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An overview of Cold War Historiography. Cold War Historiography The orthodox interpretation The revisionist interpretation Moderate revisionist view Revival.

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Presentation on theme: "An overview of Cold War Historiography. Cold War Historiography The orthodox interpretation The revisionist interpretation Moderate revisionist view Revival."— Presentation transcript:

1 An overview of Cold War Historiography

2 Cold War Historiography The orthodox interpretation The revisionist interpretation Moderate revisionist view Revival of orthodoxy The post-revisionist view Return to orthodoxy in the Putin-Medvedev era???

3 The orthodox interpretation Why the Cold War? – Soviet aggression Why the aggression? – Ideological evangelism? – Russian imperialism? – Does not matter – Its monolithic nature The US reaction? – US sought to continue wartime cooperation – Forced to stand up to Soviet behaviour The Truman Doctrine? – All the Soviets’ fault

4 Why the orthodox interpretation? Breakdown of the anti- Nazi alliance Soviet domination of Eastern Europe – Complete by 1948 – Berlin (1948) Spread of the Cold War to Asia: – The “loss of China” – Korea ( ) – Indochina McCarthyism

5 The revisionist interpretation Breakdown of the wartime alliance – US fault – Soviet behaviour? What would you expect? US imperialistic- why? – Markets/ investment/ raw materials – Regimes to look after US interests

6 Why the revisionist interpretation? The Vietnam War – Questioning of the war led to questioning of the bases of US foreign policy The 60s: an era of protest and challenge Nixon engendered opposition thinking – The man – The Pentagon Papers – Watergate

7 The moderate revisionist interpretation Personality focussed – If only FDR and not Truman Truman surrounded by fanatically anti-Russian advisors – Kennan – Clifford – Nitze – Acheson

8 Why the moderate revisionist interpretation? FDR’s willingness to trust and work with Stalin – Truman’s hardline approach – His inexperience? – Beholden to his advisors? But blame still on US

9 Revival of orthodoxy When? – The 1980s What? – Back to it’s all the fault of the Soviets Why? – The Reagan era – “the evil empire” – Soviet invasion of Afghanistan – End of détente

10 The post-revisionist interpretation Washington and Moscow – Both sides had their faults – Both sides pushing their national interests Ignorance of each other – Led to misunderstanding – Nearly nuclear war Stalin? – Security his concern – But: couldn’t be sure Gaddis particularly hard on the role of Stalin

11 Why the post-revisionist interpretation? Opening up of the Soviet archives – But do not overplay this The Cold War was now over – Allows a non-partisan approach – Avoids the Soviet apologist approach


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