Shadow Cold War: The Sino-Soviet Competition for the Third World

Shadow Cold War: The Sino-Soviet Competition for the Third World

Shadow Cold War: The Sino-Soviet Competition for the Third World

Shadow Cold War: The Sino-Soviet Competition for the Third World

Synopsis

The conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War has long been understood in a global context, but Jeremy Friedman's Shadow Cold War delves deeper into the era to examine the competition between the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China for the leadership of the world revolution. When a world of newly independent states emerged from decolonization desperately poor and politically disorganized, Moscow and Beijing turned their focus to attracting these new entities, setting the stage for Sino-Soviet competition.



Based on archival research from ten countries, including new materials from Russia and China, many no longer accessible to researchers, this book examines how China sought to mobilize Asia, Africa, and Latin America to seize the revolutionary mantle from the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union adapted to win it back, transforming the nature of socialist revolution in the process. This groundbreaking book is the first to explore the significance of this second Cold War that China and the Soviet Union fought in the shadow of the capitalist-communist clash.

Excerpt

“If you want to become another Tarzan, a white man coming among black men, leading them and protecting them … it can’t be done.” So said Egypt’s charismatic young leader, the tribune of Pan-Arabism, Gamal Abdel Nasser to another young revolutionary, Che Guevara, on the eve of the latter’s journey to the jungles of Kivu Province in the former Belgian Congo to spearhead revolution in the heart of Africa. When Guevara first met Nasser in 1959 in the course of his initial first postrevolutionary tour of Africa, he asked him how many refugees had been created in Egypt’s own revolution. Nasser had replied only a few, which Guevara declared meant “that nothing much happened in your revolution … I measure the depth of the social transformation by the number of people who are affected by it and feel they have no place in the new society.” Though the former upper-middle-class medical student from Buenos Aires and the young, nationalist officer from Alexandria met each other as icons of revolution, their concepts of revolution were fundamentally different. For Nasser, revolution meant the unification of the Egyptian, and Arab, people to restore their sovereignty and dignity against foreign oppressors. For Guevara, revolution was first and foremost about violently rectifying the inequities within each society. For the former, the line of revolutionary division circled the world like a second equator between oppressed and oppressor nations. For the latter, it ran through the center of every country, though, of course, the ruling groups in some countries were more powerful than the ruling groups in others.

This book will examine the clash of these two revolutionary programs, the anti-imperialist revolution and the anticapitalist one, at the nexus of the Cold War and decolonization via the conflict known as the SinoSoviet split. Though the split has generally been presented as a clash of . . .

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