Inside the Kremlin's Cold War: From Stalin to Khrushchev

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Harvard University Press, 1996 - Political Science - 346 pages
6 Reviews
Using recently uncovered archival materials, personal interviews, and a broad familiarity with Russian history and culture, two young Russian historians have written a major interpretation of the Cold War as seen from the Soviet shore. Covering the volatile period from 1945 to 1962, Zubok and Pleshakov explore the personalities and motivations of the key people who directed Soviet political life and shaped Soviet foreign policy. They begin with the fearsome figure of Joseph Stalin, who was driven by the dual dream of a Communist revolution and a global empire. They reveal the scope and limits of Stalin's ambitions by taking us into the world of his closest subordinates, the ruthless and unimaginative foreign minister Molotov and the Party's chief propagandist, Zhdanov, a man brimming with hubris and missionary zeal. The authors expose the machinations of the much-feared secret police chief Beria and the party cadre manager Malenkov, who tried but failed to set Soviet policies on a different course after Stalin's death. Finally, they document the motives and actions of the self-made and self-confident Nikita Khrushchev, full of Russian pride and party dogma, who overturned many of Stalin's policies with bold strategizing on a global scale. The authors show how, despite such attempts to change Soviet diplomacy, Stalin's legacy continued to divide Germany and Europe, and led the Soviets to the split with Maoist China and to the Cuban missile crisis. Zubok and Pleshakov's groundbreaking work reveals how Soviet statesmen conceived and conducted their rivalry with the West within the context of their own domestic and global concerns and aspirations. The authors persuasively demonstrate thatthe Soviet leaders did not seek a conflict with the United States, yet failed to prevent it or bring it to conclusion. They also document why and how Kremlin policy-makers, cautious and scheming as they were, triggered the gravest crises of the Cold War in Korea, Berlin, and Cuba.

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Review: Inside the Kremlin's Cold War: From Stalin to Krushchev

User Review  - Grant - Goodreads

Pleshakov and Zubok provide a fascinating account of the thinking and decisions of Stalin, Khrushchev, and their entourages during the Cold War, from its origins to its most dangerous moment, the ... Read full review

Review: Inside the Kremlin's Cold War: From Stalin to Krushchev

User Review  - E - Goodreads

I had to read it for a college course on the Cold War, but top-down political science interests me far less than bottom-up readings of history. Read full review

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About the author (1996)

Russian-born Constantine Pleshakov is the author of The Tsar's Last Armada The Flight of the Romanovs, and Inside the Kremlin s Cold War. He is a visiting prefessor of history at Mount Holyoke College.

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