Catalogue


The ambassadors and America's Soviet policy [electronic resource] /
David Mayers.
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 1995.
description
viii, 335 p. : ill.
ISBN
0195068025 (Cloth)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 1995.
isbn
0195068025 (Cloth)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
general note
Title from e-book title screen (viewed October 16, 2007).
catalogue key
7372331
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 307-322) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
David Mayers holds a joint appointment in the History and Political Science departments of Boston University
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1995-01-23:
Brimming with revelations, Mayers's study pulls diplomacy from the shadows and highlights its role in shaping U.S.-Soviet relations. His specific subject is U.S. ambassadors to the U.S.S.R.; his thesis is that America's Soviet policy benefited when the Moscow embassy was in competent hands and, conversely, suffered when the mission was sacrificed to political expediency, staffed by the mediocre or ignored by Washington. As examples of diplomatic successes, he cites Averell Harriman's cementing of a wartime alliance with the Soviets to defeat Hitler, Foy Kohler's meetings with Khrushchev during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis and Jack Matlock's close relations with Kremlin leaders as the U.S.S.R. tilted toward collapse in the late 1980s. On the negative side, he lists David Francis, befuddled by Bolshevism and the October Revolution; Joseph Davies, apologist for Stalin's purge trials; and Eisenhower's neglect of ambassadors Charles Bohlen and Llewellyn Thompson, whose analysis of the deteriorating Sino-Soviet alliance and of Khrushchev's erratic career could have been strategically advantageous. Mayers (George Kennan and the Dilemmas of U.S. Foreign Policy) is a political science professor at Boston University. Photos. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Choice on 1995-10:
Demonstrating excellent command of his subject, Mayers enlivens this bureaucratic history with provocative insights about Cold War lunacies on both sides of the Iron Curtain (e.g., "Nixon and Kissinger ran foreign policy as if it were a two-man conspiracy"). Clear about the book's limitations and careful to differentiate between fact and speculation, the author is modest in praise of ambassadorial diplomacy, which, he concludes, "has no epiphanies" but rather is an exercise in amelioration. Indeed, Mayers argues that accurate reportage of in country political currents and social conditions should be an embassy's primary mission. Given the totalitarianism of the Soviet system and the incessant spying and counterspying, the wonder is that important accomplishments were achieved by the likes of W. Averell Harriman (during WW II) and Llewellyn E. Thompson (during the period of the missile crisis). Ironically, the sagacious George Kennan, the first career diplomat to hold the post of US Ambassador to the USSR, blundered badly in 1952 by making impolitic statements that made him persona non grata. In fact, with a few notable exceptions (bumpkin Cassius M. Clay, bewildered David Francis) the US, Mayers believes, has been well served by its ambassadors to Russia. Highly recommended. All levels. J. B. Lane; Indiana University Northwest
Appeared in Library Journal on 1995-02-01:
The writing of books on U.S.-Soviet relations knows no end. For the jaded scholar sickened by seeing the same subject tossed over and over, this new book should serve as a happy antidote. Mayers, a professor of political science at Boston University who previously authored George Kennan & the Dilemmas of U.S. Foreign Policy (Oxford Univ. Pr., 1988), has produced a superbly written and well-researched history of the men who served as U.S. ambassadors to the Soviet Union. Compelling portraits of Kennan, Charles Bohlen, Averell Harriman, William Bullitt, Thomas Watson Jr., and Jack Matlock fill this volume, helping the reader (perhaps for the first time) really begin to understand the complexities of dealing with the Soviet leadership. This detailed study moves swiftly in the telling and will more than likely be considered the standard work on the subject for years to come. Highly recommended for academic and larger public libraries.-Ed Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"As a study of ambassadorial diplomacy, this highly informative, judicious volume analyzes the long, often agonizing relations between two countries that Alexis de Tocqueville once predicted would each control half the world. The volume offers a highly insightful evaluation not only of all theAmericans, from John Quincy Adams to Robert Strauss, who represented the United States in St. Petersburg and Moscow, but also of the changing, sometimes bewildering, environment in which they labored. In a fitting conclusion the author evaluates the art of diplomacy as practiced by hisambassadors."--Norman A. Graebner, University of Virginia
"As a study of ambassadorial diplomacy, this highly informative, judiciousvolume analyzes the long, often agonizing relations between two countries thatAlexis de Tocqueville once predicted would each control half the world. Thevolume offers a highly insightful evaluation not only of all the Americans, fromJohn Quincy Adams to Robert Strauss, who represented the United States in St.Petersburg and Moscow, but also of the changing, sometimes bewildering,environment in which they labored. In a fitting conclusion the author evaluatesthe art of diplomacy as practiced by his ambassadors."--Norman A. Graebner,University of Virginia
"A superbly written and well-researched history of the men who served as U.S. ambassadors to the Soviet Union. Compelling portraits of Kennan, Charles Bohlen, Averell Harriman, William Bullitt, Thomas Watson Jr., and Jack Matlock fill this volume, helping the reader (perhaps for the firsttime) really begin to understand the complexities of dealing with the Soviet leadership. This detailed study moves swiftly in the telling and will more than likely be considered the standard work on the subject for years to come. Highly recommended."--Library Journal
"A superbly written and well-researched history of the men who served asU.S. ambassadors to the Soviet Union. Compelling portraits of Kennan, CharlesBohlen, Averell Harriman, William Bullitt, Thomas Watson Jr., and Jack Matlockfill this volume, helping the reader (perhaps for the first time) really beginto understand the complexities of dealing with the Soviet leadership. Thisdetailed study moves swiftly in the telling and will more than likely beconsidered the standard work on the subject for years to come. Highlyrecommended."--Library Journal
"A work of superb historical analysis that gives carefully researched recognition to the role that American chiefs of mission in Russia and the former Soviet Union played in the furtherance of our foreign policy interests."--American Academy of Diplomacy
"A work of superb historical analysis that gives carefully researchedrecognition to the role that American chiefs of mission in Russia and the formerSoviet Union played in the furtherance of our foreign policyinterests."--American Academy of Diplomacy
"A work of superb historical analysis that gives carefully researched recognition to the role that American chiefs of mission in Russia and the former Soviet Union played in the furtherance of our foreign policy interests."-- American Academy of Diplomacy "Mayers' skill in evoking the travails of the Moscow station and in assessing the advice and impact of U.S. ambassadors, together with his keen sense of the functions of diplomacy, makes for enthralling reading. This is scholarly history at its best: sharp in its judgments but at the same time scrupulously fair and exhaustive."-- Foreign Affairs "Cool, imaginative, and perceptive...takes a neglected topic and gives it purpose and insight."-- Christian Science Monitor "Demonstrating excellent command of his subject, Mayers enlivens this bureaucratic history with provocative insights about Cold War lunacies on both sides of the Iron Curtain....Highly recommended."-- Choice "A superbly written and well-researched history of the men who served as U.S. ambassadors to the Soviet Union. Compelling portraits of Kennan, Charles Bohlen, Averell Harriman, William Bullitt, Thomas Watson Jr., and Jack Matlock fill this volume, helping the reader (perhaps for the first time) really begin to understand the complexities of dealing with the Soviet leadership. This detailed study moves swiftly in the telling and will more than likely be considered the standard work on the subject for years to come. Highly recommended."-- Library Journal
"A work of superb historical analysis that gives carefully researched recognition to the role that American chiefs of mission in Russia and the former Soviet Union played in the furtherance of our foreign policy interests."--American Academy of Diplomacy "Mayers' skill in evoking the travails of the Moscow station and in assessing the advice and impact of U.S. ambassadors, together with his keen sense of the functions of diplomacy, makes for enthralling reading. This is scholarly history at its best: sharp in its judgments but at the same time scrupulously fair and exhaustive."--Foreign Affairs "Cool, imaginative, and perceptive...takes a neglected topic and gives it purpose and insight."--Christian Science Monitor "Demonstrating excellent command of his subject, Mayers enlivens this bureaucratic history with provocative insights about Cold War lunacies on both sides of the Iron Curtain....Highly recommended."--Choice "A superbly written and well-researched history of the men who served as U.S. ambassadors to the Soviet Union. Compelling portraits of Kennan, Charles Bohlen, Averell Harriman, William Bullitt, Thomas Watson Jr., and Jack Matlock fill this volume, helping the reader (perhaps for the first time) really begin to understand the complexities of dealing with the Soviet leadership. This detailed study moves swiftly in the telling and will more than likely be considered the standard work on the subject for years to come. Highly recommended."--Library Journal
"Cool, imaginative, and perceptive...takes a neglected topic and gives it purpose and insight."--Christian Science Monitor
"Cool, imaginative, and perceptive...takes a neglected topic and gives itpurpose and insight."--Christian Science Monitor
"David Mayers's enjoyable, stimulating book brings America's Ambassadorial saga in Moscow vividly to life, creating at the same time a significant new dimension in Cold War history."--Fraser J. Harbutt, Emory University
"David Mayers's enjoyable, stimulating book brings America's Ambassadorialsaga in Moscow vividly to life, creating at the same time a significant newdimension in Cold War history."--Fraser J. Harbutt, Emory University
"Demonstrating excellent command of his subject, Mayers enlivens this bureaucratic history with provocative insights about Cold War lunacies on both sides of the Iron Curtain....Highly recommended."--Choice
"Demonstrating excellent command of his subject, Mayers enlivens thisbureaucratic history with provocative insights about Cold War lunacies on bothsides of the Iron Curtain....Highly recommended."--Choice
"In this fascinating study Mayers explores the perspectives and experiences of the various American ambassadors to Moscow and in the process sheds new light not only on the content of America's foreign policy, but also on its implementation."--Wilson D. Miscamble, CSC, University of NotreDame
"In this fascinating study Mayers explores the perspectives andexperiences of the various American ambassadors to Moscow and in the processsheds new light not only on the content of America's foreign policy, but also onits implementation."--Wilson D. Miscamble, CSC, University of Notre Dame
"Mayers' skill in evoking the travails of the Moscow station and inassessing the advice and impact of U.S. ambasadors, together with his keen senseof the functions of diplomacy, makes for enthralling reading. This is scholarlyhistory at its best: sharp in its judgments but at the same time scrupulouslyfair and exhaustive."--Foreign Affairs
"Mayers' skill in evoking the travails of the Moscow station and in assessing the advice and impact of U.S. ambassadors, together with his keen sense of the functions of diplomacy, makes for enthralling reading. This is scholarly history at its best: sharp in its judgments but at the same timescrupulously fair and exhaustive."--Foreign Affairs
"Mayers' skill in evoking the travails of the Moscow station and in assessing the advice and impact of U.S. ambassadors, together with his keen sense of the functions of diplomacy, makes for enthralling reading. This is scholarly history at its best: sharp in its judgments but at the same time scrupulously fair and exhaustive."-- Foreign Affairs
"The stringency of its argument and the quality of its documentation, as well as the elegance of its writing, make this an essential book for those interested not only in the history of American-Soviet relations, but in the ongoing dynamics of diplomacy."-- Dr. Erik Goldstein, University ofBirmingham
"The stringency of its argument and the quality of its documentation, aswell as the elegance of its writing, make this an essential book for thoseinterested not only in the history of American-Soviet relations, but in theongoing dynamics of diplomacy."-- Dr. Erik Goldstein, University ofBirmingham
"This highly original study of the United States Embassy in Moscow in the modern period and the diplomacy of its chiefs--Bullitt, Davies, Harriman, Kennan, Thompson and Matlock--throws new light on the formation and execution of American policy toward the Soviet Union. It also makes a strongcase for the importance of ambassadorial diplomacy in an age in which it is too often superseded by foreign ministers, special envoys, and heads of state. An important and very readable book, which is also in part a cautionary tale."--Gordon A. Craig, Stanford University
"This highly original study of the United States Embassy in Moscow in themodern period and the diplomacy of its chiefs--Bullitt, Davies, Harriman,Kennan, Thompson and Matlock--throws new light on the formation and execution ofAmerican policy toward the Soviet Union. It also makes a strong case for theimportance of ambassadorial diplomacy in an age in which it is too oftensuperseded by foreign ministers, special envoys, and heads of state. Animportant and very readable book, which is also in part a cautionarytale."--Gordon A. Craig, Stanford University
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, January 1995
Booklist, February 1995
Library Journal, February 1995
Choice, October 1995
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.
Summaries
Long Description
George Kennan, Charles Bohlen, W. Averell Harriman, William Bullitt, Joseph E. Davies, Llewlleyn Thompson, Jack Matlock: these are important names in the history of American foreign policy. Together with a number of lesser-known officials, these diplomats played a vital role in shaping U.S. strategy and popular attitudes toward the Soviet Union throughout its 75-year history. In The Ambassadors and America's Soviet Policy, David Mayers presents the most comprehensive critical examination yet of U.S. diplomats in the Soviet Union. Mayers' vivid portrayal evokes the social and intellectual atmosphere of the American embassy in the midst of crucial episodes: the Bolshevik Revolution, the Great Purges, the Grand Alliance in World War II, the early Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the rise and decline of detente, and the heady days of perestroika and glasnost. He also offers rare portraits of the professional lives of the diplomats themselves: their adjustment to Soviet life, the quality of their analytical reporting, their contact with other diplomats in Moscow, and their influence on Washington. Assessing the strengths and weaknesses of American diplomacy in its most challenging area, this compelling book fills an important gap in the history of U.S. foreign policy and U.S.-Soviet relations. Readers interested in U.S. foreign policy, the cold war, and the policies and history of the former Soviet Union will find The Ambassadors and America's Soviet Policy an intriguing and informative work.
Long Description
This is the first comprehensive consideration of the roles played by American diplomats in shaping US strategy and popular attitudes toward the Soviet Union throughout its 75-year history.
Main Description
George Kennan, Charles Bohlen, W. Averell Harriman, William Bullitt, Joseph E. Davies, Llewlleyn Thompson, Jack Matlock: these are important names in the history of American foreign policy. Together with a number of lesser-known officials, these diplomats played a vital role in shaping U.S.strategy and popular attitudes toward the Soviet Union throughout its 75-year history. In The Ambassadors and America's Soviet Policy, David Mayers presents the most comprehensive critical examination yet of U.S. diplomats in the Soviet Union. Mayers' vivid portrayal evokes the social and intellectual atmosphere of the American embassy in the midst of crucial episodes: the Bolshevik Revolution, the Great Purges, the Grand Alliance in World War II, the early Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the rise and decline of detente, and theheady days of perestroika and glasnost. He also offers rare portraits of the professional lives of the diplomats themselves: their adjustment to Soviet life, the quality of their analytical reporting, their contact with other diplomats in Moscow, and their influence on Washington. Assessing the strengths and weaknesses of American diplomacy in its most challenging area, this compelling book fills an important gap in the history of U.S. foreign policy and U.S.-Soviet relations. Readers interested in U.S. foreign policy, the cold war, and the policies and history of the formerSoviet Union will find The Ambassadors and America's Soviet Policy an intriguing and informative work.
Main Description
George Kennan, Charles Bohlen, W. Averell Harriman, William Bullitt, Joseph E. Davies, Llewlleyn Thompson, Jack Matlock: these are important names in the history of American foreign policy. Together with a number of lesser-known officials, these diplomats played a vital role in shaping U.S. strategy and popular attitudes toward the Soviet Union throughout its 75-year history. In The Ambassadors and America's Soviet Policy , David Mayers presents the most comprehensive critical examination yet of U.S. diplomats in the Soviet Union. Mayers' vivid portrayal evokes the social and intellectual atmosphere of the American embassy in the midst of crucial episodes: the Bolshevik Revolution, the Great Purges, the Grand Alliance in World War II, the early Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the rise and decline of detente, and the heady days of perestroika and glasnost. He also offers rare portraits of the professional lives of the diplomats themselves: their adjustment to Soviet life, the quality of their analytical reporting, their contact with other diplomats in Moscow, and their influence on Washington. Assessing the strengths and weaknesses of American diplomacy in its most challenging area, this compelling book fills an important gap in the history of U.S. foreign policy and U.S.-Soviet relations. Readers interested in U.S. foreign policy, the cold war, and the policies and history of the former Soviet Union will find The Ambassadors and America's Soviet Policy an intriguing and informative work.
Main Description
George Kennan, Charles Bohlen, W. Averell Harriman, William Bullitt, Joseph E. Davies, Llewlleyn Thompson, Jack Matlock: these are important names in the history of American foreign policy. Together with a number of lesser-known officials, these diplomats played a vital role in shaping U.S. strategy and popular attitudes toward the Soviet Union throughout its 75-year history. InThe Ambassadors and America's Soviet Policy, David Mayers presents the most comprehensive critical examination yet of U.S. diplomats in the Soviet Union. Mayers' vivid portrayal evokes the social and intellectual atmosphere of the American embassy in the midst of crucial episodes: the Bolshevik Revolution, the Great Purges, the Grand Alliance in World War II, the early Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the rise and decline of detente, and the heady days of perestroika and glasnost. He also offers rare portraits of the professional lives of the diplomats themselves: their adjustment to Soviet life, the quality of their analytical reporting, their contact with other diplomats in Moscow, and their influence on Washington. Assessing the strengths and weaknesses of American diplomacy in its most challenging area, this compelling book fills an important gap in the history of U.S. foreign policy and U.S.-Soviet relations. Readers interested in U.S. foreign policy, the cold war, and the policies and history of the former Soviet Union will findThe Ambassadors and America's Soviet Policyan intriguing and informative work.
Table of Contents
United States Chiefs of Mission in St. Petersburg and Moscowp. x
Introductionp. 3
Before Moscow
St. Petersburg and the U.S. Diplomatic Traditionp. 11
From Comity to Estrangementp. 35
War and Revolutionp. 67
In Stalin's Time
Preparing for Moscowp. 93
Purges and the Failure of Collective Securityp. 108
Fragile Coalitionp. 136
Neither War Nor Peacep. 164
Great Power Rivalry
After Stalinp. 191
Controlled Rivalryp. 212
Collapse and the Art of Diplomacyp. 239
Notesp. 261
Bibliographyp. 307
Indexp. 323
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem