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Canada in the Soviet mirror : ideology and perception in Soviet foreign affairs, 1917-1991 /
J.L. Black.
Ottawa : Carleton University Press, 1998.
466 p. : ill.
More Details
Ottawa : Carleton University Press, 1998.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1999-01:
Black (Carleton Univ.) has written an admirably thorough analysis of the Soviet media and official publications that dealt with Canada over a 75-year period. The political climate varied dramatically in those years as Canada changed from ally to imperialist enemy, from potential trading partner to a capitalist economy in crisis, and from wartime ally to global antagonist in the eyes of the USSR. Always, however, the ideological lens was clear, and even when relations were good or, from Moscow's point of view, promising, the tone of hostility and unreality was never far below the surface. The tiny and weak Canadian Communist Party, funded with Moscow's gold, seemed ever to be on the verge of taking power, though grasping US capitalists were omnipresent, seeking to drain Canada's lifeblood in the interests of Wall Street. The story is predictable, but a complete account of its twists and turns is very useful. Black has read everything in print and provided full notes and useful comments on Soviet publications. Unfortunately, the book is marred by many typographical errors. Even so, it is of genuine use to Canadian scholars and all who study the Soviet Union. Upper-division undergraduates and above. J. L. Granatstein; York University
Review Quotes
"A ground-breaking study, Canada in the Soviet Mirror offers a unique account of the ways politics in the USSR shaped perceptions and discourse about a foreign country - Canada." Peter H. Solomon, Jr., University of Toronto.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 1999
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Main Description
This is an original, thoroughly researched account of the image of Canada in Soviet writings - political, jounalistic and academic - over the entire course of Soviet history. A study of the role of ideology in Soviet foreign affairs, the book traces the influence of an adjusting Marxist-Leninist "lens" on policy formulated by the Kremlin and also, explicitly, on a public discourse rigidly controlled by government. This public image has been collated with private opinion documented in recently opened Russian archives. Canada clearly served a larger purpose in Soviet foreign policy than was previously assumed. Uniquely Canadian issues and participants helped shape Soviet policy, sometimes in very strange ways. Both story and reference text, Canada in the Soviet Mirror will interest readers in Soviet and Canadian studies, journalism, and popular culture.

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