Cold War Illusions: America, Europe and Soviet Power, 1969-1989

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9780312172961: Cold War Illusions: America, Europe and Soviet Power, 1969-1989

The Soviet empire entered its steepest decline and fall in the same years Washington was captivated by the specter of a rising Soviet threat. How did American elites get it so wrong? Dana H. Allin combines masterful Cold War narrative with a fascinating dissection of the fallacies of this surreal pessimism.

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From the Back Cover:

The Soviet empire entered its steepest decline and fall in the very years that Washington was captivated by the specter of a rising Soviet threat. How did American elites get it so wrong? In this important book, Dana Allin combines a masterful narrative of the Cold War with a fascinating dissection of the fallacies upon which its surreal pessimism was based. He focuses on the so-called "second Cold War" that followed the detente of the early 1970s, and on Europe, which remained the central battlefield and prize of that ideological struggle. By suggesting that Western Europe was on the verge of being neutralized, or "Finlandized", by Soviet blackmail, American neoconservatives were able to create a picture of Soviet strength and Western weakness that was, in fact, the very reverse of reality. Drawing on a rich variety of sources, Allin analyzes the military, political and economic errors that distorted this picture. His sober and balanced account gives due credit to the uncertainties and complexities of foreign-policy making in a nuclear age. But one conclusion stands out clearly: Given the real balance of power that existed in 1979, recent efforts to give credit to Reagan "toughness" for winning the Cold War are little more than historical caricature.

About the Author:

Dana H. Allin is editor of Survival, and Senior Fellow for Transatlantic Affairs at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). A graduate of Yale University, he worked as a Europe-based financial journalist before earning an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University, Nitze
School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He was visiting assistant professor in European Studies and American Foreign Policy at the SAIS centers in Bologna, Italy and Washington, D.C., a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellow, and Deputy Director of both the Aspen Institute Berlin and the
International Commission on the Balkans (a joint project of Aspen Berlin and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace).

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Allin, Dana H.
Published by Palgrave Macmillan (1998)
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Dana H. Allin
Published by Palgrave Macmillan (1998)
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