View the h-diplo Discussion Logs by month
View the Prior Message in h-diplo's December 2011 logs by: [date] [author] [thread]
View the Next Message in h-diplo's December 2011 logs by: [date] [author] [thread]
Visit the h-diplo home page.
H-Diplo Roundtable Review www.h-net.org/~diplo/roundtables Volume XIII, No. 12 (2011) 7 December 2011 ------------------------------- Copyright (c) 2011 H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online. H-Net permits the redistribution and reprinting of this work for non-profit, educational purposes, with full and accurate attribution to the author(s), web location, date of publication, H-Diplo, and H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online. For other uses, contact the H-Diplo editorial staff at firstname.lastname@example.org. ------------------------------- Roundtable Editors: Thomas Maddux and Diane Labrosse Roundtable Web/Production Editor: George Fujii Introduction by Thomas Maddux ------------------------------- Jonathan Haslam. Russia's Cold War: From the October Revolution to the Fall of the Wall. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010. ISBN: 9780300159974 (cloth, $38.00). Stable URL: http://www.h-net.org/~diplo/roundtables/PDF/Roundtable-XIII-12.pdf ------------------------------- Contents [Page numbers refer to the PDF edition] Introduction by Thomas Maddux, California State University, Northridge 2 Review by Lloyd Gardner, Rutgers University 7 Review by Jacques Lévesque, Université du Québec à Montréal 12 Review by Tom Nichols, U.S. Naval War College 16 Review by Marc Trachtenberg, University of California, Los Angeles 19 Review by Vladislav Martin Zubok, Temple University 23 Author's Response by Jonathan Haslam, Cambridge University 27 ------------------------------- Introduction by Thomas Maddux, California State University, Northridge During the decades of the Cold War students in the West who wanted to study Soviet foreign policy had to rely on historians and political scientists who looked for insights in Soviet publications, accounts from Eastern European scholars and refugees, and Western documents and accounts by Western diplomats who participated in the Cold War, George Kennan being the most famous and influential. Some of these accounts were highly partisan and some were more informative and valuable.1 Since the end of the Cold War and the selective opening of archives around the global, along with the release of documents by the National Security Archive and Cold War International History Project, studies on Soviet policy have very much been transformed by an increasing number of scholars.2 Jonathan Haslam has already made a significant contribution to the new studies of Soviet foreign policy. Several reviewers question the appropriateness of the title since only the first chapter addresses the pre-Cold War period. In his response Haslam notes that some 80,000 words ended up on the publisher's cutting floor which suggests the desirability of a sequel on the 1917-1945 period, especially since several of Haslam's earlier studies focused on the 1930s.3 The reviewers agree that Haslam has made a significant contribution to the subject in a number of aspects. As Vlad Zubok observes, Haslam's study, "the result of many years of work in many archives, presents a dazzling array of new sources that surprise even a well informed reader." Marc Trachtenberg is very impressed with the "vast amount of primary source material, in Russian, German, English, French, Italian, and even Czech and Polish" based on "archival work in at least six different countries." Despite the depth of research and Haslam's quotations from these sources, the end result, as Jacques Levesque emphasizes, is a book "written in a way that makes the book sound like a lively debate and confrontation between key participants and witnesses ... [which] gives new life to the unfolding of the Cold War and reading the book becomes captivating." The study also has a distinct international approach in that Haslam moves almost seamlessly from documenting internal Soviet deliberations on policy in Moscow to the interaction between Russian officials and allies in Eastern Europe and elsewhere and at the same time blending in assessments of U.S. policy on the same issues. Haslam has some definite pro and con evaluations of U.S. foreign policy leaders from Harry Truman through George Bush. The reviewers focus their evaluations on several areas of Haslam's study, most specifically 1) In Chapter 1 on "Underlying Antagonisms", Haslam sets the stage for the eruption of the Cold War out of the results of WWII by emphasizing the "fetid undergrowth of relations mired in mistrust well before 1945" with the October Revolution of 1917 as the initial catalyst. (1-2) Haslam uses Maxim Litvinov, Stalin's former Commissar of Foreign Affairs, and George Kennan, who was reassigned from Moscow to the U.S. embassy in London, as an avenue into the emerging conflict out of the consequences of WWII. Kennan's assessment that Stalin would pursue traditional Russian expansion, according to Haslam, missed Stalin's desire to spread the Soviet model "throughout Russia's sphere of influence and, where practicable, beyond." (24) Lloyd Gardner suggests that Haslam has challenged the emphasis by U.S. historians on the Truman Doctrine as a turning point. Instead, Gardner suggests that the Marshall Plan may have had a more critical impact since it suggested the West would avoid the capitalist falling out in the West long anticipated with an economic recovery plan. The other reviewers explicitly or implicitly agree with Haslam's general assessment with its emphasis on the likelihood of conflict and the contribution given to it by Stalin and his priorities. 2) More disagreement emerges over the centrality of ideology in shaping Soviet foreign policy from Stalin to Mikhail Gorbachev. Tom Nichols and Levesque agreed with Haslam's emphasis on ideology shaping Soviet policy, an extension of the shift in scholarly assessments on both sides of the old Cold War divide. Melvyn Leffler's For the Soul of Mankind: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War (2007) ended any lingering U.S. revisionist downplaying of ideology as an influential factor on both sides of the Cold War, and Zubok's studies restored ideology to an important shaping force on Kremlin policies from Stalin to Gorbachev. Zubok suggests that he considers Stalin as "more an imperialist than a revolutionary in 1944-47" and comments that "placing ideology in the specific historical account is a very difficult task-and will always be met with skepticism by devout scholars of Realism." Marc Trachtenberg also addresses this issue, noting Haslam's suggestion that the nature of the Soviet system ensured that "Moscow had no intention of ending the Cold War through compromise in either the struggle over the balance of power or the larger ideological conflict over the shape of the international system." (296) Trachtenberg suggests that the Soviet Union "was a good deal less militant, less ideologically-driven, and more attuned to power realities than Haslam seems to think-and indeed than most Americans thought at the time." Trachtenberg concludes that Moscow was prepared to live with a divided Europe as long as the West didn't have a "completely free hand in West Germany." Nikita Khrushchev may have been an exception, Trachtenberg notes, but with respect to the Third World, "I don't see the USSR pursuing a particularly aggressive policy, nor one that placed a great premium on promoting Communist revolution abroad." 3) Disagreements about the role of ideology in Soviet policy carry over to Haslam's assessment of specific episodes in the Cold War. The Cuban missile crisis of 1962, a seedbed of endless evaluation of Khrushchev's objectives, is raised by Zubok as an example of where Haslam doesn't follow his own thesis on the primacy of ideology. Haslam places Khrushchev's decision in the context of the strategic missile inferiority he faced despite his public boasting about Soviet missiles being ready to fly and his desire for leverage to manipulate the West into a favorable settlement on the Berlin issue. "For Khruschev the threat of 'losing Cuba' was no less important than the strategic gap in favor of the United States," Zubok asserts, with support from Levesque who views the Soviet missiles as a "panacea for solving many problems" including a rebuttal of Mao's argument that Moscow had abandoned the expansion of socialism. On the other hand, the reviewers find much to endorse in Haslam's assessment of a number of issues. Zubok and Trachtenberg, for example, note Haslam's successful use of sources on intelligence to expand understanding of what Moscow and Washington knew about various crisis situations, although Zubok questions Haslam's suggestion that Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor, used intelligence information to entice Moscow into its 1979 invasion of Afghanistan. (319-327)4 Haslam's extensive coverage of Soviet civil-military relations and their impact on policy after Stalin is a definite strength that highlights, as stressed by Nichols, the nature of the Soviet regime and its policies, the "complicated and dysfunctional regime that it was, and explores both the crude politics and complex inner logic of Soviet policy." Nichols also credit Haslam with highlighting the SS-20 issue, the Soviet deployment of enhanced medium-range nuclear missiles against Europe in 1976, a subject which illustrates Soviet objectives and their impact on the collapse of détente. (302-312) 4) The end of the Cold War, the role of Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan, and what the ending suggests about the nature of the Cold War is a central focus in two of Haslam's chapters. Neither the reviewers nor Haslam get bogged down in the well-worn debate as to who merits more credit for the way that the Cold War ended. Levesque does suggest that Haslam gets too close to the Reagan "victory school" interpretation and "downplays the crucial role of Gorbachev and his policies in ending the Cold War." What concerns Levesque is Haslam's dropping of his own central thesis on the role of ideology in Soviet policy when, according to Levesque, Gorbachev and his advisers searched for a new ideology "to legitimize their actions. They needed it not only for neutralizing their opponents. They needed it for themselves to give a sense to their actions and to persist on their risky course that went much beyond what Reagan and Bush ever expected and even wanted." Haslam responds to this criticism and other reviewers' comments in his response: "One gets the clear impression that the Soviet Union under Gorbachev lost its compass and became rudderless in foreign policy. Then under the impact of high pressure circulating in from the United States via Europe the regime was taken off course and ended up in an unexpected destination. They then made the most of where they found themselves, as did Robinson Crusoe.... In other words, whereas one finds the creation of the Soviet regime and its foreign policy was about ideology and intentionality, the end-game has to be attributed more to force of circumstance...; though one has to give Gorbachev his due for not taking the kind of decision in 1989 that others around him would have made and could have resulted in mass bloodshed." Participants: Jonathan Haslam is a Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of Corpus Christi College and Professor of the History of International Relations at Cambridge University. Latterly his other works include The Nixon Administration and the Death of Allende's Chile: A Case of Assisted Suicide (2005), No Virtue Like Necessity: Realist Thought in International Relations Since Machiavelli (2002), The Vices of Integrity: E.H. Carr, 1892-1982 (1999). He is currently learning Chinese, with no end in view! Lloyd Gardner is Research Professor of History at Rutgers University, where he has taught since 1963. He received his Ph.D. at Wisconsin in 1960. He is a former president of SHAFR, and the author or editor of a dozen or so books including Pay Any Price: Lyndon Johnson and the Wars for Vietnam (1995); co-editor with Marilyn Young, of Iraq and the Lessons of Vietnam and the New Empire (2007); Three Kings: The Rise of an American Empire in the Middle East after World War II(2009); and The Long Road to Baghdad: A History of U.S. Foreign Policy from the 1970s to the Present (2008). His new book, The Road to Tahrir Square: Egypt and the United States From the Rise of Nasser to the Fall of Mubarak, will be published in August 2011. Jacques Lévesque is Professor of Political Science at the Université du Québec à Montréal. He is a member of the Royal Society of Canada. He holds a Doctorat d'Études Politiques of the Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques, Paris. His books include The USSR and the Cuban Revolution (New York, Praeger/Holt Rinehart and Winston, 1978); Italian Communists versus the Soviet Union (Berkeley, IIS 1987); L'URSS et sa politique internationale de Lénine à Gorbachev (Paris, Armand Colin 1988); The Enigma of 1989: The USSR and the Liberation of Eastern Europe (Berkeley, University of California Press 1997); La Russie et son ex-empire: Reconfiguration géopolitique de l'ancien espace soviétique (with Y. Breault and P. Jolicoeur, Presses de Sciences Po, Paris 2003). He wrote the chapter "The East European Revolutions of 1989 " in The Cambridge History of the Cold War, Vol. 3,(Cambridge University Press 2009). He is currently working on Russia's relations with the Muslim world. Tom Nichols is Professor of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval War College, and a Fellow of the International Security Program and the Project on Managing the Atom at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is also a Senior Associate of the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs. He is the author most recently of Eve of Destruction: The Coming Age of Preventive War (University of Pennsylvania, 2008), and of the forthcoming No Use: Nuclear Weapons and the Reform of American Security Strategy (University of Pennsylvania, 2012). He holds a Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University and the Certificate of the Harriman Institute for Advanced Study of the Soviet Union at Columbia University. Marc Trachtenberg, an historian by training, is currently a professor of political science at UCLA. He got his Ph.D. at Berkeley in 1974, and then taught in the history department at the University of Pennsylvania for 26 years, before moving back to California eleven years ago. He has written a number of books and articles dealing mainly with twentieth-century international politics, most notably A Constructed Peace: The Making of the European Settlement, 1945-1963, which came out in 1999. His book The Craft of International History: A Guide to Method was published in 2006. Vladislav M. Zubok, Professor of History at Temple University, Philadelphia. He received PhD in history in Moscow, and is the author and co-author of several books, including Inside the Kremlin's Cold War: >From Stalin to Khrushchev with C. Pleshakov (Harvard University Press, 1996) that received the Lionel Gelber prize, and A Failed Empire: the Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev (University of North Carolina Press, 2007), that received the Marshall Shulman prize. Most recently, he published Zhivago's Children: The Last Russian Intelligentsia (Belknap Press, 2009). He currently works on a project exploring the interplay of international and domestic factors during the final years of the Soviet Union. Notes 1 An early example of this genre is Max Beloff's The Foreign Policy of Soviet Russia, 1929-1941, 2 vols. (London: Oxford University Press, 1947-1949) and George Kennan's Russia and the West under Lenin and Stalin (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1960). Later influential accounts include Adam B. Ulam's Expansion and Coexistence: The History of Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917-1967 (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1968) and Raymond L. Garthoff's Détente and Confrontation: American-Soviet Relations from Nixon to Reagan (Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1985). 2 Vlad Zubok, one of the roundtable reviewers, has contributed significantly to the new assessments with Inside the Kremlin's Cold War: From Stalin to Khrushchev (1996) with Constantine Pleshakov, and A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev (2007). Other examples include Alexander Fursenko and Tim Naftali, "One Hell of a Gamble": The Secret History of the Cuban Missile Crisis (1997); Ilya Gaiduk, Confronting Vietnam: Soviet Policy toward the Indochina Conflict, 1954-1963 (2003); and two books which will be the subject of forthcoming roundtables, Elena Aga-Rossi and Victor Zaslavsky, Stalin and Togliatti: Italy and the Origins of the Cold War (Washington D.C., Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2011), and Jamil Hasanli, At the Dawn of the Cold War: The Soviet-American Crisis over Iranian Azerbaijan, 1941-1946 (2011). Haslam's bibliography lists a number of recent Russian language studies on Soviet policy and aspects of the Cold War. 3 See Jonathan Haslam, Soviet Foreign Policy, 1930-33: The Impact of Depression (London, 1984), and The Soviet Union and the Struggle for Collective Security in Europe, 1933-1939 (London, 1984). 4 Trachtenberg supports Haslam on this issue. Haslam's sources for this assertion consist of a Brzezinski interview, an "off the record briefing from a source privy to the operation," and Sir Nicholas Henderson's diary accessed with permission from his daughter. (Notes 205-207, p. 471) ------------------------------- Review by Lloyd Gardner, Rutgers University Jonathan Haslam has given us a book to chew on. In a shade less than 400 pages of text, plus another hundred of reference material, he discusses the major events and underlying antagonisms that emerged from the time of the Bolshevik Revolution to the collapse of the Soviet Union. That in itself is a major achievement. Many events that are not well-covered in other surveys of the Cold War are here given new attention such as the concern about the end of the Salazar regime in Portugal and the brief appearance of the phenomenon of Euro-Communism. In addition, while there has been a recent trend toward including more context in diplomatic history carried over from social and cultural history, Haslam leads us back to the political backbone of international affairs. He is especially concerned (particularly in the later decades of the Cold War) with integrating military history into the political narrative. Along the way readers are given effective thumbnail sketches of the leading Soviet personalities to consider. What the Soviets knew about Western policy from espionage agents is detailed as well. Unlike the founding generation of American diplomatic historians, furthermore, for whom anything that touched on economic interests was not to be talked about in polite company, Haslam is not shy about discussing the concerns policymakers had for expanding the marketplace for American goods to ward off renewed depression, and for protecting the worldwide interests of the system they managed. Because Russia's Cold War covers so much ground, it is not really possible for the reviewer to do anything else but pick and choose various entry points to discuss what seems most important to understand the author's approach, and where the argument leads. Readers will likely find the most provocative sections in the introduction and the conclusion, where Haslam sets forth his thesis in its boldest formulations. The thesis, boiled down, is that there never was any possibility of an alternative policy for the Soviet Union except Cold War. Those who thought otherwise were deluding themselves, or, most egregiously in this regard, willfully ignoring the ideological imperatives that drove the conflict from the time of the Bolshevik Revolution to the final collapse of the Soviet Empire in a domino-like cascade of falling regimes from the satellites of Eastern Europe until it reached the Kremlin itself. Contributing to the confusion was Moscow's early adoption of a dual policy toward the West, offering "normal" state-to-state diplomacy on questions of trade and (later) arms treaties, while continually using the Comintern (generic for subversion) to pursue its objectives through foreign Communist parties and other means. Here were powerful tools to advance the cause of Moscow's interests under several different guises. (One could add to Haslam's discussion that even without Comintern agents, printers at the Moscow Foreign Languages Press constituted a powerful weapon, for it was the Marxist-Leninist analysis of capitalism and imperialism, as well as the example of rapid industrialization, that spurred revolutionary zeal in many areas of the world.) Among the few American policymakers who understood the vital ideological starting point for dealing with the Soviets, argues Haslam, was George Frost Kennan, the author of the "X" article in 1947, "The Sources of Soviet Conduct," perhaps the best known document of the Cold War. My own view on this question of the authorship of "Containment" is somewhat different, and goes to the question of why, if policymakers in Washington were as naïve as Haslam suggests, Kennan's long telegram of 1946 (which previewed most of the themes in the "X" article) led to his recall from Moscow to inhabit an office in the National War College, a hallowed site with a plaque on its door that tells passers-by today that it was in this place where the famous article was written? Indeed, one of the reasons for the use of "X" instead of an author's name was not secrecy to protect Kennan-everybody who counted knew who it was-but because the article represented a generalized statement of where policymakers thought matters stood. Kennan's emphasis on ideology was welcomed in Washington because it offered a succinct historical argument for policies already decided upon, and an organizing theme on which endless variations were possible to meet the supposed challenge of what John Foster Dulles liked to call, "International Communism." Kennan found all the "Uncle Joe-ing" of World War II a dangerous mistake that would only lead to unrealized expectations of cooperation in the postwar era. He saw things like the Yalta Declaration on Liberated Europe as especially dangerous because it papered over fundamental differences between Moscow and the West; but his viewpoint was that of a Russian "expert," not that of a national leader responsible for pursuing all avenues before deciding upon his country's ultimate direction. It is true, certainly, that American leaders going back a long, long time feared being enmeshed in the coils of European diplomacy, but their faith in technological solutions to political problems explains more, I would argue, than naïveté. However that may be, Haslam finds in Maxim Litvinov an inside source for a similar analysis of Western mistakes in dealing with the Soviet Union during World War II, mistakes that only encouraged Litvinov's hardline colleagues to push forward their agenda. Kennan's usefulness to policymakers faded rather quickly, however, after the Marshall Plan, because his reconsiderations endangered the policy consensus, not only on German rearmament, but also on the origins of the Korean War. There is a way of viewing the Marshall Plan, indeed, as a much more important turning point than the Truman Doctrine, which, in its original formulation at least, could have been taken as a localized matter-even though it wasn't. In later years, moreover, Kennan insisted that he had not intended to father a policy or doctrine of military "containment," and, in fact, he would oppose German re-armament, not because he thought the Soviets could be coaxed out of their rigid ideology, but because Western re-arming of Germany would prolong the ability of the Soviets to rule by fear. In other words ideology alone could not explain Russian foreign policy. Secretary of State Dean Acheson quickly became frustrated by Kennan's tendency to reconsider his positions in ways that undermined settled interpretations of Russian foreign policy. For Acheson and then John Foster Dulles, Kennan became a somewhat awkward presence in Foggy Bottom - much better suited to writing history at Princeton than raising questions about the direction of current policy. So where does that leave us? Contrasting Kennan's "realism" with the supposed naïveté of other policymakers is a sort of backhanded way of strengthening the case Haslam wishes to make for his interpretation of Russia's Cold War policies, as it provides the prime example of a lonely voice that saw through all the pretensions and deceptions of Stalin's wartime policies to the core of Marxist-Leninist ideology that was so completely opposed to all the tenets of "Western values established since the Enlightenment." (p.1) Precisely because Western statesmen inherited and accepted those values, it was difficult for them to understand, let alone meet, the challenge the Bolshevik Revolution posed. Winston Churchill had put it this way in his memoirs of World War I and its fateful aftermath: "We saw a state without a nation, an army without a country, a religion without a God."1 As Haslam reminds us in a brief reference, Churchill had asserted in the 1946 Iron Curtain speech that the Soviet Union did not want war, but that it did want the fruits of war without fighting for them. Stalin's famous comment that unlike in other wars, whoever occupied territory installed their own system, actually cuts both ways - as the British Labour Government found out when Washington successfully prevented the Western zones from going socialist. It could hardly have been otherwise in the wake of the chaos left behind in the German retreat. Before the 1948 Berlin Blockade, one of Stalin's biggest mistakes, Russia had been excluded from any meaningful role in postwar Italy or Japan, and the 1947 Marshall Plan proposal seemed of a piece with American determination to dominate Europe as well through unilateral actions, just as his ambassador in Washington, Nikolai Novikov advised Stalin. Geoffrey Roberts, author of another recent Cold War study for Yale University Press, explains that the initial reaction in Moscow to an Anglo-French proposal for a meeting to discuss the Marshall Plan was a tentative Politburo decision to accept an invitation. Further consideration, much aided by Novikov's cables that contended the Marshall Plan was a blueprint for an anti-Soviet Western bloc of nations, put a halt to any serious consideration of participation. The key issue was the question of a supra-national agency to administer the funds with the authority to demand answers about needs and production capabilities of all the participants. Kennan had anticipated the scenario would play out in this way, because it would make difficult the consolidation of the Soviet sphere of influence, and, because it would supersede German reparations agreements by integrating that country into a recovery plan. In this plan, wrote Novikov on June 9, 1947, "are the clear contours of a West European bloc directed against us."2 What is suggested here is a reversal of the usual order of things concerning how the Cold War developed. Instead of the Truman Doctrine being the turning point, it may well be that the Marshall Plan was more important in Russian decision-making, as the areas mentioned in Truman's famous speech, Greece and Turkey, had less importance in Moscow's eyes than events in Europe, and could be conceded more easily. Expectations of a falling out among the capitalist powers always played a part in the early years of the Cold War, but the Marshall Plan looked like a solution to that supposed capitalist weakness. Thus the failed effort to prevent an inevitably lop-sided contest with Western economic capabilities through the blockade. At the Foreign Ministers Conference in 1949, a small concession for ending the Berlin Blockade, Dean Acheson led the way in proposing a restoration of German trade connections with Eastern Europe - to absorb excess production of manufactures, and secure access to agricultural products. Robert Schuman, the French foreign minister, explained the problem to his Western colleagues in blunt terms. "If their [German] peacetime products could not go either East or West, there would be wholesale unemployment, the situation would be like that of 1932, and it would be impossible to prevent the rise to power of another Hitler." While the Republican member of the American delegation - future secretary of state John Foster Dulles - was troubled about how this argument might undermine Western Cold War ideological positions, Acheson was firm. "We are in a position," he asserted, "where we have to be proponents of increased East-West trade." To save face for both sides, the final communiqué of the Conference did not go beyond a simple statement that trade channels would be opened to explore the reasons why that had to be. 3 When Stalin died in 1953, it was Churchill, who had sounded the tocsin in 1946,who now led in making the argument that the West should test the new leadership in Moscow to see if it was possible to negotiate a modus vivendi. Churchill was convinced the new leadership in Moscow was ready to deal with the reality that the West would not be bluffed out of Berlin - symbolic of its entire position in Europe. While hardly in accord with those who saw such an opportunity as promising a real end to the Cold War, Haslam seems at this point to question a bit his own insistence on the continuity of Soviet antipathy and ideological enslavement. Isolated among his own colleagues in the British government, Churchill's calls for an early summit were "buried" by Eisenhower. "A summit was not scheduled until January 1954," Haslam writes, "by which time the delicate configuration of power in the Kremlin had shifted to the disadvantage of more thorough-going reforms in both domestic and foreign policy. The momentum was thus lost. Dulles, Konrad Adenauer, and Molotov had won." (p. 142) Reinforcing the ideological component of Russian foreign policy, however, was the triumph of the Communists in the Chinese Civil War. Haslam and other writers have noted Stalin's original pessimism about Mao's chances for victory, and his efforts to steer the Chinese Communists into a coalition government. After Mao's triumph, however, things looked very different. The struggle over ideology was now (at least) a three-way battle with the Chinese representing a schism - albeit potential at the moment - and a competitor in the struggle with the West. The United States was a true colossus, but Russia, struggling to recover from the devastating effects of World War II, was in no position to exert full control over the Chinese comrades. The delicate dance Stalin performed during Mao's visit to Moscow in the aftermath of the Chinese Communist victory was indicative of the difference between the two. Stalin had already made one mistake with the Berlin Blockade, and, as Haslam points out, he was about to make another with the Korean War. Although he may have been mislead by Acheson's statement putting South Korea outside the American defense perimeter, and, as Kennan pointed out, worried about American airbases in nearby Okinawa, he finally decided to approve the invasion, apparently settling for the comforting thought that it would be a quick victory - a miscalculation on the order of George W. Bush's belief that Gulf War II would be brief and the Americans would be greeted as liberators. What he succeeded in accomplishing for Washington instead was a new will to have Germany re-armed inside NATO, and a reason for getting involved in post-colonial problems across Southeast Asia. Throughout the following years of the Cold War, moreover, the Soviets were misled more seriously by the vigor and success of national liberation movements (than anything Acheson said before Korea) into believing that they would indeed emerge triumphant in the end because their system had the most to offer. As a traveler and superficial observer in Eastern Europe in the late Cold War days, one could not miss that any "success" in the Third World was highlighted in posters (endless blocks of them) as if this heralded better times coming "at home." It was a cruel self-deception. Haslam is convinced that the arms build-up under both Carter and Reagan finally exposed the fragile nature of the Soviet empire that had been there all along, and he concludes with a critique of writers who put the Cold War into the category of imperial rivalries of the past. No, he argues, this was something different, for there had always been ways of accommodating Tsarist ambitions within the international state system. "Even at its most self-consciously Slavophile, Russia never held itself up as a substitute model for capitalism and democracy in the very West itself." Where its troops marched, almost without exception, he writes, "the territory under occupation was utterly transformed, entailing the wanton destruction of representative democracy and its economic underpinning, the market." The market underpinned a great many other things besides representative democracy in the great age of imperialism long before the Russian Revolution occurred at the end of the bloodiest war in capitalism's history, which left people in all areas of the world wondering if there was not some alternative, and produced desperate solutions to a world crisis. It is impossible to conceive of the Cold War, Haslam concludes, "other than with the Russian Revolution at its core, and yet Stalin was a necessary but not a sufficient condition to its occurrence and continuation." (p. 394) The sufficient condition, I would argue, was World War II. And by Haslam's calculations of naïveté about the outside world, Stalin outdoes Western leaders by a good long way. American actions confirmed his predisposed ideological framework, but he badly misjudged the two great questions of his Cold War years, the Berlin Blockade and the Korean War. Notes 1 Winston Churchill, The World Crisis, 1929, quoted in Lloyd C. Gardner, Safe for Democracy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), 151. 2 Geoffrey Roberts, Stalin's Wars: From World War to Cold War, 1939-1953 (New Haven, Yale University Press, 2006), 313-17. 3 Lloyd C. Gardner, A Covenant with Power (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), 133. ------------------------------- Review by Jacques Lévesque, Université du Québec à Montréal For many years Jonathan Haslam has been a productive historian and analyst of Soviet foreign policy. His latest book is a major achievement. It is based on a colossal amount of archival sources that have proliferated since the collapse of the USSR. It is not only the amount of the sources that is impressive, it is also their wide and unexpected variety. Haslam makes an impressive use of many of them. It must be said immediately that the subtitle of the book misrepresents its actual content. This subtitle is based on the perfectly valid point that if the Cold War generally refers to the post-World War II period of history, it finds its fundamental beginnings with the October Revolution. The idea is not new. In the mid-1960s André Fontaine published a two-volume History of the Cold War that covered Soviet foreign policy from 1917 to 1967. Haslam's book title suggests a comparable exercise with the great benefit of all the new sources now available. This seems to have misled even an expert like Robert Legvold, who asserts in Foreign Affairs1 that the book is "a new history of Soviet foreign policy from 1917 to 1989". It is not. Barely 12 pages (out of 400) cover the period from 1917 to the beginning of World War II. They are in fact an introduction for validating the above-mentioned point. This, of course, does not diminish the merits of the book. Its central thesis is made clear from the start. While acknowledging all of the dimensions of the Cold War over decades, Haslam contends that the most crucial one for understanding its specific character is ideological. I must say that I fully agree with this. The argument and its demonstration are made in a very forceful, efficient and convincing manner. For instance, the book provides lengthy developments on the debates and the assessments that took place in Moscow and the Western capitals during the six years of World War II and its immediate aftermath. These debates persuasively show with plenty of evidence how deep and widespread was the distrust between the "partners". They are meant to demonstrate that the Cold War that followed was far from an accident of history. The sovietization of Eastern Europe as it was fully enforced from 1947 was not planned for that precise time and could eventually have come a little later, but it was bound to happen. Haslam argues, and rightly so, that the extension of the Soviet system to Eastern Europe was a sort of final political and ideological victory of Stalin over Leon Trotsky, who had accused him of having completely forsaken the pursuit of socialist revolution in the world. The same could be said about the Chinese revolution, even though Haslam shows that prudence and hesitations based on geopolitical considerations weighed more heavily in this case. The book is very pleasant to read. It is often made up of long quotations from actors, witnesses, or documents. Usually long quotations make for cumbersome reading. This is not the case here. On the contrary, the quotations are presented in a way that makes the book sound like a lively debate and confrontation between key participants and witnesses. Even if the outcomes are already known, the book gives new life to the unfolding of the Cold War. Now, let us turn to problems and objections. Haslam is not a shy writer and many of his assertions and interpretations are bound to provoke controversy and criticisms. Naturally, mine will pertain to the periods and topics that I am most familiar with. For instance, concerning the installation of Soviet missiles in Cuba, Haslam accepts the view according to which this had nothing to do with Cuba itself (204-205). He considers the Berlin issue as the key explanatory factor as much, if not more, than the missile gap. The record shows2 that Nikita Khrushchev saw the missiles as a panacea for solving many problems he faced. At that time, Mao Tse-tung was Khrushchev's Trotsky, accusing him of betraying the expansion of socialism in the world for the sake of peaceful coexistence with the U.S. Given Cuba's extreme vulnerability, Khrushchev had hesitated for one year to recognize it as socialist (after Castro had proclaimed it as such) and he saw the presence of missiles as way to anchor it in the socialist camp for good. Cuba was the only new socialist country to emerge since Stalin's death and for Khrushchev it was the ultimate proof (against the Chinese accusations) that peaceful coexistence could be compatible with the expansion of socialism. Haslam seems to forget that ideology was at play here too. Often, Haslam takes at face value assertions made by participants, ten to twenty years after the facts. He is right when he stresses the important role played by Aleksandr Yakovlev during Mikhail Gorbachev's tenure, but he quotes as significant one of his claims made in 2003 that as early as after the Prague Spring he had "understood that the notion of a [Soviet] commonwealth [was] a chimera and had not the slightest future". (351) I interviewed Yakovlev in November 1994. I asked him at what point in time in 1989 had he realized that the feasibility of a reformed socialism in Eastern Europe was definitely doomed. His answer was: "I have never believed in a reformed socialism". When I referred him to different articles he had written on that topic in the few preceding years, he gave a dismissive gesture and said: "What do you think I could write at the time? If Gorbachev and I had said that our goal was to destroy the regime we would have ended up in jail". At that time Yakovlev, who had switched to the Boris Yeltsin camp, was Chairman of the TV network Ostankino and Chairman of the Federal Television and Radio Services. It is clear to me that his new "new thinking" was nothing else than a way to keep afloat politically in the context of the "shock therapy". Georgii Arbatov, cynical as he may often have been, was more honest in his memoirs written in 1992. He wrote that as late as the mid-80s, he still saw himself as a communist, though as a Gramsci-type of Marxist. Another case of reliance on doubtful testimonies or sources can be mentioned. On page 387, quoting nothing else3 than an article from Corriere della Sera of 19954, Haslam writes that Valentin Falin, head of the international department, and Yuli Kvitsinsky, the Soviet ambassador in Bonn, "were in favor of sending the tanks" to stop the course of events in East Germany before the fall of the wall. In the next sentence, Haslam writes that "Gorbachev faced resistance from within the Politburo" while Shevardnadze argued that "putting such proposals into effect would have meant world war". There are many problems with this interpretation: (1) we know from the records that the use of force in East Germany and elsewhere in Eastern Europe was never discussed in the Politburo; (2) we know that contrary to Gorbachev, Falin was in favor of maintaining ambiguity about a possible use of force, as a looming threat and as a political tool, but that he did not advocate its actual use; (3) one wonders how the Ambassador in West Germany could have issued recommendations on what should be done in East Germany where there was a Soviet Ambassador? A stunning mistake must be pointed out. On page 371, Haslam writes that Georgii Shakhnazarov, who was an advisor to Gorbachev for East European affairs, was "elevated to the Politburo". Shakhnazarov was never a member of the Politburo, and not even a member of the Central Committee. Given the importance of the Politburo and the very small number of members, such an error is surprising from a meticulous investigator like Haslam. Let us turn to a wider issue and an old debate. In the last paragraph of the last chapter, speaking about the collapse of the USSR, Haslam quotes James Baker on "the steadfast leadership of former President Ronald Reagan" and endorses Robert Gates' view that U.S. policies "played a significant role in intensifying the Soviet crisis and in forcing actions and decisions in Moscow, that led ultimately to the collapse". (392) I have no quarrel with this. But a few pages later, in the conclusion of the book, the "significant role" becomes "a key role". (399) Haslam is too sophisticated to fully endorse the claim of the most ardent admirers of Reagan who make him the gravedigger of communism in Europe. But he gets close to it. Not surprisingly therefore he downplays the decisive role of Gorbachev and his policies in ending the Cold War. He points to many contradictions and illusions in Gorbachev's approach and actions. That is accurate. He writes that "Gorbachev did want to improve the Soviet system, not to destroy it". (400) He certainly did not want to destroy the system, but from 1987 it was clear that he and his team were out for much more than an "improvement". It was a multi-sided transformation that was sought both in the country and in its foreign policy goals. My main quarrel here is that Haslam misses the central point of his own book: the crucial role of ideology. There is not a single paragraph in the relevant chapter about the ideology that made possible the course pursued by Gorbachev, Yakovlev, Shevardnadze, and dozens of their associates. It provided them with a vision of a new world order that would help a transformed USSR find a way out of its blind alleys. In order to survive they needed a new ideology to legitimize their actions. They needed it not only for neutralizing their opponents. They needed it for themselves, in order to give a sense to their actions and to be able to persist in their risky course that went well beyond what Reagan and George Bush ever expected and even wanted. That ideology was more than an instrument of manipulation and rationalization. It was not entirely improvised and did not fall from the sky. It was largely borrowed from the utopias of the Prague Spring of 1968 and the Euro communism of the 1970s. The illusions that it carried greatly helped to ensure the astoundingly peaceful end of communism in Eastern Europe and the USSR. If Stalin's view of the world was crucial to understanding his policies in Eastern Europe (which were not entirely contingent of what the U.S. and Britain did, as Haslam rightly argues), the same holds for Soviet policy in Eastern Europe in 1989. This being said, the book is a must for readers interested in international affairs. They will learn a lot. They may be irritated by one issue or another but they will keep reading and will definitely not be bored. Notes 1 Robert Legvold, Capsule Review of Russia's Cold War: From the October Revolution to the Fall of the Wall, Foreign Affairs, March/April 2011. http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/67511/jonathan-haslam/russias-cold-war-from-the-october-revolution-to-the-fall-of-the , accessed 6 December 2011. 2 Willam Taubman did not miss it in the most researched piece of work that exists on Khrushchev. See Khrushchev: The Man and His Era, New York, W.W. Norton & Co., 2003, pp. 529-577. 3 To be fair, a few pages after (p. 391) Haslam refers to Nikolai Portugalov's recollections, but this does not help his point. Quoting Portugalov, he writes that Falin proclaimed "the need to establish 'law and order' and send in the tanks". Only "law and order" is given in quotation marks. Is "send in the tanks" what Portugalov actually said or is it Haslam's interpretation of the meaning of "law and order"? It is impossible to verify. The only source he gives for Portugalov's recollections is Berliner Zeitung, without any date or any specific article. 4 The source that is given is: Luigi Ippolito, " 1989 Mosca invade Berlino, Corriere della Sera, 8 March 1995. ------------------------------- Review by Tom Nichols, U.S. Naval War College In a review of an earlier work on the Cold War, I compared a book to Adam Ulam's Expansion and Coexistence. The comparison was premature. Jonathan Haslam's Russia's Cold War is not only the successor to that magisterial volume, it is its replacement. In fairness to Ulam, Haslam's book could not have been written before the collapse of the USSR, but that takes nothing away from Russia's Cold War, which is not only a valuable scholarly resource, but a fine advanced text on the subject and a compelling read. Even scholars deeply familiar with the events of the Cold War will find it an engaging and revealing work. Haslam's book incorporates into one reasonably lean and well-edited volume the events and evidence (to use the title of John Gaddis' well-known volume) that "we now know" about the Soviet side of the Cold War, while still basing its account almost entirely on primary sources. Like any good comprehensive history, Haslam's book covers a breadth of topics that necessarily propels the reader along at high velocity; still, he gives due attention to many issues that other scholars have considered too briefly, or that seem in retrospect to have receded in importance. In particular, Soviet ideology -- so out of vogue among Western historians for a time, and still regarded with suspicion by realists in political science -- returns in Haslam's volume as the constant companion to the Kremlin's decisions. Describing the final collapse of East-West relations after the defeat of the Axis, Haslam writes: "From being a conflict over the balance of Europe, the Cold War now also became preeminently a clash of values. And before long the two had become so interwoven as to make any degree of separation invisible to the casual onlooker." (76) This is a welcome return to common sense. When the first wave of Cold War history was written, the influence of ideology in Soviet foreign policy seemed obvious and the theme permeated many of the works that took advantage of new Soviet sources. Perhaps ideology was too inconvenient and too complicated a variable to be assimilated into the simplified world of realist explanations; perhaps it was too embarrassing for scholars who had long dismissed it out of the habitual politics of apportioning equal blame to both sides for the conflict regardless of actual policies. For whatever reason, the return of ideology was quickly muted in Cold War studies during a tedious round of what might be called anti-anti-revisionism in the first decade after the opening of the Soviet archives. That error has now been rectified, but this is not to say that Russia's Cold War is a partisan entry in the Cold War debates over Soviet ideology. Rather, Haslam simply takes back into account a crucial factor that for too long was left aside in reconstructing the history of Soviet foreign policy. The book is an especially welcome counterweight to studies that were too reliant on explanations of Soviet policy as mere reactions to U.S. foreign policies. Particular events also regain context and focus in Haslam's narrative. To take but one example, a reader of John Newhouse's excellent 1988 history of the arms race, War and Peace in the Nuclear Age (now out of print) will find a serious discussion of the SS-20 fiasco, in which Moscow's clumsy deployment of improved medium-range nuclear missiles against Europe helped to implode years of careful Soviet diplomacy in the late 1970s. It was a magnificent Soviet blunder, and one that marked an important turn in the Cold War. But with the passage of time, it faded away in many accounts of the late Cold War as just another of many such moments. Haslam, however, resurrects the SS-20s, and while his discussion only occupies about ten pages, they are a crucial ten pages for anyone trying to understand the internal disconnect between Soviet foreign and military policies, or seeking to grasp more fully why both NATO and the Soviet bloc seemed unable to do much beyond stumbling about in confrontation in those years. A similarly valuable section involves Haslam's recounting of the 1986 Reykjavik summit. Like many former Sovietologists, I had long assumed that the link between the Strategic Defense Initiative and intermediate range nuclear forces in Europe had been forced upon Mikhail Gorbachev by the Soviet military, and that the summit's foundering on this point was illustrative of Gorbachev's struggles back home. As it turns out, not so: it was Gorbachev's idea. This was something that was known eventually, but Haslam emphasizes the more important point that it was part of a larger and more complicated game Gorbachev was hoping to play involving public opinion in Western Europe -- a ploy, as Haslam notes, that always appealed to Soviet leaders but never worked out, and in Gorbachev's case, it frustrated not only Ronald Reagan but Gorbachev's own advisors as well. (358-359) Indeed, one important virtue of Russia's Cold War is that it is a more balanced picture of Gorbachev in general than many of the hagiographies of the 1990s, and one feels a certain sympathy with those Soviet advisors, if not with the surly Soviet generals with whose objections Gorbachev had to contend. This raises a particular strength of Haslam's study: its emphasis on Soviet civil-military relations. There is no way to understand Soviet security policy after Stalin without understanding the troubled relationship between the Party and the military, and Haslam's attention to the views of the military, and the tensions they caused with Party leaders, takes the reader an important step further into Soviet foreign affairs, providing an understanding not only of what happened, but why. Ideology was central to Soviet views of the world, and no institution in Soviet life, perhaps not even the Party itself, was more marinated in ideology than the Soviet Armed Forces. This had important consequences that were not always clear to the Americans -- and sometimes not even to many of the Soviet foreign policy experts themselves, some of whom were not allowed to know the secrets their military colleagues were more willing to share with the Americans than with the Foreign Ministry. In contrast to histories that see Soviet policy as largely reactive, Russia's Cold War treats the Soviet regime as the complicated and dysfunctional regime that it was, and explores both the crude politics and complex inner logic of Soviet policy rather than merely describing the movement of the red Soviet billiard ball in passive response to the hard break of World War II and the multiple collisions and banks that followed it. Haslam's interpretations are reasonable and accessible, and Russia's Cold War does not stake out any particularly antagonistic political viewpoint. Still, not everyone will agree with the author's choices and emphases. Haslam devotes an entire and separate chapter to the Reagan presidency, for example -- a choice I find logical but that others might think gives too much weight to the Reagan era as a phenomenon in itself. Stalin, too, returns as more of an active and malevolent force than some recent works have depicted him; again, I find this to be entirely sensible, but some historians will no doubt take it issue with it, as they will in general with Haslam's portrait of a Soviet Union that did things for its own reasons rather than as allergic reactions to a doltish West and a frightening world. The most daunting aspect of Russia's Cold War is its level of historical complexity. The book is sometimes a carousel of names only partially interesting even to specialists. (One cannot help, however, but admire a book whose level of detail reminds us that it was Stalin's "proconsul" in Pyongyang, General Terentii Shtykov, who had made "short work" of Kim Jong Il's initial assurances about his ability to conquer South Korea in 1950.) (121) A novice reader might also wonder why something like the aforementioned SS-20 issue gets almost as much space as the decision to start a war in Asia. But these are lesser flaws, and where the issue of relative emphasis is concerned, hardly a flaw at all. Haslam has wisely chosen not to recapitulate issues that are covered in far more detail in other works. Any author trying to write about the Cold War, from either side, in the twenty-first century will have to make hard choices; Russia's Cold War reasonably assumes that most readers already have a decent grasp of modern history and do not need tutorials in subjects and events already widely studied and competently autopsied in the existing literature. Still, this is not a volume to be given unaccompanied to an undergraduate or relatively untrained graduate student. Russia's Cold War should become the standard text for courses in Soviet foreign policy, but most students will need either a solid background in Soviet and world history (and preferably both) to make full use of it. Much like Expansion and Coexistence, which I first read as an undergraduate too many years ago, Russia's Cold War will wear out the highlighting markers of younger students if they try to master its level of detail. The book, however, has the virtue of being compellingly readable, and this will engage students at any level in the drama and danger of the Soviet Union's unhappy and brief attempt to fight the Cold War. Russia's Cold War is a masterful book. World events are brought to the intuitively understandable level of human belief and agency: diplomats and generals, Party hacks and intellectuals, all maneuver their way through its pages, with the specter of nuclear war on almost every page and the shadow of the inevitable collapse of the whole Soviet enterprise lengthening with each chapter. It is a volume that every student must read as an introduction, and that any specialist will profit from as a thought-provoking refresher. It captures, as much as can be hoped and in eloquent but direct prose, the full sweep of Soviet foreign policy from the battlefields of World War II to the jubilation on the Berlin Wall forty-five years later. ------------------------------- Review by Marc Trachtenberg, University of California, Los Angeles Russia's Cold War is a remarkable piece of work. It is based, to a quite extraordinary degree for a book covering such a broad topic, on a vast amount of primary source material, in Russian, German, English, French, Italian, and even Czech and Polish. It would be impressive enough if Jonathan Haslam had just worked with the published primary and memoir sources, but he has also done archival work in at least six different countries. And this is one of the things that makes this book so special. As the author points out, "detailed research at firsthand in the original language does matter" (xi). It certainly enabled him to bring the story of Soviet policy in the Cold War to life in a way that I don't think anyone else has ever done. In this book, you're looking at real people, at real institutions, with all their flaws and idiosyncrasies. You get to see the reality for what it was. That method yields some quite impressive results, especially in one area that most historians (myself included) pay less attention to than they should. I'm referring here to intelligence operations-still in many ways the "missing dimension" in the study of international politics.1 The Soviets, Haslam shows, were learning a great deal from intelligence sources. Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet leader from the mid-1950s until his fall from power in 1964, "knew from decrypted communications between Chiang Kai-shek and Dulles that Washington would not fight [in 1958] for the offshore islands" (177). And during the Cuban missile crisis, Khrushchev, thanks to Soviet cryptographers, had "direct access to secret U.S. communications," and what he learned in that way "convinced him just how serious the situation had become" (209). But western counter-intelligence efforts could sometimes be extraordinarily effective. In 1982, "misleading data" that the Americans were able to inject "into the Soviet collection system" caused "so much damage and chaos that Moscow began to distrust its own sources" (329). The most amazing case of this sort that Haslam talks about has to do with the Soviet decision to invade Afghanistan. By 1979, U.S. breakthroughs in cryptanalysis, based on the new Cray 1-A computer, allowed the National Security Agency to "open up a window onto Moscow's most closely guarded political, diplomatic, and military secrets" (319). This in turn "enabled [National Security Advisor Zbigniew] Brzezinski and [U.S. President Jimmy] Carter to trick Moscow into invading Afghanistan" at the end of that year. The section of the book that tells this story, "Luring Russia into Its Own Vietnam" (319-327), was to my mind the most interesting-and indeed the most shocking-part of the book. So Russia's Cold War is, among other things, a real gold mine, full of quite extraordinary information which I, at least, have never seen elsewhere. And that means that this book is enormous value, even to someone like me who does not fully agree with a number of Haslam's central arguments. I have in mind, in particular, his argument about ideology as the driving force behind Soviet policy during the Cold War. His chapter on the immediate post-World War II period, for example, is called "Ideology Triumphant." Even during the period when Leonid Brezhnev was the Soviet leader (1964-82), Moscow, he thinks,"was entirely opposed to sacrificing its ideological commitments abroad." "On the contrary," he argues, "détente led to the reinforcement of them as if to reassert Soviet identity against western hopes of convergence" (214). The West, in Haslam's view, was wrong to think (around 1969) that the USSR "was becoming less revolutionary" and more like a normal great power. That way of looking at things, he believes, mistakenly assumed "that the commitment to international revolution was merely a matter of choice for Soviet leaders." In making that assumption, western officials and analysts"underestimated the very point that Trotsky insisted upon; namely, that however reactionary in preferences, Soviet leaders were driven by the nature of the system to pursue the expansion of the revolution." But events, he says, ultimately made it clear "that Moscow had no intention of ending the Cold War through compromise in either the struggle over the balance of Europe or the larger ideological conflict over the shape of the international system" (295-296). This was true, he thinks, even in 1945. "Stalin and his closest supporters," in his view, "had every intention of seeking dominance over Europe by positioning Russia as the pivotal Power in the region, with Germany under foot, France counted out, and Britain confined to the periphery (largely to empire overseas") (395). Even "when in 1945-46 the West was ready for accommodation to settle the affairs of Europe, Stalin had held to unilateral expansion at the expense of his neighbors" (134; see also 76). That reaching for predominance in Europe was what had "sparked the Cold War," but the policy was not abandoned after Stalin's death: even his successors felt the USSR was entitled to "hold the balance of Europe, if not to prevail entirely" (308; see also 395-396). My own view of Soviet policy during the Cold War is a little different. The USSR, as I see it, was a good deal less militant, less ideologically-driven, and more attuned to power realities, than Haslam seems to think-and indeed than most Americans thought at the time. With regard to Europe, the Soviets, in my view, were basically willing from the start to live with a divided continent. They could not quite bring themselves to accept an arrangement whereby each side would have a totally free hand in the part of Europe it dominated. By that I mean that although they insisted on absolute control on their side of the line of demarcation, they could not allow the western powers a completely free hand in western Germany. The problem of German power was always of fundamental importance for them, but they were perfectly willing to live with a divided Europe within which West German power was limited. The basic Soviet goal was therefore to stabilize that sort of status quo. The one major exception, to my mind, had to do with the Khrushchev period (and especially 1961-62), but that was because of Khrushchev's peculiar personal characteristics, not because of the system within which he operated. With regard to the Third World, I don't really see the USSR pursuing a particularly aggressive policy, nor one that placed a great premium on promoting Communist revolution abroad. And I think that although Haslam's general argument points in the opposite direction, his accounts of a whole series of specific episodes actually tend to support the view of Soviet policy I had come to hold before I read his book. Some of the interpretations you find there are in fact quite familiar. The idea that Stalin "moved with great caution" in Europe in 1946 (80), that he restrained the local Communists in France and Italy in 1947 (94-95) and in Greece in 1948 (97-98)-well, Haslam was certainly not the first to make those arguments. The same point applies to what he says about the Soviets preferring a bourgeois democracy like India to Communist China (156, 192-193). And these were not isolated cases. What was striking to me, reading this book, was how pervasive that pattern was. In Latin America, for example, Soviet policy was quite restrained. In 1964-65 the United States helped overthrow leftist governments in Brazil and, more blatantly, in the Dominican Republic, but Moscow, Haslam writes, did not raise either issue "to the level of cause célèbre" (277). The Soviet reaction to the overthrow of the Allende government in Chile in 1972 was also quite mild: throughout the Chilean crisis-and Haslam is a real expert in this area-"in contrast to Havana, Moscow acted with restraint, failing to give Allende the kind of blank check they gave Havana" (278). With regard to southeast Asia, his accounts support that same general picture. After the extermination of the Indonesian Communists in 1965, he writes, the Soviet leadership was "prepared to carry on as though nothing had happened" (229). It certainly supported the North Vietnamese in their war against the United States, but only within limits: it was not prepared to run any real risk of war with America (225). In the Middle East, the story was much the same: there was a real limit to how far the Soviets were prepared to go in backing the Arabs against Israel. The Soviet response to the U.S. nuclear alert during the 1973 war was rather mild. "We won't fight" for the Arabs, Brezhnev declared; "The people would not understand. And above all we don't have any intention of being dragged into world war because of them" (276). Haslam's discussion of all these cases is invariably quite interesting, in large part because of the new evidence he was able to present (like the Brezhnev quotation I just gave), but there are three additional cases where his accounts struck me as exceptionally important.The first case has to do with Angola in 1975. The USSR, it turns out, was a lot less eager to support the Cuban intervention there than I had realized. The leadership was clearly divided on this issue, and Brezhnev especially did not like the idea of Soviet involvement there at all and had to be overruled by his colleagues (291-292). The second case has to do with Poland in 1981. Brezhnev was also "resolutely opposed" to Soviet military intervention there at the time. Even Yuri Andropov, "the ascetic diehard who increasingly saw himself as a true follower of Lenin," was opposed to the use of force by the USSR: "if Kulikov [the commander-in-chief of the Warsaw Pact forces] actually talked of our forces going in," he said,"then I consider this incorrect!" (335-336; for the characterization of Andropov, see 347, and also 216-217). The third and most astonishing case has to do with Afghanistan in 1979: the Soviets (as noted above) had to be "tricked" by the Americans into invading that country (319). So putting all this together, a certain general picture takes shape. The Soviets do not come across as intent on dominating Europe or on doing whatever they could to promote the cause of revolution in the world as a whole. Their policy generally speaking was relatively moderate-certainly more moderate than ordinary Americans believed at the time. This is not to say, of course, that Communist ideology played no role at all in shaping Soviet policy. The Soviet leaders obviously had certain ideological preferences, as indeed we all do. But ideology was just one element in the policy mix, and far from the most important one. The Soviet Union, especially in the post-Stalin period, was not what many Americans thought it was at the time: a power that knew what it wanted, a state pursuing a centrally-controlled and carefully worked-out policy, rooted in its Communist ideology. Policy was instead worked out by ordinary human beings, pulled in different directions, forced to deal with some very serious problems, and not doing it all that well-or at least that is the picture which for me emerges from Jonathan Haslam's very impressive book. Notes 1 Christopher Andrew and David Dilks, The Missing Dimension: Governments and Intelligence Communities in the Twentieth Century (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1984). ------------------------------- Review by Vladislav Martin Zubok, Temple University Jonathan Haslam is an eminent historian of Soviet foreign policy. His new book, the result of years of work in many archives, presents a dazzling array of new sources that surprise even a well-informed reader. Haslam's book has enriched and complicated the Cold War narrative. The book brings to the fore the role of European countries. The reader learns about the use (and misuse) of intelligence - filling a major gap in the Cold War historiography. We learn about numerous secondary actors and subfields of the Cold War, including the personalities of interesting, if secondary, Soviet politicians and analysts, beyond the main figures. The book does not limit itself to Soviet deliberations and policies; it devotes great attention to the Western side, and even to some non-state actors. Many arguments are well-argued and convincing: the lack of "missed opportunities" to prevent the Cold War, Joseph Stalin's mistakes regarding Berlin and Korea, the Marshall Plan as a crucial turning-point, and the role of the Chinese revolution in pushing Stalin's foreign policy towards radicalization. Still, there is a gap between the book's promise and delivery. Russia's Cold War, on close reading, breaks much less ground than one may expect from such an amount of multi-archival revelations. And on some crucial episodes (the Berlin crisis, the Cuban missile crisis, Soviet invasion of Afghanistan) Haslam's interpretation of Soviet motives and behavior is either traditional or misleading and simplistic. While greater in its scope than most other recent studies of Soviet behavior in the Cold War, Haslam's book lacks complexity and coherence in comparison with recent in-depth studies. The book's title is misleading: Haslam does not tell the story of the Cold War "from the October Revolution." The narrative starts around 1944. Haslam explained that his publisher forced him to cut 80,000 words from the manuscript. We don't know what was cut, but the way it was done raises some questions. There are traces of arguments left in the text without explanation (e.g. about the division between "fundamentalists" and "revisionists" in Soviet foreign policy-making on p. 23; on the reasons for Litvinov's opposition to Molotov and Stalin; etc.). Some pages in the index (e.g. for "Poland", "Iran") do not correspond to the book's content. These are, of course, editorial oversights. But one wonders why, if space is the issue, many paragraphs contain superfluous information, and sometimes the book presents a tapestry of details without clear design and interpretation. Regarding the title, Haslam's use of "Russia" instead of the Soviet Union is baffling. In fact, the book tells precious little about either Russia or Russians. Haslam makes a statement in this roundtable that "Marxism-Leninism was a Russian creation on the back of German ideas, far more Russian than German." Is that enough to call Stalin's policy "Russia's Cold War"? Recent studies on Soviet history of the 1920s-1950s have convincingly demonstrated that the USSR was anything but Russia; rather it was a radical political, cultural, and ideological project that methodically destroyed Russian society, culture, and the intelligentsia.1 During the period that many historians consider "late Stalinism" (1945-53), the Kremlin manipulated the feelings of Russian imperial chauvinism - at the expense of Marxism-Leninism. This is a fascinating and complicated story, but completely beyond the reach of Haslam's book. Haslam chose not to bring the domestic history of the Soviet Union into his study. But why then does he make a statement he is not qualified to make? In fact, Haslam often contradicts himself, showing that the Soviet Union acted very differently from imperial Russia. The Kremlin under Stalin and Khrushchev opposed the West ideologically and sought to revolutionize the world. Russia before 1917 had never done this. Haslam relies on the authority of George Kennan who in his Long Telegram stressed the continuity between imperial Russia and Stalin's Soviet Union. Kennan, however, was wrong. If Nicholas II (or Alexander I) had been at the Yalta conference in February 1945 instead of Stalin, there would have been no Cold War. Of course, one can argue, there would not have been the Red Army in Berlin either. The central part of Haslam's interpretation is that Soviet ideology mattered and that Soviet leaders used power to promote revolutionary goals and vision. Fine. The devil, however, is in the details. Did Stalin use power to promote revolutionary goals in 1944-47? Haslam says "yes" emphatically, and even writes about "Ideology Triumphant." Constantine Pleshakov and I earlier wrote about a Soviet "revolutionary-imperial paradigm," 2 and argued that Stalin was more an imperialist than a revolutionary in 1944-47. That did not prevent him from liberally using revolutionary Marxist-Leninist language in 1947 to consolidate the realm the Red Army had already conquered. Vladimir Pechatnov in his thoroughly researched book on Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill (written in Russian)3 presents Stalin as a classical realist, defending Soviet security interests. No matter how many archives open up, this debate will likely continue. Placing ideology in the specific historical account is a very difficult task - and will always be met with skepticism by devout scholars of Realism. Haslam's book amply demonstrates the difficulty of placing "ideology" in the specific historical context. In his exploration of the Cuban missile crisis, Haslam ignores the role of ideology in Soviet policy. Furthermore, recent primary evidence from the Kremlin archives4 confirms what the first generation of Cold War scholars suggested: revolutionary ideology played greater role under Nikita Khrushchev than under Joseph Stalin. As William Taubman, Aleksander Fursenko, and Timothy Naftali demonstrated convincingly in their books, for Khrushchev the threat of "losing Cuba" was no less important than the strategic gap in favor of the United States.5 Haslam's attempt to reduce the complexity of the crisis to the issue of the military balance is not convincing, and the selective evidence he cites does not help. Even less convincing is Haslam's attempt to explain the missiles in Cuba as yet another attempt to enforce the Soviet will in Berlin (p. 203). Adam Ulam believed in this daring Soviet scheme, yet twenty years after the opening of Soviet archives, we still have no convincing evidence that this was really so. Hope Harrison and other scholars of the Berlin crisis notably do not support this version. 6 Historians who have worked with Soviet archival evidence, memoirs, and other types of sources should have numerous questions for Haslam. It would be unfair to pick on the small errors in a book of this scope and complexity. A more serious issue is Haslam's predilection - a surprising one for such an experienced scholar - to rush to premature conclusions on the basis of scanty, or vague and unconfirmed evidence. We have seen it in the case of the Cuban missile crisis. Similar problems can be seen elsewhere in "Russia's Cold War." In the otherwise rich and interesting chapters on the rise and fall of détente, Haslam makes dubious claims. For instance, he writes that during the Yom Kippur War "Moscow assumed Washington was paralyzed" by Watergate, and the Soviets wanted to take advantage of this situation (274). I would be curious to get more evidence for this conclusion, for it contradicts each and every Soviet source and recollection that have been at my disposal. Haslam also writes that in 1975 Moscow was tempted by "the chance of luring Portugal into the Soviet camp." (286-289) Perhaps so, but Haslam's only evidence for this hypothesis are unusual activities of the Soviet foreign ministry and messages in the "party channel" from the Central Committee to the GDR leadership. A number of recollections of Soviet Cold War veterans tell us that Andrei Gromyko was never interested in smaller countries like Portugal.7 Soviet evidence found by Haslam may reflect aspirations of the CC CPSU International Department, headed by the Comintern veteran Boris Ponomarev. Given all this, and the obvious geographic distance between Lisbon and the Soviet bloc, more solid evidence is necessary to back up Haslam's discovery of a Soviet "Portuguese gamble." Most provocatively, Haslam writes that President Jimmy Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski "lur[ed] Russia into its own Vietnam" (319) He refers to the ability of U.S. intelligence to follow Soviet decision-making, as well as private remarks of Brzezinski's deputy Bill Odom and Brzezinski's information to Nouvelle Observateur in 1998. But Haslam's sensational claim about the U.S. role in Afghanistan may be placed in the same category. There is no description of Carter's personality in the book, but historians of Jimmy Carter would be very surprised to learn that he had knowingly brought "Russians" into Afghanistan and that therefore his shock after December 25, 1979 was a complete deception. Perhaps Carter himself, if he reads Haslam's book, can help clarify this issue. The episode about Afghanistan brings me to the most successful part of Haslam's book - his tracing the impact of intelligence on Cold War decision-making. We all should be grateful to him for this valiant attempt, because the nature of intelligence sources - not least on the Russian side - is extremely slippery and difficult to verify. In "Russia's Cold War" we find references to the publications of Soviet KGB and GRU veterans. These publications have appeared in great quantities in Russia during the last twenty years. Yet historians have to be very cautious with all publications by ex-Soviet secret service veterans (as well as the KGB documents procured by Mitrokhin, Vassiliev, etc.)8 should be treated with utter caution by historians. Second, Haslam's conclusion that Khrushchev became "convinced" of the seriousness of the Cuban missile crisis as a result of a KGB cryptographic breakthrough is a mere deduction from unconfirmed evidence that Khrushchev would have read such revealing materials. Aleksander Fursenko, who had fantastic access to the KGB and GRU sources and veterans, unlike the rest of us, found well-confirmed evidence that much more persuasively explains Khrushchev's decision to give in than does Haslam's book. In the end, the book under discussion demonstrates not only achievements, but also numerous pitfalls that await historians who want to integrate the Soviet story into the multinational, multi-archival narrative of the Cold War. I would assign "Russia's Cold War" to my Cold War seminar only with other substantial and in-depth studies, as well as the recent literature on Soviet domestic politics and history. Notes 1 This is the topic of my forthcoming book about Russian scholar and public intellectual Dmitry Likhachev (1906-1999). See also Geoffrey Hosking, Rulers and Victims. The Russians in the Soviet Union (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press, 2006); Terry Martin, The Affirmative Action Empire. Nation and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939 (New York: Cornell University Press, 2001); Stuart Finkel, On the Ideological Front. The Russian Intelligentsia and the Making of the Soviet Public Sphere (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007); David Brandenberger, National Bolshevism: Stalinist Mass Culture and the Formation of Modern Russian National Identity, 1931-1956 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002). 2 Vladislav Zubok and Constantine Pleshakov, Inside the Kremlin's Cold War from Stalin to Khrushchev (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996). See also my elaborations on this in A Failed Empire. The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2007). 3 Vladimir Pechatnov, Stalin, Ruzvelt, Trumen: SSSR i SshA v 1940-kh godakh. Dokumentalnye ocherki (Moscow: TERRA, 2006) 4 For this evidence see, above all, the notes and materials of the CC CPSU Presidium from 1954 to 1964, published (in Russian) in: A. Fursenko, i.a. (eds.), Prezidium TsK KPSS 1954-1964 Chernoviie protokolnie zapisi zasedanii. Stenogrammi. Postanovlenia, vol. 1-3. (Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2003-2009); I.V.Kazarina, M.F.Nurik, M.Yu. Prozumenshchikov, P.Ruggenthaler (eds), Venskii vals kholodnoi voiny (vokrug vstrechi N.S.Khrushcheva i J.F.Kennedy v 1961 v Vene). Dokumenty (Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2011). 5 See William Taubman, Khrushchev. The Man and His Era. (New York: WW Norton, 2003); Alexander Fursenko and Timothy Naftali, "One Hell of a Gamble." Khrushchev, Castro and Kennedy 1958-1964 (New York: WW Norton, 1997). 6 See Hope Harrison, Driving the Soviets Up the Wall: Soviet-East German Relations, 1953-1961 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003); Manfred Wilke, Der Weg zur Mauer, Stationen der Teilungsgeschichte, (Berlin: Ch.Links Verlag, 2011). 7 From my extensive interviews with Georgy Kornienko, first deputy of Gromyko, and Oleg Troyanovsky, foreign policy assistant of Nikita Khrushchev and senior Soviet diplomat. Gromyko was focused on the relations with great powers, above all the United States, and on the German Quesiton. See also Valentin Falin, Politische Erinnerungen (Droemer Knaur, 1995). 8 Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin. The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB. (New York, Basic Books, 2000); The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World, Newly Revealed Secrets from the Mitrokhin Archive and Vassiliev Notebooks at the site of the Cold War International History Project/Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The list of Russian-language memoirs of Russian KGB and GRU veterans is too big to list it here. ------------------------------- Author's Response by Jonathan Haslam, Cambridge University The reviewers of Russia's Cold War collectively possess a wealth of knowledge on the Cold War and about as broad a church of opinion as one could hope to find. No author would normally expect so close and expert a reading of his text from such a range of vantage-points in so small a compass as this roundtable. The compliments are gratefully received; all the more so because the differences of view are of such long standing. The reviews taken as a whole represent interpretations I have struggled with over decades in order to make sense of a past that previously held so many secrets. Had I pleased everyone to an equal degree, the book would be an implausible muddle. It is thus good to have the contradictions exposed. 'Though some speak openly against my books, Yet they will read me' (Marlowe, Jew of Malta). I shall therefore have to pick and choose what may be most fruitful for the reader as have the reviewers themselves. Lloyd Gardner's early work long constituted an inner voice arguing against the views I formed over four decades. Whereas another leading 'revisionist' (who adamantly rejected the epithet but whose views entirely fit the bill) offered me nothing but rebuke, Gardner generously directed me to key American sources that otherwise I would never have found (notably but not only Luce and Buell's studies in postwar planning for US foreign policy). Thus it pains me to disagree with him. From the more orthodox but polyglot Marc Trachtenberg, I learned to focus attention within the complexities of the German question and its relationship to the Cuban missile crisis. His traditional conception of a wertfreie (purely statist) foreign policy always challenged my own instincts and experience. In direct contrast Jacques Lévesque, whom I met through the revolving door of the Berkeley-Stanford program in Soviet studies, and whose francophone background enables him to understand the importance of doctrine in a way Anglo-Americans find difficult if not possible, opened up another vision of reality. Tom Nichols is a much younger scholar whom I regret never to have met but who wrote a hard-headed work on civil-military relations in the former Soviet Union. Their points of criticism from tous azimuts present an opportunity to enlarge on matters of some importance and to clarify where I may seem unclear. So what kind of history is this that I have written? Lloyd Gardner kindly congratulates me on my impolitic understanding of the role played by capitalism in the generation of U.S. foreign policy. Yet he caricatures me none the less as a Martin Malia, who believes only in the political as an explanation for the Soviet Union. Here I both agree and differ. I am certainly not a social historian; otherwise I would be writing on a completely different subject. Russian foreign policy was never a matter of economics because the Soviet Union was almost entirely autarchic except perhaps in the production of bauxite. It can not be a matter of public opinion because the public were not admitted to the court of opinion. Culture plays a role as does tradition, but not a beneficent one: Marxism-Leninism was a Russian creation on the back of German ideas, far more Russian than German. I do consistently incorporate secret intelligence - the agentura - when no one else does, as kindly Trachtenberg acknowledges. And one cannot accuse me of overlooking the importance of ideas, except perhaps Lévesque! I see the political as overriding because no one, including Gardner, has yet presented an alternative understanding of the genesis of Soviet foreign policy. And I have still to see a truly Marxist interpretation that is convincing because the nature of Soviet society did not fit any known Marxist category. Even Trotsky in exile found himself somewhat confused in his analysis of the nature of the Soviet régime (evident in his discussion of the reasons for the sovietisation of Eastern Poland in 1939) and could be forgiven for being so. When we come to the origins of the Cold War, Gardner points to Kennan as an interesting example of a pioneer in the Cold War on the American side who emphasised 'ideology'. I beg to differ if what is meant by ideology is what I usually mean: the revolutionary mission rather than merely Weltanschauung/Mirovzorenie. Kennan saw Stalin's Russia very much as an extension of the old Russia in more dangerous form under Stalin. I really cannot say how many times I re-read the Long Telegram to get this straight. Whereas Litvinov did, indeed, see ideology as critical, Kennan did not. They reached for the same solution to the problem of Soviet expansionism - containment - but emerging from very different premises. Indeed, Kennan very much rejected the 'ideologising' of the conflict with Russia. True, he opened Pandora's Box with the Long Telegram, but to Kennan the elitist Eurocentric diplomat the anti-Communist foreign policy worldwide seemed somewhat unsavoury when it involved public opinion in policy making. It brought out of the American psyche and culture something he found alien and alarming, a degree of doctrinal rigidity and extremism that came almost to match that of the adversary under Joe McCarthy (from his home state), Secretary of State Foster Dulles, and President Dwight Eisenhower. Thus the Kennan who rejects the North Atlantic treaty and the rigidification of the Cold War was also the Kennan who had hopes for subsequent generations of Soviet leaders. I do not see a big difference between young and old Kennan, except that Stalin was dead, and with him most of the problem in Kennan's eyes. This vision was taken on in its entirety by Robert C. Tucker, Kennan's lifetime protégé at Princeton. Both kept hoping against hope after 1953 that the Cold War could be ended by a mixture of good will and astute, non-ideological diplomacy. It reflected well their more generous instincts. But both were, on my view, hopelessly but understandably wrong. Gardner turns to Geoffrey Roberts for support. Yet Roberts is too concerned to show Stalin and his successors in a better light than justified by their behaviour. His treatment of the Merkalov-Weizsäcker conversations in the spring of 1939 - Roberts thought the true record was in the short telegram to Moscow which mentioned only trade but instead the complete account of the political discussions went by courier to avoid interception and decryption - and his identical treatment later of the Truman-Molotov meetings in 1945 - Roberts thought there to have been only one but there were two back to back, one amicable, one disagreeable - both demonstrate hasty conclusions drawn from incomplete documentation. In each instance Russian officials knowingly selected unrepresentative documents from the archives to give a particularly pro-Soviet view. Roberts had no forethought that other documents relating to the same events might give the full story that placed matters in a very different light from his own hurried interpretation. Thus whereas I find myself not entirely at odds with Gardner in his understanding of the bases of US policy, I find myself completely at variance in his perception of the core of Soviet policy. This will doubtless invite the comment - from unkind critics - that Haslam may know far more about the latter than the former; a point I am not in a position to deny. I am mortified to have subjected Jacques Lévesque to periodic irritation. He is technically right to say that Shakhnazarov was not a member of the Politburo. It is a silly mistake even in so large a book. Do let me know of any others. But it is an easy one to make and scarcely an occasion for outrage. Shakhnazarov was a key aide to Gorbachev and as such he chaired the Politburo committee on Eastern Europe. Shakhnazarov therefore probably had more influence on policy than most Politburo members proper; certainly Ligachev by his own account. So membership or not is of little substantial consequence. If I have been too credulous of AlexanderYakovlev - indeed, I may have been but not for his charm - he has in turn chosen a poor example of credulousness elsewhere. Lévesque takes me to task for quoting witnesses to the effect that Falin desired to reverse the fall of the Wall, but he does so on the basis of no evidence whatever. Falin headed the 'German faction' within the Soviet power structure that had so steadfastly sustained Ulbricht and Honecker's ugly régime for all his tactical criticisms of it. My main source is Dashichev, whom I knew well before the fall of the Wall. A proud and unbending man, he suffered for his honesty more than once, after standing up for historian Alexander Nekrich in the sixties, thereby losing his job working for the General Staff and later facing a wall of criticism when he attacked Soviet foreign policy in Literaturnaya Gazeta in 1988 and advocated German reunification. One witness alone could be a matter of doubt, even so principled a figure; but the written testimony of two, independently verifiable - Dashichev and Portugalov - who disliked one another, surely suffices. The Berliner Zeitung reference unaccountably missing from my text - not deliberately so as implied - is to a report from Manfred Quiring, Moscow, 'Gorbatschow widerstand den Hardlinern', 9 November 1994. Further confirmation of Falin's attitude can be found in Portugalov's interview in Ekkehard Kuhn's excellent collection of interviews, Gorbatschow und die deutsche Einheit. Aussagen der wichtigsten russischen und deutschen Beteiligten (Bonn 1993) pp. 77-78. It is admittedly a nighmare looking up Russian names in German publications when the accustomed transliteration no longer applies (i.e., Portugalow instead of Portugalov, Kowaljow instead of Kovalev etc.) Lévesque raises the issue of ideology and the end of the régime. Lévesque is critical of not finding a summing-up even in one stand-alone paragraph. What I attempted to do instead was to focus on the twists and turns of policy (foreign, not domestic) throughout, inter alia making clear the manner in which views varied and the degree to which radicals, even within the Foreign Ministry, found Gorbachev dragging his feet, reacting in the old manner and failing to grasp new truths. The Soviet regime under Gorbachev gradually became pregnant with new ideas by person or persons unknown but birth was delayed for so long that many, particularly the Bush administration, in the West doubted the pregnancy to be real while others expected an imminent abortion and unfortunately planned on that assumption; and with no midwife to hand, they thereby made a still birth all but inevitable. I agree that I have not found the exact date of conception (has anybody?) from the evidence available. I do discuss the dropping of the notion of peaceful co-existence and the firm resistance to this from Yegor Ligachev. This was a crucial about-turn in 1988. It coincided with Dashichev's published onslaught on the history of Soviet foreign policy. I also indicate that the years of ideological penetration by the West - via the Marshall Plan of the mind, academic exchanges, foreign travel, the Helsinki Conference etc - did make a difference. Gorbachev never spoke directly about dropping the old Shibboleth, peaceful co-existence, though he came close. Instead while Shevardnadze spoke out, Gorbachev quietly dropped Daniel Ortega and other costly Third World dependants like Vietnam without saying anything at all except that financial need (khozraschet) justified the shift in policy. One gets the clear impression that the Soviet Union under Gorbachev lost its compass and became rudderless in foreign policy. Then under the impact of high pressure circulating in from the United States via Europe the régime was taken off course and ended up at an unexpected destination. They then made the most of where they found themselves, as did Robinson Crusoe. The impish Karl Radek once joked: Christopher Columbus may have discovered America by accident while looking for the Indies, but that does not mean everyone will prove so lucky when they strike out in the wrong direction. In other words, whereas one finds the creation of the Soviet régime and its foreign policy was all about ideology and intentionality, the end-game has to be attributed more to force of circumstance and some would say (the Russian revanchists like General Ivashutin et al.) weakness of character; though one has to give Gorbachev his due for not taking the kind of decisions in 1989 that others around him would have made and could have resulted in mass bloodshed. Hailing from the opposite direction, not only as a diplomatic historian rather than a political scientist but also as a believer that only Reason(s) of State/Ragion di Stato matters in the conduct of international relations, Marc Trachtenberg is so generous in his comments overall that to cavil at what he says would appear ungracious. But let that not deter debate. In emphasising Soviet awareness of power, Trachtenberg does not distinguish clearly between Realpolitik and Ragion di Stato. Realpolitik means full awareness of the factor of power and its use in international relations, whether in pursuit of purely state interests or some higher interest, such as a revolutionary commitment. Whereas Reason(s) of State means commitment only to the interests of society and answering to no higher authority than that society. These two are often confused, notably but not only by Henry Kissinger. My argument is that, its ideological priorities uppermost, the Kremlin was determined and ruthless in the conduct of Realpolitik but rejected pure Reason(s) of State as heresy. That is what Beria was suspected of in 1953 and a key reason why he was removed (he was shot for other reasons). The revolutionary commitment safeguarded through the international communist movement, every instrument of power would be used short of open war. The attack on the U.S. Communist Party by the Kremlin just before Yalta for betraying the cause is surely a critical reminder that, even with eleven million under arms and Central Europe almost at its feet and under the control of the most unrpincipled leader it ever possessed, the Soviet régime was nevertheless anxious about the fate of the Communist foetus inside the body of the United States. It is mistaken of Trachtenberg to claim to see the Soviet Union as 'more attuned to power realities' than I do. It is one of the reasons why I pay so much attention to the SS-20 crisis: the Soviet régime was excessively militarised. Moscow could not have been more attuned to the realities of power and the balance of power - that is why it was armed to the teeth. What we disagree on is what that power was intended for and the Soviet view of the longer term. Was it not the founder, Lenin, who dropped war communism, initiated the new economic policy in the spring of 1921 and alongside it the retreat to a united front in Comintern policy abroad? This was hailed as 'one step back, two steps forward'. His conception of time was not exactly Chinese but it was far more long term than that of the West. Tactical retreats were built in to Soviet foreign policy after the retreat from Warsaw in 1920. They explain nothing fundamental, merely caution. Means do not explain ends at this level of policy. One of the reasons I pay such attention to the revolution of the carnations in Portugal in 1974 is to illustrate the fact that Moscow, though at the height of détente with the West and stacked with tanks and missiles, was none the less committed to through-going political, economic and social change in Europe conducted through obedient and subordinate local communist parties: even the Italian communist party. When I came across this evidence, which I had not expected to find (as much else), I was astonished: in particular by seeing the Soviet ambassador to Paris lecture the leader of the French opposition on the importance of protecting the Portuguese revolution. Normally the Soviet foreign ministry had to keep its nose out of local communist business. It was to my knowledge an unprecedented intervention prompted by hawks in Moscow who were not afraid of breaking a cardinal rule established by Lenin. And whereas Trachtenberg points to Soviet reluctance to help Allende's Chile - which was on course for disaster in the eyes of Fidel Castro and Soviet analysts both - I would point to the blank cheque given Cuba: the brains and the focal point for revolution in Latin America. Even Trotsky would have had thought twice about helping Chile. Castro certainly had difficulty as Allende persistently ignored his advice, both at the beginning when Castro said go carefully with nationalising U.S. property and at the end when Castro said they are going to destroy him. Yet in Nicaragua the Russians went a long way indeed to build a new base for subversion in Central America via Havana, and in Angola they spat in the face of the Americans to build socialism there. The fact is that the Trachtenberg believes that the conduct of international relations throughout the 20th Century was fundamentally no different from that in 1914 whereas I believe it to have been more akin to the era of the Wars of Religion and the French revolutionary wars. On the level of tactics, he is in part correct (Realpolitik); but on the higher plane of grand strategy in an age of fierce ideological antagonism, he is, I submit, completely misleading. Although steeped in the history of West European diplomacy, he has no visceral sense of how completely doctrine interpenetrated the fascia of continental politics after 1917. My differences with the views of Lloyd Gardner, Lévesque, and Trachtenberg are fundamental and thus the arguments over whose approach is right are in every sense productive. Vladislav Zubok's review is a different matter, however, despite the fact that we have known one another for many years. On top of sweeping and simplistic generalisations, he takes querulous exception to almost everything he has found in my work. Yet in most senses we are not that far apart. Zubok attacks my paying attention too little to the period prior to 1945; yet his own work ignores it entirely - something I have always challenged him on. He criticizes me for not explaining Litvinov's objection to Stalin's line but evidently has not read the three volumes I wrote on the thirties that inter alia outline the peculiarity of Litvinov's statism. Perhaps I should have referred more often to his own work, but Zubok goes too far in claiming to have invented a "revolutionary-imperial paradigm" that integrates imperialist motives with revolutionism and is apparently upset that I do not attribute this to him. It is how former Deputy Foreign Minister Viktor Israelyan always explained Soviet policy and it was shared by many at Smolenskaya. The terminology notwithstanding, it had been the working assumption of Lord Curzon as Britain's Foreign Secretary in the early 1920s: what he disliked so intensely was the lethal combination of Tsarist imperialist behaviour with Bolshevik objectives. It was as long ago as 1958, before Zubok was born, that R. N. Carew-Hunt attacked those seeking to denigrate the ideological drive in Soviet foreign policy on the grounds that the Russians pursued Realpolitik. He wrote, "the concepts of an ideology have to be translated into action, and when this action is undertaken by a powerful country such as Russia has now become, it can be plausibly represented as Realpolitik. Yet it does not follow to ignore the principles of which it claims to be the expression."1 The tendency evident in Zubok's work as elsewhere to reduce our focus on Soviet foreign policy during the Cold War to the restricted scope of international crises, such as Berlin in 1961 or Cuba in 1962, was precisely something I was seeking to end. My purpose was to weave a tapestry out of relations with the West as a whole that sets these crises into a broader and more detailed perspective. The failure of Alexander Fursenko to take the crisis over Berlin as the starting point of his study of the Cuban missile crisis - for which I took him to task in person as well as in review - was rectified in his subsequent study of the period:2 something Zubok appears not to have registered. He also clarifies the Berlin crisis and its origins, disposing at one blow (from the archive) of Hope Harrison's misleading representation of the Berlin Wall as a creation of Walter Ulbricht (the danger of relying too much on one archive).3 Unfortunately Alexander is no longer with us to continue the debate. Zubok criticizes me for relying on Kennan's Long Telegram for an explanation of Soviet policy. Here, as elsewhere, he has read the text carelessly. I certainly do not do so. It should be apparent from the beginning of the book that I identify with Litvinov's critique of policy, not Kennan's. Whereas Kennan saw Russia under Stalin representing a straight line of continuity with the Tsars, Litvinov emphasised the critical factor of ideology. Why else do I begin with the October Revolution? But the plain fact is that Marxism-Leninism was not a foreign bacillus injected into Russia from Germany, it was home-grown. That is why the Cold War was essentially Russia's Cold War. Lastly, Zubok takes to task my interpretation for inter alia being 'traditional'. Surely the issue is not whether something is 'traditional' or 'modern' but whether it is accurate or inaccurate. This is not a fashion-parade - I can justly be accused of never being a follower of fashion - but a work of history that should be judged by the standards of the historian not according to what is new or old. I hesitate to say it, but perhaps this marks a distinction of some importance between social scientists and historians studying the Soviet Union. I hope not. To conclude, let us turn to Tom Nichols' arguments. Here we have so little disagreement that it can justify only a vote of thanks and a brief comment. Nichols takes me to task for spending so little time on the genesis of the Korean war as against the SS-20 crisis, which he thinks I spend about the right amount of space upon. The short answer is that the story on Korea had substantially been told already in depth and by those more familiar with the Far East than myself (John Lewis and Sergei Goncharev, Jung Chang and Jon Halliday). The surrounding documentation is fully available courtesy of the Cold War International History Project who have done a wonderful job over the years in making the Soviet Union's policies more widely available to those linguistically challenged. It is also true that the story of the SS-20 crisis reveals so much about where Soviet foreign policy was in the 1970s. I needed to rescue that story from those who had not anticipated the collapse of détente and then rationalised it in a manner that left the Russians off the hook. Last but not least, my publisher required me to cut the original draft by 80,000 words. This is also my answer to criticism from Lévesque that the period prior to 1939 does not receive sufficient treatment. A great deal had to be thrown out as excess ballast to keep the ship afloat. Jacques, Tom, let me have the name of that publisher who would take it all back! Notes 1 R. N. Carew-Hunt, "Form and Function" in "Ideology and Power Politics: A Symposium", Problems of Communism, VII, 2 (March-April, 1958) pp. 10-30 and VII, 3 (May-June, 1958) and The Conduct of Soviet Foreign Policy, ed. E. P. Hoffmann and F. J. Fleron, London 1971, p. 131. 2 A. Fursenko and T. Naftali, 'One Hell of a Gamble'. Khrushchev, Castro, Kennedy, and the Cuban Missile Crisis 1958-1964, New York 1997; and A. Fursenko, Rossiya i Mezhdunarodnye Krizisy. Seredina XX veka (Moscow 2006), chapters 8 and 9. 3 H. Harrison, Driving the Soviets Up the Wall. Soviet-East German Relations, 1953-1961 (Princeton 2003). Copyright (c) 2011 H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online. H-Net permits the redistribution and reprinting of this work for nonprofit, educational purposes, with full and accurate attribution to the author, web location, date of publication, H-Diplo, and H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online. For any other proposed use, contact the H-Diplo Editors at email@example.com.