Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface to the Paperback Edition: Russia’s Revenge

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pp. ix-xxii

The collapse of the Soviet empire was an event of epochal geopolitical, military, ideological, and economic significance. The United States, the last superpower, became the hub of the international order. Triumphalism surged in the West. Almost all of the countries from the former Communist bloc looked toward Washington for assistance, protection, and advice. ...

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Preface

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pp. xxiii-xxviii

This book explores the motives that drove the Soviet Union in the Cold War, a global confrontation with the United States and its allies. The opening of archives in Russia and other countries of the onetime Communist bloc provides fascinating opportunities to write about the Soviet past. ...

Abbreviations

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pp. xxix-xxx

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1. The Soviet People and Stalin between War and Peace, 1945

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pp. 1-28

On the morning of June 24, 1945, rain was pouring down on Red Square, but tens of thousands of elite Soviet troops hardly noticed it. They stood at attention, ready to march through the square to celebrate their triumph over the Third Reich. At precisely ten o’clock, Marshal Georgy Zhukov emerged from the Kremlin’s gates riding a white stallion and gave the signal for the Parade of Victory to begin. ...

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2. Stalin’s Road to the Cold War, 1945–1948

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pp. 29-61

CBS correspondent Richard C. Hottelet sat in the apartment of the former commissar of foreign affairs of the Soviet Union, Maxim Litvinov, in Moscow on June 18, 1946. He could not believe his ears. Back in the safety of his office, the journalist recorded what he had heard from the Old Bolshevik. ...

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3. Stalemate in Germany, 1945–1953

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pp. 62-93

Germany’s division was one of the most striking outcomes of the clash between the Soviet Union and the Western democracies. But only recently has critical reassessment of Western involvement emerged.1 And the full extent of Stalin’s role cannot be documented even today. ...

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4. Kremlin Politics and “Peaceful Coexistence,” 1953–1957

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pp. 94-122

After Stalin’s death, a ‘‘new’’ Soviet foreign policy emerged that sought to reopen the diplomatic space that Moscow had enjoyed before the start of the Cold War. In February 1956, at the Twentieth Party Congress, the Soviet leadership renounced expectations of imminent war. ...

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5. The Nuclear Education of Khrushchev, 1953–1963

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pp. 123-154

On October 4, 1957, a Soviet intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launched a satellite, the orbit of which took it on a path over North America.1 Sputnik was an innocuous and peaceful satellite, but American analysts also recognized that the same missile could carry a multimegaton nuclear charge. ...

Image Plates

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pp. 155-162

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6. The Soviet Home Front: First Cracks, 1953–1968

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pp. 163-191

As the drama of the Cuban missile crisis unfolded, the intelligentsia of Moscow and Leningrad hardly noticed it. In early November 1962, the members of the intelligentsia, as well as millions of other Soviet readers, were frantically looking for copies of a thick literary journal that had just published Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, about the fate of a Russian peasant in Stalin’s concentration camp.1...

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7. Brezhnev and the Road to Détente, 1965–1972

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pp. 192-226

On May 29, 1972, Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev met in the richly adorned and ancient St. Catherine Hall of a historic Kremlin palace to sign an array of bilateral documents, among them the Strategic Arms Limitations Agreement, the Antiballistic Missile Treaty, and ‘‘The Basic Principles of U.S.-Soviet Relations.’’ ...

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8. Détente’s Decline and Soviet Overreach, 1973–1979

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pp. 227-264

History turned a new page on Christmas Eve of 1979, as columns of Soviet motorized troops crossed the bridges hastily built over the Amu Darya River near the city of Termez and began to pull into the dark gorges between the snowy peaks of Afghanistan. Soviet citizens learned the news from foreign shortwave broadcasts. ...

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9. The Old Guard’s Exit, 1980–1987

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pp. 265-302

The superpower confrontation of the early 1980s had a feeling of déjà vu. The rampant arms race, covert battles between secret services around the world, and fierce psychological warfare gave the situation a resemblance to the last years of Stalin’s rule. The Reagan administration sought to roll back the Soviet empire, just as the Truman and Eisenhower administrations had done in the early 1950s. ...

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10. Gorbachev and the End of Soviet Power, 1988–1991

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pp. 303-335

It took three decades to turn the Soviet Union into a superpower, the main challenger of the supremacy of the United States in the world. But it took only three years for the Communist giant to disintegrate. For people who had come of age during the Cold War, the event was sudden and breathtaking. ...

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Epilogue

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pp. 336-344

During the forty years that followed World War II, Soviet leaders and elites struggled to preserve and expand the great socialist empire that emerged out of this ordeal. After the historic victory over Nazi Germany, the majority of the Kremlin leaders, party elites, the military, the security police, and members of the military-industrial complex came to identify themselves with the idea of a great power with a central role in the world. ...

Notes

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pp. 345-416

Bibliography

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pp. 417-454

Index

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pp. 455-468