Rollback, Liberation, Containment, or Inaction?: U.S. Policy and Eastern Europe in the 1950s

This article discusses the Eisenhower administration's policy toward Eastern Europe in the years leading up to the 1956 Hungarian revolution. The article first considers the broader context of U.S. Cold War strategy in Eastern Europe, including policies of "economic warfare" and "psychological warfare," as well as covert operations and military supplies. It then examines U.S. policy toward Hungary, particularly during the events of October-November 1956, when the Eisenhower administration had to decide how to respond to the uprising. The article brings to light the Eisenhower administration's dual policy toward Hungary--a policy that attempted, on the one hand, to strike a negotiated settlement with the Soviet Union, and, on the other hand, to promote instability within the Soviet bloc. An analysis of these contradictory approaches sheds broader light on the dynamics of U.S. foreign policy in the 1950s.