Black Earth, Red Star

R. Craig Nation, Author Cornell University Press $49.95 (341p) ISBN 978-0-8014-2725-1
In many Westerners' eyes, the Soviet Union maintained an inflexible desire to dominate the world, a policy presumably conditioned by traumatic invasions, messianic Marxism and Russian xenophobic nationalism. Far from being immutable, counters Nation, an associate professor of international studies at Johns Hopkins, Soviet security policy moved through several distinct phases, from Lenin's revolutionary internationalism to accommodation, retrenchment and the competitive coexistence maintained by Brezhnev and his successors. In a highly readable study that challenges conventional thinking, Nation credits Stalin with a post-WW II desire to avoid war with the U.S. at any price. He limns Khrushchev as ``a sincere advocate of peace'' and argues that Gorbachev sought to transform Soviet-U.S. relations by recognizing global interdependence and by winning the West's sympathy for Soviet reform. America's victory in the cold war, Nation predicts, will be short-lived, as he believes a reformed confederation of former Soviet republics will become a major player in international affairs. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
Paperback - 360 pages - 978-0-8014-8007-2
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