The Vienna Summit and Its Importance in International History

Overview

At the beginning of June 1961, the tensions of the Cold War were supposed to abate as both sides sought a resolution. The two most important men in the world, John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev, met for a summit in Vienna. Yet the high hopes were disappointed. Within months the Cold War had become very hot: Khrushchev built the Berlin Wall and a year later he sent missiles to Cuba to threaten the United States directly.

Despite the fact that the Vienna Summit yielded barely ...

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The Vienna Summit and Its Importance in International History

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Overview

At the beginning of June 1961, the tensions of the Cold War were supposed to abate as both sides sought a resolution. The two most important men in the world, John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev, met for a summit in Vienna. Yet the high hopes were disappointed. Within months the Cold War had become very hot: Khrushchev built the Berlin Wall and a year later he sent missiles to Cuba to threaten the United States directly.

Despite the fact that the Vienna Summit yielded barely any tangible results, it did lead to some very important developments. The superpowers came to see for the first time that there was only one way to escape from the atomic hell of their respective arsenals: dialogue. The "peace through fear" and the "hotline" between Washington and Moscow prevented an atomic confrontation. Austria successfully demonstrated its new role as neutral state and host when Vienna became a meeting place in the Cold War. In The Vienna Summit and Its Importance in International History international experts use new Russian and Western sources to analyze what really happened during this critical time and why the parties had a close shave with catastrophe.

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Editorial Reviews

Jack F. Matlock
John Kennedy’s meeting with Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna in early June 1961 spawned a running controversy among political observers and scholars. Did Kennedy encourage Khrushchev’s attempts to take control of West Berlin by appearing weak? Or, did Khrushchev misread Kennedy’s resolve and overplay his hand, leading to the construction of the Berlin Wall (which Khrushchev earlier did not want) and his subsequent humiliation during the Cuban Missile Crisis? This volume provides both key documents and informed commentary that should resolve these controversies. It turns out that the truth is more complicated than the simplistic interpretations that were long current. This collection will be an essential reference for scholars of international relations, of European history, and of the diplomacy of the Cold War.
CHOICE
Based on Russian and US archives and the multinational research efforts of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the Study of the Consequences of War in Graz, Austria, in conjunction with the Contemporary History Archives (RGANI) in Moscow and the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich-Berlin, this book represents a definitive study of the bilateral Vienna Summit meeting of Nikita Khrushchev and John F. Kennedy. The authors of the various articles are top scholars and, in the case of Ted Sorensen and Viktor Sukhodrev, participants in the summit. This valuable contribution to the history of the Vienna Summit's place in international history and in the history of the Cold War offers fresh assessments of Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Kremlin's decision-making process. It shows, too, that the US had accepted the Soviet sphere of influence in Eastern Europe. The book is rich in documents and should be in every research library. Includes a useful introduction, index, and bibliography. Summing Up: Essential. All academic levels/libraries.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739185568
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 12/20/2013
  • Series: Harvard Cold War Studies Book Series
  • Pages: 540
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Günter Bischof is a university research professor and director of CenterAustria at the University of New Orleans, Louisiana.
Stefan Karner is head of the Department of Economic, Social, and Business History at the University of Graz and director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Research of War Consequences, Graz-Vienna.
Barbara Stelzl-Marx is deputy director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Research of War Consequences and lecturer at the University of Graz.

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Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction and Historical Context
1. Introduction: The Vienna Summit and Its Importance in International History
Günter Bischof, Stefan Karner, Barbara Stelzl-Marx
2. Summitry in the Twentieth Century: An Overview
David Reynolds
Part II: Contextualizing the Vienna Summit
United States, France, and Great Britain
3. “The First Test of [. . .] Détente Will Be the Berlin Negotiation”: Berlin, Disarmament, and the 1960 Paris Summit
Richard D. Williamson
4. “Vienna, a City that is Symbolic of the Possibility of Finding Equitable Solutions”: John F. Kennedy and His European Summitry in Early June 1961
Günter Bischof and Martin Kofler
5. Great Britain and the Vienna Summit of June 1961
Anne Deighton
6. Paris as Beneficiary of the Unsuccessful Vienna Summit
Georges-Henri Soutou
Soviet Union
7. Soviet–American Relations in the Early 1960s
Vladimir Pechatnov
8. Between Pragmatism and Ideology: The U.S. –Soviet Negotiating Process in the Khrushchev Era
Ol’ga Pavlenko
Asia and Africa
9. Casting a Long Shadow over Vienna: The Chinese Factor in the Vienna Summit
Michail Prozumenshchikov
10. Laos and the Vienna Summit
Lawrence Freedman
Part III: The Summit
11. Two Days of Drama: Preparation and Execution of the Vienna Summit
Barbara Stelzl-Marx
12. A Difficult Education: John F. Kennedy and Nikita S. Khrushchev in Vienna
Timothy Naftali
13. “Summit Ladies”: Gender Arrangements, Media Staging, and Symbolic Scenes of the 1961Vienna Summit Talks
Ingrid Bauer
14. Moral Masculinity: Gender, Power, and the Kennedy–Khrushchev Relationship
Jennifer Lynn Walton
15. On the Significance of Austrian Neutrality for Soviet Foreign Policy under Nikita S. Khrushchev
Peter Ruggenthaler
16. The Personal Recollections of a Presidential Adviser in Vienna
Ted Sorensen
17. The Personal Recollections of Khrushchev’s Interpreter in Vienna
Viktor Sukhodrev
Part IV: The Berlin Crisis
18. Khrushchev, the Berlin Wall, and the Demand for a Peace Treaty, 1961–1963
Gerhard Wettig
19. The Vienna Summit and the Construction of the Berlin Wall
Manfred Wilke
Appendices
Appendix 1: Soviet Kennedy Profile
Appendix 2: CIA Profile of Krushchev in Kennedy’s Briefing Papers
Appendix 4: Krushchev’s Presidium Statement before the Vienna Trip
Appendix 3-1: Memorandum of Conversation, Vienna, 3 June 1961, 12:45 p.m.
Appendix 3-2: Memorandum of Conversation, Vienna, 3 June 1961, 3 p.m.
Appendix 3-3: Memorandum of Conversation, Vienna, 4 June 1961, 10:15 a.m.
Bibliography
About the Contributors

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