Whitcomb shows that the American foreign affairs tradition led the country to entertain persistent misperceptions of the realities of the international arena in which it had to function. At the same time, Whitcomb points to the incompatability between many of the nation's most cherished values and the habits of action that Americans exhibited in their relationships with other states. An important post-revisionist view, this book will be of interest to American foreign policy for scholars and students alike.
The distinguished historian Melvyn P. Leffler homes in on four crucial episodes when American and Soviet leaders considered modulating, avoiding, or ending hostilities and asks why they failed: Stalin and Truman devising new policies after 1945; Malenkov and Eisenhower exploring the chance for peace after Stalin's death in 1953; Kennedy, Khrushchev, and LBJ trying to reduce tensions after the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962; and Brezhnev and Carter aiming to sustain détente after the Helsinki Conference of 1975. All these leaders glimpsed possibilities for peace, yet they allowed ideologies, political pressures, the expectations of allies and clients, the dynamics of the international system, and their own fearful memories to trap them in a cycle of hostility that seemed to have no end.
For the Soul of Mankind illuminates how Reagan, Bush, and, above all, Gorbachev finally extricated themselves from the policies and mind-sets that had imprisoned their predecessors, and were able to reconfigure Soviet-American relations after decades of confrontation.
The easily accessible narrative covers the Cold War period from 1945 to 1989 as well as the post-Cold War era, enabling readers to gain an understanding of how the spies and elaborate espionage operations fit within the greater context of the national security concerns of the United States and the Soviet Union. Well-known Cold War historian Sean N. Kalic explains the ideological tenets that fueled the distrust and "the need to know" between the two adversarial countries, supplies a complete history of the technological means used to collect intelligence throughout the Cold War and into the more recent post-Cold War years, and documents how a mutual desire to have the upper hand resulted in both sides employing diverse and creative espionage methods.
Drawing on the best recent scholarship and previously unexamined documents from the archives of the former Soviet Union, this introductory volume examines the motivations and calculations of the major participants in the conflict, sets the crisis in the context of the broader history of the global Cold War, and traces the effects of the crisis on subsequent international and regional geopolitical relations.
Selections from twenty primary sources provide firsthand accounts of the frantic deliberations and realpolitik diplomacy between the U.S., the U.S.S.R., and Fidel Castro's Cuban regime; thirteen illustrations are also included.
This work demonstrates that while the subsequent unraveling of the Soviet empire was an unintended side effect of Mikhail Gorbachev's reforms, termination of the Cold War was not. Ronald Reagan deserves full credit for recognizing Gorbachev's sincerity and his determination to change the direction of Soviet policies. For this, Reagan felt the full wrath of anticommunist hawks for doing business with a communist leader. But it was Gorbachev who concluded the superpowers had become mesmerized by ideological myths which ruled out any meaningful discussions of a possible accommodation of political issues for more than four decades. The evidence is compelling that Gorbachev himself broke the Cold War's ideological straight jacket that had paralyzed Moscow and Washington's ability to resolve their differences. Though politically weakened, Gorbachev conceded nothing to U.S. military superiority. Never did he negotiate from a position of weakness. In doing so, the last Soviet leader faced even greater political and physical risk. Without Gorbachev the end of the Cold War could have played out very differently and perhaps with great danger.
The high-tech machinery of nuclear physics and the space race are at the center of this story, but Audra J. Wolfe also examines the surrogate battlefield of scientific achievement in such diverse fields as urban planning, biology, and economics; explains how defense-driven federal investments created vast laboratories and research programs; and shows how unfamiliar worries about national security and corrosive questions of loyalty crept into the supposedly objective scholarly enterprise.
Based on the assumption that scientists are participants in the culture in which they live, Competing with the Soviets looks beyond the debate about whether military influence distorted science in the Cold War. Scientists’ choices and opportunities have always been shaped by the ideological assumptions, political mandates, and social mores of their times. The idea that American science ever operated in a free zone outside of politics is, Wolfe argues, itself a legacy of the ideological Cold War that held up American science, and scientists, as beacons of freedom in contrast to their peers in the Soviet Union. Arranged chronologically and thematically, the book highlights how ideas about the appropriate relationships among science, scientists, and the state changed over time.-- Michael D. Gordin, Princeton University
Wolfe examines the role that scientists, in concert with administrators and policymakers, played in American cultural diplomacy after World War II. During this period, the engines of US propaganda promoted a vision of science that highlighted empiricism, objectivity, a commitment to pure research, and internationalism. Working (both overtly and covertly, wittingly and unwittingly) with governmental and private organizations, scientists attempted to decide what, exactly, they meant when they referred to "scientific freedom" or the "US ideology." More frequently, however, they defined American science merely as the opposite of Communist science.
Uncovering many startling episodes of the close relationship between the US government and private scientific groups, Freedom’s Laboratory is the first work to explore science’s link to US propaganda and psychological warfare campaigns during the Cold War. Closing in the present day with a discussion of the recent March for Science and the prospects for science and science diplomacy in the Trump era, the book demonstrates the continued hold of Cold War thinking on ideas about science and politics in the United States.
In this insider's account of the Cold War, Ambassador George McGhee outlines how the 43-year Cold War emerged unexpectedly in 1947. McGhee follows the standoff in Europe and the Far East, the competition in the developing world, including the shooting wars fought in Korea and Vietnam in which the U.S. lost 111,000 lives. McGhee personally directed Greek-Turkish Aid, the first American effort to contain the Soviets. He also led the movement to get Greece and Turkey into NATO, using them as a bulwark against encroachment in the Middle East. McGhee accounts, using his hitherto unpublished field notes taken while he was special assistant to the Secretary of State, his attempts to cope with the Arab Refugee problem and the hostilites that followed the emergence of the state of Israel. McGhee served in Guam with Curtis LeMay and was involved in the bombing of Japan and the dropping of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He negotiated with Nehru, Haile Selassie, the Shah of Iran, and Ibn Saud to protect U.S. interests in the Middle East. In addition, he negotiated with Tshombe in the 1962 Cong crisis, diverting a Soviet threat. He was also U.S. ambassador to Germany from 1963 to 1968, when U.S. forces reached 250,000 in Europe.
The Specter of Communism is a concise history of the origins of the Cold War and the evolution of U.S.-Soviet relations, from the Bolshevik revolution to the death of Stalin. Using not only American documents but also those from newly opened archives in Russia, China, and Eastern Europe, Leffler shows how the ideological animosity that existed from Lenin's seizure of power onward turned into dangerous confrontation. By focusing on American political culture and American anxieties about the Soviet political and economic threat, Leffler suggests new ways of understanding the global struggle staged by the two great powers of the postwar era.
In John F. Kennedy: The Spirit of Cold War Liberalism, Jason K. Duncan explains Kennedy’s significance as a political figure of the 20th century in U.S. and world history. Duncan contextualizes Kennedy’s political career through his personal life and addresses the legacy the president left behind. In a concise narrative supplemented by primary documents, including presidential speeches and critical reviews from the left and right, Duncan builds a biography that elucidates the impact of this iconic president and the history of the 1960s.
After Sputnik shows that the late 1950s were not an era of complacency and smugness, but were some of the most anxious years in American history. The Cold War was by no means a time of peace. It was an era of a different kind of battle—one that took place in negotiations and in the internal affairs of many countries, but not always on the battlefield. While many choose to remember President Eisenhower as a near-pacifist, his actions in Lebanon, the Taiwan Straits crisis, Berlin, and elsewhere proved otherwise. Seconded by his able secretary of state, John Foster Dulles, he steered America though some of the most difficult parts of the Cold War, not always succeeding, but preventing disaster. The Middle East and Berlin crises, the Indonesian Civil War, Fidel Castro’s rise to power, and other events are all bluntly discussed in the light of Western, and other, illusions and delusions.
In this engaging history, Alan J. Levine delves deeply into this often misrepresented period of history, and provides new insight into one of the most formative decades in American history.
Based at government-funded think tanks, the experts devised provocative solutions for key Cold War dilemmas, including psychological warfare projects, negotiation strategies during the Korean armistice, and morale studies in the Vietnam era. Robin examines factors that shaped the scientists' thinking and explores their psycho-cultural and rational choice explanations for enemy behavior. He reveals how the academics' intolerance for complexity ultimately reduced the nation's adversaries to borderline psychotics, ignored revolutionary social shifts in post-World War II Asia, and promoted the notion of a maniacal threat facing the United States.
Putting the issue of scientific validity aside, Robin presents the first extensive analysis of the intellectual underpinnings of Cold War behavioral sciences in a book that will be indispensable reading for anyone interested in the era and its legacy.
Selling the American Way examines the context, content, and reception of U.S. propaganda during the early Cold War. Determined to protect democratic capitalism and undercut communism, U.S. information experts defined the national interest not only in geopolitical, economic, and military terms. Through radio shows, films, and publications, they also propagated a carefully constructed cultural narrative of freedom, progress, and abundance as a means of protecting national security. Not simply a one-way look at propaganda as it is produced, the book is a subtle investigation of how U.S. propaganda was received abroad and at home and how criticism of it by Congress and successive presidential administrations contributed to its modification.
The Politics of Paradigms shows that America’s most famous and influential book about science, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions of 1962, was inspired and shaped by Thomas Kuhn’s political interests, his relationship with the influential cold warrior James Bryant Conant, and America’s McCarthy-era struggle to resist and defeat totalitarian ideology. Through detailed archival research, Reisch shows how Kuhn’s well-known theories of paradigms, crises, and scientific revolutions emerged from within urgent political worries—on campus and in the public sphere—about the invisible, unconscious powers of ideology, language, and history to shape the human mind and its experience of the world.
“This book raises and explores important questions about the ideological background of some of the most important work in the philosophy of science in the twentieth century. It challenges conventional wisdom about the ideological neutrality of that work.” — Peter S. Fosl, editor of The Big Lebowski and Philosophy: Keeping Your Mind Limber with Abiding Wisdom
In The Cold War at Home and Abroad: Domestic Politics and US Foreign Policy since 1945, editors Andrew L. Johns and Mitchell B. Lerner bring together eleven essays that reflect the growing methodological diversity that has transformed the field of diplomatic history over the past twenty years. The contributors examine a spectrum of diverse domestic factors ranging from traditional issues like elections and Congressional influence to less frequently studied factors like the role of religion and regionalism, and trace their influence on the history of US foreign relations since 1945. In doing so, they highlight influences and ideas that expand our understanding of the history of American foreign relations, and provide guidance and direction for both contemporary observers and those who shape the United States' role in the world.
This expansive volume contains many lessons for politicians, policy makers, and engaged citizens as they struggle to implement a cohesive international strategy in the face of hyper-partisanship at home and uncertainty abroad.
From the end of World War Two to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia and America eyed each other with suspicion and hostility as the world lived in the shadow of the Cold War. As post-war Europe was rebuilt, Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin struggled to maintain peace among the former Eastern and Western Allies. Two ideologies, two political systems, two cultures, two superpowers became entrenched in a fight for dominance, each firm in the belief that history would prove them right.
The Cold War: History in an Hour is the concise account of the political tensions that arose as the world rebuilt after World War Two – an era beset by the constant fear of nuclear weapons and the looming threat of a Third World War.
Love history? Know your stuff with History in an Hour...
These essays address a wide variety of topics, from theoretical and policy issues, such as the question of preventive war and the problem of international order, to more historical subjects--for example, American policy on Eastern Europe in 1945 and Franco-American relations during the Nixon-Pompidou period. But in each case the aim is to show how a theoretical perspective can be brought to bear on the analysis of historical issues, and how historical analysis can shed light on basic conceptual problems.
By contrast, this book examines a past that ran concurrent with the Cold War and interacted with it, but which usefully can also be read as separable: Washington in the first years after World War II, and in response to that conflagration, sought to redesign international society. That society was then, and remains, an admittedly amorphous thing. Yet it has always had a tangible aspect, drawing self-regarding states into occasional cooperation, mediated by treaties, laws, norms, diplomatic customs, and transnational institutions. The U.S.-led attempt during the first postwar years to salvage international society focused on the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, the Acheson–Lilienthal plan to contain the atomic arms race, the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals to force Axis leaders to account, the 1948 Genocide Convention, the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the founding of the United Nations. None of these initiatives was transformative, not individually or collectively. Yet they had an ameliorative effect, traces of which have touched the twenty-first century—in struggles to curb the proliferation of nuclear weapons, bring war criminals to justice, create laws supportive of human rights, and maintain an aspirational United Nations, still striving to retain meaningfulness amid world hazards. Together these partially realized innovations and frameworks constitute, if nothing else, a point of moral reference, much needed as the border between war and peace has become blurred and the consequences of a return to unrestraint must be harrowing.