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By Matthew J. Ouimet

Because the surprising cave in of the communist process in jap Europe in 1989, students have attempted to give an explanation for why the Soviet Union stood by way of and watched as its empire crumbled. the new free up of in depth archival documentation in Moscow and the looks of progressively more Soviet political memoirs now provide a better standpoint in this historical procedure and allow a miles deeper investigate its causes.

The upward thrust and Fall of the Brezhnev Doctrine in Soviet international Policy is a accomplished research detailing the cave in of Soviet keep watch over in japanese Europe among 1968 and 1989, focusing particularly at the pivotal unity uprisings in Poland. established seriously on firsthand testimony and clean archival findings, it constitutes a primary reassessment of Soviet international coverage in this interval. maybe most vital, it bargains a stunning account of ways Soviet international coverage tasks within the past due Brezhnev period outlined the parameters of Mikhail Gorbachev's later place of laissez-faire towards jap Europe--a place that finally ended in the downfall of socialist governments everywhere Europe.

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Extra info for The Rise and Fall of the Brezhnev Doctrine in Soviet Foreign Policy (The New Cold War History)

Sample text

In Bratislava, the Slovak Central Committee elected Vasil Bilak as Dubcek’s successor to head its wing of the party. ’’∂≤ Despite this initial welcome, it was not long before developments in Czechoslovakia began to drive the country toward a political confrontation with the Kremlin. Under Dubcek’s watch, limited experimentation with market economics and independent enterprise quickly led to social and political reforms. Czechs and Slovaks were permitted to travel abroad more freely, while at home social organizations came into existence outside the purview of Party control.

From the point at which hard-liners such as Andropov and Shelest began comparing the Prague Spring to the Hungarian Revolution, Soviet discussions focused intently on preventing a return to social democracy in Czechoslovakia. Military measures were considered, but not in the context of defending against a hostile West. Indeed, any serious talk of Western infiltration is distinctly absent from these early Soviet debates. Rather, the use of force was to be arrayed against Czechoslovakia’s domestic political opposition.

From the point at which hard-liners such as Andropov and Shelest began comparing the Prague Spring to the Hungarian Revolution, Soviet discussions focused intently on preventing a return to social democracy in Czechoslovakia. Military measures were considered, but not in the context of defending against a hostile West. Indeed, any serious talk of Western infiltration is distinctly absent from these early Soviet debates. Rather, the use of force was to be arrayed against Czechoslovakia’s domestic political opposition.

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