The phrase "Cold War" was coined by George Orwell in 1945 to describe the impact of the atomic bomb on world politics: "We may be heading not for a general breakdown but for an epoch as horribly stable as the slave empires of antiquity." The Soviet Union, he wrote, was "at once unconquerable and in a permanent state of 'cold war' with its neighbors." But as a leading historian of Soviet foreign policy, Jonathan Haslam, makes clear in this groundbreaking book, the epoch was anything but stable, with constant wars, near-wars, and political upheavals on both sides. Whereas the Western perspective on the Cold War has been well documented by journalists and historians, the Soviet side has remained for the most part shrouded in secrecy-until now. Drawing on a vast range of recently released archives in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and Eastern Europe, Russia's Cold War offers a thorough and fascinating analysis of East-West relations from 1917 to 1989.
Far more than merely a straightforward history of the Cold War, this book presents the first account of politics and decision making at the highest levels of Soviet power: how Soviet leaders saw political and military events, what they were trying to accomplish, their miscalculations, and the ways they took advantage of Western ignorance. Russia's Cold War fills a significant gap in our understanding of the most important geopolitical rivalry of the twentieth century.