The New Cold War Debate

Nations, like people, view their past through emotional and psychological prisms. The normal course is for national history to become heroic myth--a saga of obstacles overcome, evil vanquished, national character triumphant.

Issue: Winter 1994-1995

Books and essays discussed in this article:

Melvyn P. Leffler, A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1992), 689 pp., $19.95.

Bruce Cummings, The Origins of the Korean War, Vol. I: Liberation and the Emergence of Separate Regimes, 1945-1947, and Vol. II: The Roaring of the Cataract, 1947-1950 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1981, 1990), Vol. I, 608 pp., $24.95; Vol. II, 976 pp., $35.00.

Bruce Cummings, "'Revising Postrevisionism,' or, The Poverty of Theory in Diplomatic History," Diplomatic History 17:4 (Fall 1993).
John Lewis Gaddis, "The Tragedy of Cold War History: Reflections on Revisionism," Foreign Affairs 73:1 (January/February 1994).
Wilson Miscamble, George F. Kennan and the Making of American Foreign Policy, 1947-1950 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992), 419 pp., $17.95.

Sergei N. Goncharov, John W. Lewis, and Xue Litai, Uncertain Partners: Stalin, Mao, and the Korean War (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1993), 393 pp., $45.00.

David Holloway, Stalin and the Bomb: The Soviet Union and Atomic Energy, 1939-1956 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1994), 464 pp., $30.00.

Thomas J. McCormick, America's Half-Century: United States Foreign Policy in the Cold War (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989), 273 pp., $12.95.

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