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Stalin's drive to the West, 1938-1945 : the origins of the Cold War /
R.C. Raack.
Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 1995.
viii, 265 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.
0804724156 (alk. paper)
More Details
Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 1995.
0804724156 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [235]-258) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1996-02:
In this "set of historical reflections," Raack (emeritus, California State Univ. at Hayward) seeks to correct what he perceives to be the errors found in recent revisionist works on Soviet policy during WW II. The title reveals his thesis: Stalin was a Trotskyite who never gave up his dream of world revolution. In the years before 1939 he hoped for a war that would benefit the Soviet Union and allow it to expand westward across Europe. When Hitler attacked Stalin's empire in 1941, Churchill and Roosevelt, putting the defeat of Nazi Germany above all else, deluded themselves into believing that their new ally believed in the same things they did. It was only after the defeat of Germany that Truman and Atlee saw Stalin for what he really was and prevented him from realizing his ambitions. The Cold War was an inherent element of Soviet policy and behavior. The black-and-white portrait of Stalin in these pages consists only of warts. For example, Raack argues that in postwar Germany the Cold War was "a play of good and evil." Focusing almost entirely on foreign policy, this work is a throwback to the Cold War literature of the 1950s and '60s. Not recommended. F. J. Breit; Whitman College
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist, June 1995
Kirkus Reviews, June 1995
Choice, February 1996
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Main Description
Exploiting new findings from former East Bloc archives and from long-ignored Western sources, this book presents a wholly new picture of the coming of World War II, Allied wartime diplomacy, and the origins of the Cold War. The author reveals that the story - widely believed by historians and Western wartime leaders alike - that Stalin's purposes in European diplomacy from 1938 on were mainly defensive is a fantasy. Indeed, this is one of the longest enduring products of Stalin's propaganda, of long-term political control of archival materials, and of the gullibility of Western observers. The author argues that Stalin had concocted a plan for bringing about a general European war well before Hitler launched his expansionist program for the Third Reich. Stalin expected that Hitler's war, when it came, would lead to the internal collapse of the warring nations, and that military revolts and proletarian revolutions like those of World War I would break out in the capitalist countries. This scenario foresaw the embattled proletarians calling for the assistance of the Red Army, which would sweep across Europe. The book further shows that the wartime disputes between Stalin and his Western allies originated over the postwar redisposition of the territories Stalin had gained from his pact with Hitler. The situation was complicated by the incautious, unrestricted commitment of support to the Soviet Union first by Churchill and then by Roosevelt, and wartime circumstances provided cover to obscure these diplomatic failures. The early origins of the Cold War described in this book differ dramatically from the usual accounts that see a sudden and surprising upwelling of Cold War antagonisms late in the War or early in the postwar period.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
Stalin Takes the Revolution One Step Westp. 11
Stalin Fights the War --Of Defensep. 37
Behind Red Army Lines: Polandp. 58
Backdrop for the Developing Cold War: Wartime Conflict Over Polandp. 73
Behind Red Lines: Germanyp. 102
Stalin in the Heart of Europe: The Stalemate of Cecilienhofp. 136
Summary and Epiloguep. 159
Reference Matterp. 169
Abbreviationsp. 171
Notesp. 173
Bibliographyp. 235
Indexp. 259
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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