As World War II ended, few Americans in government or universities knew much about the Soviet Union. As David Engerman shows in this book, a network of scholars, soldiers, spies, and philanthropists created an enterprise known as Soviet Studies to fill in this dangerous gap in American knowledge. This group brought together some of the nation's best minds from the left, right, and center, colorful and controversial individuals ranging from George Kennan to Margaret Mead to Zbigniew Brzezinski, not to mention historians Sheila Fitzpatrick and Richard Pipes. Together they created the knowledge that helped fight the Cold War and define Cold War thought. Soviet Studies became a vibrant intellectual enterprise, studying not just the Soviet threat, but Soviet society and culture at a time when many said that these were contradictions in terms, as well as Russian history and literature. And this broad network, Engerman argues, forever changed the relationship between the government and academe, connecting the Pentagon with the ivory tower in ways that still matter today.
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David C. Engerman is the author of Modernization from the Other Shore, named a best book on Russia by Foreign Affairs. He is an Associate Professor of History at Brandeis University.
"The extraordinary range and depth of Engerman's research and the narrative arc knitting this book together from start to finish make Know Your Enemy a consummate work of scholarship and historical imagination. Engerman's critical assessment of all the diverse components within academic 'Sovietology' shatters one cliché after another. Soviet Studies never fashioned a single Cold War vision of the USSR and never served simply as an ideological arm of U.S. foreign policy--even when scholars were most closely linked with diplomatic and military operatives."--Howard Brick, University of Michigan
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