The Cold War in Retrospect: The Formative Years

By Roger S. Whitcomb | Go to book overview

been more easily brought off in a less threatening environment.

What we do know is what actually happened. With the growing conflict unfolding within many different contexts as 1945 drew to a close, America began to view Russian actions in Eastern Europe, not simply as isolated events, but as barometers of Moscow's general approach. Grave concerns about Russian intentions in Western Europe arose, as Russian tactics employed in Eastern Europe began to be held up as models for the achievement of world revolution. The tragic litany of Russian-American misperceptions and misunderstandings over Eastern Europe would ultimately sabotage their ability to cooperate anywhere else, as the enervating spectacle of the Cold War took shape.


NOTES
1.
"Russia: An American Problem," Atlantic Monthly, February 1942, p. 148.
2.
There is, of course, considerable disagreement in regard to just what motivated the American government during this period. The critical literature centering on the World War II era regarding the origins of the Cold War is extensive. Several groups of analysts emerged over time arguing one or another point of view. This writer falls within the so-called post-revisionist school of thought--a perspective that accepts the main contention of the revisionists that America must bear a heavy share of the responsibility for the onset and intensification of the Cold War but which denies that it was deliberately created by U.S. policy makers for either political or economic reasons.

For the critical analysis contained in these pages, the author is indebted to a number of groundbreaking and insightful works, although he may not necessarily agree with all of their viewpoints and/or conclusions. Among the more important of these writings are: Lynn Etheridge Davis, The Cold War Begins: Soviet-American Conflict over Eastern Europe ( Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974); Voytech Mastny, Russia's Road to the Cold War: Diplomacy, Warfare and the Politics of Communism, 1941-1945 ( New York: Columbia University Press, 1979); Martin F. Herz, Beginnings of the Cold War ( New York: McGraw-Hill, 1966); Albert Resis , "The Stalin-Churchill Secret 'Percentages' Agreement on the Balkans, Moscow, October, 1944", American Historical Review ( April, 1978): 368-387; Hugh B. Hammett , "America's Non-Policy in Eastern Europe and the Origins of the Cold War," Survey (Autumn 1973): 144-162; LaFeber, America, Russia and the Cold War; Diane Shaver Clemens, Yalta ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1970); Robert Garson , "The Atlantic Alliance, Eastern Europe and the Origins of the Cold War," in Contrast and Connection: Bicentennial Essays in Anglo-American History, ed. H. C. Allen and Roger Thompson ( New York: Macmillan, 1976), pp. 296-320; and William Taubman, Stalin's American Policy: From Entente to Detente to Cold War ( New York: Norton, 1982).

See also Adam Ulam, Expansion and Coexistence: Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917-1973, 2d ed. ( New York: Praeger, 1974); Michael Sherry, Preparing for the Next War ( New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1977); Robert H. McNeil, "Roosevelt through Stalin's Spectacles," International Journal of Politics (Winter, 1963): 194-206; James E. McSherry, Stalin, Hitler and Europe ( Cleveland, Ohio:

-48-

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The Cold War in Retrospect: The Formative Years
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction: America Meets Russia, 1941-1961 1
  • Notes 4
  • 1 - The Troubled Partnership: The Bear and Eagle in World War II 7
  • Notes 48
  • 2 - The Postwar Scene (1945-1953): Cold War Triumphant 65
  • Notes 123
  • 3 - The Eisenhower Years: Nothing Fundamental Has Changed 143
  • Notes 184
  • 4 - Babylon Revisited 199
  • Notes 222
  • Selected Bibliography 227
  • Index 253
  • About the Author 261
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