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America in the Age of Soviet Power, 1945-91 [Read] ➬ America in the Age of Soviet Power, 1945-91 Author Warren I. Cohen – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk Based on the most recent American, Chinese, and Soviet literature, and written from a post Cold War perspective, this volume spans the origins of Soviet American conflict in through the crises of , i Based on the most recent the Age eBook ´ American, Chinese, and Soviet literature, and written from a post Cold War perspective, this volume spans the origins of Soviet American conflict inthrough the crises of , including all of the major Cold War foreign policy issues.


10 thoughts on “America in the Age of Soviet Power, 1945-91

  1. Daniel Clausen Daniel Clausen says:

    Cohen s examination of US foreign policy after the Second World War frames decision making within larger structural constraints of the world system Specifically, Cohen relies on the security dilemma to explain US perceptions and decision making Despite Cohen s reliance on a structural realist framework, aspects of Iriye s analysis Volume 2 in the Cambridge series find their way into the initial discussion of post war decision making Hoping to avoid the economic misery and rise of fascism th Cohen s examination of US foreign policy after the Second World War frames decision making within larger structural constraints of the world system Specifically, Cohen relies on the security dilemma to explain US perceptions and decision making Despite Cohen s reliance on a structural realist framework, aspects of Iriye s analysis Volume 2 in the Cambridge series find their way into the initial discussion of post war decision making Hoping to avoid the economic misery and rise of fascism that had destroyed the progress of the 1920s, US planners sought to establish a world order based on American leadership and economic liberalism At Bretton Woods the US was able to establish the IMF and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development later the World Bank later the GATT and the establishment of the UN at the San Francisco conference would also help solidify the post war order Roosevelt, believing that he could sustain cooperation with the Soviet Union, worked hard to maintain a relationship with Stalin When Roosevelt passed away, however, Truman took over as president Though Truman did his best to continue Roosevelt s legacy and build a relationship with Stalin he soon found it increasingly difficult to maintain the relationship Though there is still some controversy over what difference Truman s character played in Soviet US relations, Cohen highlights two examples of Truman s behavior that may have turned US foreign policy decisively against the Soviets One instance is an exchange with Soviet Minister Molotov where Truman s famous southern temper got the best of him the second example was his decision to allow members of his administration to exaggerate the Soviet threat to get appropriations from Congress Thus money to support anti communist governments in Greece and Turkey was paid for in an intensification of hostilities with the Soviets This latter mistake would come to haunt Truman politically and operationally as his political opponents tried to paint him as soft on communism thus boxing him into a narrowly anti Soviet posture As neorealist would note, however, the security dilemma provided the permissive conditions for this boxing in Despite this evidence, Cohen chooses to analyze US Soviet relations within the narrow focus on the security dilemma, where the security of one state leads to the insecurity of the other Thus, while each state saw its own actions as defensive and within its sphere of interest, the other state couldn t help but see that motion as aggressive p 28 Thus, US actions in Iran, Greece, and Turkey were perceived by the Soviets as threatening Because of the anti communist rhetoric begun by the Truman administration, the defeat of Chiang Kia Shek in China previously seen as an area of marginal importance then became a political tool for Republican attacks on the administration Later administrations would then worry about losing a country to communism One can see how the anti communist strategic frame, a frame that was ossified by domestic politics, was perverting typical American foreign policy behavior This perversion of behavior even affected their view of self determination Despite the Vietminh invocation of Lincoln and Jefferson, US was unable to see how the Vietminh wereof a nationalist group than a communist one p 60 This frame also prevented the US from seeing and being able to exploit the Sino Soviet split when it occurred As Cohen argues, not only did anti communism roll back progress on social programs at home, but it also led the US to justify supporting merciless dictators Cold War strategy also led to several other perversions of US foreign policy Cohen argues that during the Eisenhower administration the US began to obsess that any loss of territory would be disastrous This led to Eisenhower s initial decisions to consider intervention in Indochina to help the French, and his decisions to play a highly dangerous game of chicken over the islands off of Taiwan Jinmen and Mazu In addition, during the Eisenhower administration covert action became a major part of anti Soviet operations while these interventions offered short term gains, in the long term they gained little of significance and tarnished the American image If anything, US operations against initial neutral parties like Castro, Sukarno, and Nasser pushed them to look for assistance from the Soviet p 127 Kennedy s Bay of Pigs operation and then Kennedy and later President Johnson s decision to boost the number of military personnel in Vietnam went against traditional American pledges to support self determination When the US did succeed against left wing movements their efforts often led to anachronistic right wing dictatorship As Cohen writes, the Vietnam War was a textbook example of great power arrogance and self deception, of the abuse and dissipation of wealth and power p 147 With the US backed coup of the Diem government, the US took on the role of a blatant imperialist the Tonkin Gulf incident later gave President Johnson the power he needed to wage brutal counterinsurgency in the South and bombing campaign in the north The power of the president to ride roughshod over Congress would not be reversed until the 1970s following the disgrace of the Nixon administration The Vietnam War drained money and political energy that Johnson badly needed to create his Great Society instead of a great society, the Vietnam War and the resources it drained help lead to an Americandivisive than ever before, with riots and the murder of leading figures like Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King With the pullout of troops, the US would intensify its bombing campaign, extending its targets into neutral Cambodia This bombing campaign drew the ire of the world and led to the fall of Prince Norodom Sihanouk, who would be replaced by the repressive, genocidal Khmer Rouge With the expense of the Vietnam War spinning out of control, the living standards of Americans declining, and gold leaving the country, Nixon would abandon the Bretton Woods system that had helped to maintain peace and order following the Second World War The corresponding rise of German and Japanese financial power with the decline of US financial power would necessitate that the US negotiate with its allies in order to undertake its foreign policy Though Reaganomics and Reagan s rhetorical attack on the evil empire would help drive the internal contradictions of the Soviet system, it would do so at the cost of what Cohen calls maldistribution p 259 This might be the most generic of the four Cambridge volumes on the foreign relations history of the US, but like its counterparts, it is a strong contribution and gives the reader yet another perspective realism and the security dilemma from which to view history


  2. Vikas Erraballi Vikas Erraballi says:

    New information available since this edition came out Try a newer version or avoid.


  3. Jamie Jamie says:

    I ran across this book at a thrift store and it seemed a timely subject My knowledge of history is pretty bad Luckily, this book does a decent of job of providing a short background for most of the topics it introduces I thought that it was appropriate, but I could see it being an unnecessary bit of fluff for a history buff.I was surprised that this book consistently kept my attention as well as it did Too bad I didn t have this experience in college Recent world events helped to pique my i I ran across this book at a thrift store and it seemed a timely subject My knowledge of history is pretty bad Luckily, this book does a decent of job of providing a short background for most of the topics it introduces I thought that it was appropriate, but I could see it being an unnecessary bit of fluff for a history buff.I was surprised that this book consistently kept my attention as well as it did Too bad I didn t have this experience in college Recent world events helped to pique my interest in the subject, and this book did nothing to stand in the way of that The level of detail and amount of material applied to each subject seemed appropriate to me The writing wasn t exactly lively, but it was succinct, coherent, and evidently related to the topic at hand History books can be rambling at times to me so I appreciate the focus displayed in this book.The author s overarching point is that there was mutual misunderstanding on both sides that led to mistakes and miscalculations, leading to the suffering of both countries The viewpoint is generally pro American, but does not gloss over serious betrayals of our national identity during this period, nor does it fail to cite instances where the USSR s leaders were trying to extend a rejected olive branch This is probably all subject to opinion, but at least didn t seem one sided to me.The book is a good survey of our foreign policy during the post WWII era, and a good recap of major events affecting the US in general during this time It s a great book for someone like me with an interest in the subject but non encyclopedic knowledge of events It sheds some light on the current state of the world


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