Dealing with Dictators: The United States, Hungary, and East Central Europe, 1942-1989

Dealing with Dictators: The United States, Hungary, and East Central Europe, 1942-1989

Dealing with Dictators: The United States, Hungary, and East Central Europe, 1942-1989

Dealing with Dictators: The United States, Hungary, and East Central Europe, 1942-1989

Synopsis

Dealing with Dictators explores America's Cold War efforts to make the dictatorships of Eastern Europe less tyrannical and more responsive to the country's international interests. During this period, US policies were a mix of economic and psychological warfare, subversion, cultural and economic penetration, and coercive diplomacy. Through careful examination of American and Hungarian sources, Laszlo Borhi assesses why some policies toward Hungary achieved their goals while others were not successful. When George H. W. Bush exclaimed to Mikhail Gorbachev on the day the Soviet Union collapsed, "Together we liberated Eastern Europe and unified Germany," he was hardly doing justice to the complicated history of the era. The story of the process by which the transition from Soviet satellite to independent state occurred in Hungary sheds light on the dynamics of systemic change in international politics at the end of the Cold War.

Excerpt

This is a book on the impact of one country on the other. At first sight the selection of this topic may seem a bit odd in light of the fact that it describes the relationship of two geographically distant countries: the United States, the most powerful state of the times, and Hungary, a weak client state in the middle of Europe. It is the history of how the framers of American policy sought to exploit this small but strategically well-located state to further America’s strategic interests and how Hungarians, caught in the net of aggressors, first Germany, then the Soviet Union, tried to use the United States as a counterbalancing force. Even though American influence in East Central Europe was not decisive, at certain junctures U.S. policies impacted Hungary profoundly. Although Hungary was rarely the focus of American foreign policy, developments there influenced the overall U.S. strategy toward Eastern Europe.

Only a few historians have dealt with the bilateral relations between the United States and a small state under foreign domination. Dealing with Dictators provides an in-depth case study of Cold War history that more general accounts of the Cold War cannot address. the case-study approach makes possible an exploration of the bilateral relations between the United States and Hungary from two sides. the book addresses a number of important questions. What works better, isolating enemy states or building contacts with them? Did communist states speak with one voice on foreign policy matters? How did Soviet hegemony affect the foreign policy of its client states in various periods of the Cold War? How did the . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.