives masterly insights into the evolution of politics within Bulgaria. It disposes of old myths that matters evolved in a straight trajectory in the Kremlin or in Bulgaria. This is essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand the post-Second World War era.’ - Richard J. Crampton, formerly Professor of East European History, University of Oxford, and Emeritus of St Edmund Hall, Oxford

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230521384
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 1/22/2008
  • Series: Global Conflict and Security Since 1945 Ser.
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

VESSELIN DIMITROV is Reader in the Department of Government at the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Casting a New Look at the Origins of the Cold War
• Prelude: Stalin, Dimitrov and the Nazi Threat (1933–41)
• Great Power Diplomacy, Resistance and Popular Front in Bulgaria (June 1941–September 1944)
• Wartime Coalition: Unity and Conflict (September 1944–April 1945)
• The Break-up of the Wartime Coalition (May–August 1945)
• The Search for Common Ground (September 1945–March 1946)
• The Hardening of Battle Lines (April–October 1946)
• Towards Confrontation (October 1946–September 1947)
• The End of National Communism (September 1947–December 1948)
• Conclusion: Reinterpreting the Origins of the Cold War

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