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The Specter of Communism

The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1917-1953

Hill and Wang Critical Issues

Melvyn P. Leffler

Hill and Wang

The Hill and Wang Critical Issues Series: concise, affordable works on pivotal topics in American history, society, and politics.

The Specter of Communism is a concise history of the origins of the Cold War and the evolution of U.S.-Soviet relations, from the Bolshevik revolution to the death of Stalin. Using not only American documents but also those from newly opened archives in Russia, China, and Eastern Europe, Leffler shows how the ideological animosity that existed from Lenin's seizure of power onward turned into dangerous confrontation. By focusing on American political culture and American anxieties about the Soviet political and economic threat, Leffler suggests new ways of understanding the global struggle staged by the two great powers of the postwar era.

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The Specter of Communism
( 1 )THE BACKGROUND 1917-1941FROM the beginning, there was an ideological clash. When the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia in November 1917, in the midst of World War I, they appealed to workers everywhere to overthrow their governments. "We summon you to this struggle, workers of all countries! There is no other way. The crimes of the ruling, exploiting classes in this war have been countless. These crimes cry out for revolutionary revenge." 1The Bolsheviks believed that their revolution in Russia would be crushed if they did not sue for peace, spark revolution abroad,
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Melvyn P. Leffler

  • Melvyn P. Leffler, Stettinius Professor of History at the University of Virginia, is the author of A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War, which won the Bancroft Prize, the Farrell Prize, and the Hoover Book Award in 1993.  
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    The Specter of Communism

    The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1917-1953

    Hill and Wang Critical Issues

    Melvyn P. Leffler

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    Hill and Wang

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