Historical Dictionary of United States-Russian/Soviet Relations (Historical Dictionaries of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations)

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9780810855373: Historical Dictionary of United States-Russian/Soviet Relations (Historical Dictionaries of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations)

For more than 200 years the United States and Russia have shared a multi-faceted relationship. Because of the rise of power the two countries enjoyed in the late 19th and through the 20th century, Russian-American relations have dominated much of recent world history. Prior to World War II the two countries had relatively friendly contacts in culture, commerce, and diplomacy, however, as they contested for supremacy during the Cold War relations turned hostile and competitive. With the apparent end of the Cold War with the collapse of the Soviet Union and of communism in 1991, the relationship continues to evolve and the future looks uncertain but promising.

The Historical Dictionary of United States-Russian/Soviet Relations identifies the key issues, individuals, and events in the history of U.S.-Russian/Soviet relations and places them in the context of the complex and dynamic regional strategic, political, and economic processes that have fashioned the American relationship with Russia. This is done through a chronology, a bibliography, an introductory essay, and several hundred cross-referenced dictionary entries on key persons, places, events, institutions, and organizations.

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About the Author:

Norman E. Saul is professor at the University of Kansas.

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Contrary to contemporary opinions, the U.S. and Russia have not always had strained relations. Prior to the cold war, the two countries had positive diplomatic relations and exchanges. This entry in the Historical Dictionaries of U.S. Diplomacy series surveys the people, events, and issues that have had an impact on the dealings between the two nations.  Entries range in length from one-quarter page to one and one-half pages and include the expected individuals, politicians, and military leaders and even individuals thought to be spies or involved in covert activities. More interesting, however, are those who were somehow tangentially involved with Russia/USSR or the U.S. from a cultural or other perspective. Good examples are William Dall (1847–1927), a Smithsonian naturalist who was critical of environmental policies of the Russian America Company, and William Rainey Harper (1856–1906), a University of Chicago president who was interested in Russian studies and hired the university’s first Russian teacher. Other entries cover a range of political, economic, social, and diplomatic topics. Appendixes provide lists of “Ministers/Ambassadors from the United States to Russia/Soviet Union” and “Ministers/Ambassadors from Russia/Soviet Union to the United States.” The bibliography at the back of the book speaks to the research for this volume and also serves as a good source of materials for those who need more than what this introductory resource provides. This is a useful guide to a unique relationship and makes for a good starting point if one is new to the subject matter or needs a point of reference to get started. It will be of use in academic and large public libraries. --Terri Tomchyshyn

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