Cold War triumphalism : the misuse of history after the fall of communism /
edited by Ellen Schrecker.
New York : New Press : Distributed by W.W. Norton & Co., c2004.
vi, 359 p.
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added author
New York : New Press : Distributed by W.W. Norton & Co., c2004.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Ellen Schrecker is Professor of History at Yeshiva University
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2005-01-01:
The point of departure for these essays is the claim by political conservatives that the US won the Cold War, and their use of this "triumphalism" to discredit critics of US foreign policy during that conflict and to justify measures taken in the current war on terrorism. The revisionist authors here seek to correct this "misuse of history" by reconsidering various aspects of the Cold War to provide what they see as a more accurate version of the nature of the conflict and its costs. Topics include the moral issues raised by the Cold War; connection between democracy and free markets; rise and fall of the Cold War economy; extent of Soviet espionage in the US; relationship between the US and the internationalism of the United Nations; and use of Cold War rhetoric since September 11. Specialists will find the basic points about the US quest for hegemony and profit familiar, but the articles provide a needed balance and alternative perspective to historical debates about the Cold War and the future direction of US policy. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. All levels and libraries. L. M. Lees Old Dominion University
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2004-06-07:
The contributors to this collection are after big game: the American sense of triumphalism that followed the end of Soviet communism. Coming from the political left, they attack the claims of those who believe America's military might, market economy and its values explain and justify its pre-eminence. They succeed in rendering more complex the origins and costs of U.S. dominance in the world. Two of the most successful essays, by Leo Ribuffo and Bruce Cumings, take on the intellectual difficulties with the right's historical explanations for the collapse of Soviet communism. Two other sparkling essays, by Jessica Wang and Chalmers Johnson, respectively, clarify how cooperative internationalism has long been a powerful theme of American foreign relations and how the Cold War has never ended in East Asia and Latin America. Yet too many of the authors have yielded to ideological temptations, which distort understanding of the past. Carolyn Eisenberg, for instance, argues that the U.S. caused Germany's division and the Berlin crisis in the late 1940s. Her case is plausible as a prosecutor's brief but inadequate as history, which requires acknowledgment of other positions and what strengths they may possess. Yet despite imbalance, this collection performs a valuable service. No one interested in the origins, costs and benefits of American hegemony can overlook it. Agent, Ronald Goldfarb. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Library Journal on 2004-06-01:
Schrecker (history, Yeshiva Univ.) collects 11 essays countering what the authors see as conservative ideological distortions of communism's collapse, here shown to result more from internal rot than from Western offensive actions (although these were certainly helpful). No smooth argumentative flow is apparent; instead, the book offers revisionist interpretations of the generally accepted history of the period, focusing on certain events and issues. Contributions examine, among other things, the deformation of the U.S. economy owing to Cold War militarization, differing global visions and illusions, the espionage activities of American Communists, unstated goals during the Berlin Blockade, and the impact of 9/11 on public attitudes. The collective message is that we should not believe everything we hear or ignore the manipulative wizard behind the curtain. Some 41 pages of reference notes round out the text. A spirited alternative reader; suitable for all libraries.-Daniel K. Blewett, Coll. of DuPage Lib., Glen Ellyn, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, June 2004
Publishers Weekly, June 2004
Choice, January 2005
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Unpaid Annotation
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, conservatives have seized on the collapse of Communist states to argue more generally for the shortcomings of the Left. Having declared victory in the Cold War, the ideologues of the Right have turned to rewriting the history of that struggle, seeking to undo a generation of critical scholarship on America's rise to global dominance after World War II. In its stead, they have tried to install an unabashedly triumphalist account of the course of American history and foreign policy, which culminates in the unqualified defeat of alternatives to a capitalist, free-market, and U.S.-dominated world. Cold War Triumphalism assembles some of the nation's leading historians of U.S. foreign policy, American history, and the Cold War period, to counter and dissect this new virulent strain of right-wing dogma, exposing its historical and ideological roots in the political struggles of the Cold War period. At a time when the issue of America's role in the world is at the forefront - and,when the Right has renewed its assault on progressive values - Cold War Triumphalism will be essential for an understanding of American political ideas in the twenty-first century.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Cold War Triumphalism and the Real Cold Warp. 1
Moral Judgments and the Cold War: Reflections on Reinhold Niebuhr, William Appleman Williams, and John Lewis Gaddisp. 27
Time of Illusion: Post-Cold War Visions of the Worldp. 71
Market Triumphalism and the Wishful Liberalsp. 103
Cold War Triumphalism and the Deformation of the American Economyp. 126
The Past
"Papers of a Dangerous Tendency": From Major Andre's Boot to the VENONA Filesp. 149
The Myth of the Berlin Blockade and the Early Cold Warp. 174
The United States, the United Nations, and the Other Post-Cold War World Order: Internationalism and Unilateralism in the American Centuryp. 201
The Present
The Three Cold Warsp. 237
Still Stuck in the Big Muddyp. 262
Remembrance of Empires Past: 9/11 and the End of the Cold Warp. 274
Notesp. 299
Contributorsp. 341
Acknowledgmentsp. 345
Indexp. 347
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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