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Read e-book online America in the Age of Soviet Power, 1945-1991 (Cambridge PDF

By Warren I. Cohen

This can be a chic and concise heritage of yankee international family members in the course of the chilly warfare period, in response to the latest American, chinese language, and Soviet literature, written from a post-Cold struggle viewpoint. the entire significant international coverage matters, together with the origins of the Soviet-American clash; the extension of the war of words to Asia, the center East, and somewhere else at the outer edge; wars in Korea and Vietnam; crises related to the Taiwan Straits, Berlin, and Cuba; the increase and fall of detente; imperial overreach; and the serious roles of Reagan and Gorbachev within the Nineteen Eighties are rigorously analyzed and obviously defined.

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Extra info for America in the Age of Soviet Power, 1945-1991 (Cambridge History of American Foreign Relations Volume 4)

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In August, the Soviet diplomat Andrei Vishinsky denounced American "dollar diplomacy" and Byrnes was enraged to observe Czech diplomats applauding. It was time for adjustments in American foreign economic policy. Perhaps a liberal international economic order was less important than rewarding friends and punishing antagonists. In April the Soviets rejected his proposals regarding Germany; in September Byrnes announced what he would do with or without them. 8 The last major American figure to hold out hope of continued cooperation with the Soviets was Henry Wallace, onetime vicepresident, serving as Truman's secretary of commerce.

Not surprisingly, the Soviets rejected the "Baruch Plan" when it was introduced in June 1946. George Kennan, the foreign service officer who emerged as the leading American specialist on the Soviet Union, found his government depressingly slow to understand Soviet objectives and the need to be firm in resisting Stalin. In February 1946, from Moscow, he sent a long reflective cable, which made the rounds of Washington. He described the Soviet leaders as driven by the needs of the political system they had created and their own insecurities to expand their influence and power as far as other nations would permit.

They would prevent the government from wasting American money subsidizing the British Empire. Hating "creeping socialism" at home, they would force Truman to stand up to Soviet Communists, to reverse Roosevelt's "treason" at Yalta. If Truman had any leadership ability, the Eightieth Congress would give him a chance to demonstrate it. When they could obtain the president's attention, his foreign affairs advisers hammered home two grave and immediate concerns: first, the unexpected difficulty Western Europe was having with postwar recovery, the enormous suffering that had resulted, and the threat to civil society that now existed there; second, the collapse of European power, especially British power, around the world, and the importance of the United States acting promptly and convincingly to fill the vacuum.

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