This book provides a comprehensive insight into one of the key episodes of the Cold War – the process of reconciliation between Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union.At the time, this process had shocked the World as much as the violent break-up of their relations did in 1948. This book provides an explanation for the collapse of the process of normalization of Yugoslav-Soviet that occurred at the end of 1956 and the renewal of their ideological confrontation. It also explain the motives that guided the two main protagonists, Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia and the Soviet leader Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev.
Based on Yugoslav and Soviet archival documents, this book establishes several innovative theories about this period. Firstly, that the significance of the Yugoslav-Soviet reconciliation went beyond their bilateral relationship. It had ramifications for relations in the Eastern Bloc, the global Communist movement, and on the dynamics of the Cold War world at its crucial juncture. Secondly, that the Yugoslav-Soviet reconciliation brought forward the process of de-Stalinization in the USSR and in the Peoples' Democracies. Thirdly, it enabled Khrushchev to win the post-Stalin leadership contest. Lastly, the book argues that the process of Yugoslav-Soviet reconciliation permitted Tito to embark, together with Nehru of India and Nasser of Egypt upon creating the new entity in the bi-polar Cold War world – the Non-aligned movement.
This book will be of interest to students of Cold War History, diplomatic history, European history and International Relations in general.
Svetozar Rajak is a lecturer at the International History Department,London School of Economics and Political Science. He is the Academic Director of the LSE IDEAS, Head of the Balkan International Affairs Programme and is a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Cold War History.
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Georgi Dimitrov: a biography
Marietta Stankova, Hardback, ISBN13: 9781845117283, I B Tauris, 288 pages.
Georgi Dimitrov burst onto the international scene in 1933 as one of the Comintern operatives in Germany accused of the Reichstag fire. The Bulgarian Communist s spirited self-defence in the resulting Leipzig Trial made him a celebrity among Communists worldwide - particularly in the Soviet Union, where he became Secretary General of the Comintern after his acquittal. Popular opinion holds that this 'whirlwind', who defied Goering and the Nazis in full view of the world, subsequently became little more than a rubber stamp for Stalin. This lucid and fascinating biography - the first in English - reveals a more multifaceted treatment of Dimitrov, highlighting especially the deep complexity of his relationships with his two greatest political allies: Stalin and Tito. Using new and unpublished sources, Marietta Stankova brilliantly reconstructs the dilemmas that Dimitrov faced throughout his long and varied political career. This definitive and long-overdue biography makes a major contribution to the history of Bulgaria and of the Balkans as a whole, as well as to the field of Communist Studies
'Marietta Stankova has written an objective and scholarly biography of a major twentieth-century figure who has for too long been neglected by the serious writer. She has shown Dimitrov to have been an adept functionary in that century's most complex bureaucratic machine, and in doing so she has both clarified a number of issues which have previously been opaque and offered new and persuasive interpretations. She tells us a great deal about the inner workings of that huge and vicious machine which was Soviet politics in the 1930s and 1940s. But she has also given us an intimate portrait of a difficult, complex and at times vindictive personality, albeit one capable of deep human emotions. This is an important and original book.' --Richard Crampton, Emeritus Fellow, St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford
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