The Origins of the Cold War at Home and Abroad


Authored by: Günter Bischof

The Routledge Handbook of American Military and Diplomatic History

Print publication date:  June  2013
Online publication date:  August  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415888479
eBook ISBN: 9781135070991
Adobe ISBN: 9781135071028


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Who is responsible for the outbreak of the Cold War after the end of World War II—the Soviet Union or the United States, or both? Few questions in modern historiography were argued more passionately by American historians than this one; few produced more moralistic righteousness in the “objective” historical profession. Was it Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin’s intransigence and territorial expansionism and aggressive ideology, or America’s refusal to grant the Soviets security spheres in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, or were both sides guilty of failing to make concessions to the erstwhile allies of World War II? Was it the advent of the American nuclear monopoly that forced Stalin’s hand? Or was it hysterical American anti-communism that did not allow Washington to approach postwar relations with Moscow in a more concessionary mode? 1

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