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An overview of Cold War Historiography

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1 An overview of Cold War Historiography

2 Cold War Historiography
The orthodox interpretation The revisionist interpretation Moderate revisionist view The post-revisionist view Revival of orthodoxy 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? What? Why? The 1980s
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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