Heritage of Fear: Illusion and Reality in the Cold War: A Review

Richard Lawrence Miller, Author Walker & Company $24.95 (424p) ISBN 978-0-8027-1021-5
Focussing on the theme of military aggression, Miller surveys the Communist movement from its origins to the present, arguing that American fear of an onrushing Red juggernaut bent on destroying Western democracy is not and never has been based on reality. In a chronological explication from the historical record, he reviews the story of Communist failures from 1918 to 1987 and brings to our attention one startling fact: not a single democracy has fallen to Communist military aggression. Further, those countries that have turned Communist through violence were already dictatorships``History reveals that dictatorships are weak and true democracies are strong.'' Citing the Korean War as a crucial turning-point in American perceptions of the Soviet Union, Miller ( Truman ) argues that the 1950-1953 conflict provoked the establishment of a ``permanent war economy'' based on groundless fear of Soviet intentions. He is convinced that the post-World War II generation has been grievously misled by Washington's frenzied anticipation of trouble that was never brewing in the first place. ``What we see when we look at the Soviets is but a mirror reflecting our own needless anxieties.'' (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1988
Release date: 12/01/1988
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