Cover: Inside the Kremlin’s Cold War in PAPERBACK

Inside the Kremlin’s Cold War

From Stalin to Khrushchev

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Product Details


$35.50 • £28.95 • €32.00

ISBN 9780674455320

Publication Date: 04/25/1997


382 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

16 halftones


Reads like a page-flipping thriller… Accounts of [Cold War] events are now bolstered for the first time with firm, enlightened documentary evidence… Offers—both to historians and to the lay generations who inherited the fear without the facts—invaluable insights into the pervasive, simmering war that forged the dominant mindset of the latter part of the twentieth century.—John O’Mahony, Financial Times

[This book is] the most significant addition to the literature on Soviet foreign policy to have appeared since the end of the Cold War.—Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs

A Russian publishing a book in the bygone Soviet era that analyzed foreign policy in terms of its architects would have been unthinkable… Most Americans of the time would have found equally unthinkable the suggestion that the Kremlin was home to anyone other than evil tyrants cut from the same drab cloth… What pleasure it is, then, that such previously unthinkable thoughts pop from every page of Vladislav Zubok and Constantine Pleshakov’s Inside the Kremlin’s Cold War.—Jane E. Good, The Washington Post Book World

Despite the plethora of books on the origins and course of the Cold War, none have provided a documented inside account of the Soviet role in that conflict. Vladislav Zubok and Constantine Pleshakov are the first to help close the gap by drawing on official archives opened since the Soviet collapse… Calling for a rethinking of the Soviet role in view of new evidence, the authors say that the ‘human factor,’ or how personality skewed policy, has been underplayed in the literature. They offer a revealing account of the actions of Stalin and his lieutenants and then of Khrushchev and his circle.—Carl A. Linden, American Historical Review

[The authors] have produced a remarkably readable book…[where] new details are brought to light and several old suspicions confirmed… Zubok and Pleshakov are to be commended for their efforts. They have written a book which is as scholarly profound as accessible to a broad audience.—Kees Boterbloem, Canadian Slavonic Papers

This is a much-awaited book from two prominent young Russian historians. Covering the period from 1945 to 1962, Zubok and Pleshakov provide a fascinating look at the issues and, in particular, the personalities involved in the shaping of Soviet foreign policy from the end of World War II to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Largely relying on recently opened Soviet archives, the authors weave a picture of the Kremlin’s elite, their internal struggles, differences of opinion, how they viewed the West and their Communist allies, and why they triggered some of the gravest Cold War crises (Berlin, Korea, Cuba, and so on)… The authors must be commended for one of the most important books on the Soviet side of the Cold War to have appeared in the last decade.—J. Hanhimäki, The Slavonic Review

Two of Russia’s most accomplished Cold War historians have brought us a treasure trove of arresting new information, insights, and judgments that do much to change our understanding of the Soviet Union’s motives and behavior during its long and tragic confrontation with the West.—Michael R. Beschloss, author of The Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khrushchev, 1960–1963

Awards & Accolades

  • 1996 Lionel Gelber Prize, Lionel Gelber Foundation, Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, and Foreign Policy
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