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Driving the Soviets up the wall : Soviet-East German relations, 1953-1961 / Hope M. Harrison.

By: Harrison, Hope Millard.
Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooks.Princeton studies in international history and politics: Publisher: Princeton, N.J. ; Woodstock : Princeton University Press, 2005Description: 1 online resource (xx, 345 p.) : maps.ISBN: 9781400840724 (electronic bk.); 1400840724 (electronic bk.); 0691124280; 9780691124285.Subject(s): Germany (East) -- Relations -- Soviet Union | Soviet Union -- Relations -- Germany (East)Additional physical formats: Print version:: Driving the Soviets up the wall.DDC classification: 327.43104709045 LOC classification: DD284.5.S65 | H368 2005Online resources: Click here to view this ebook. Summary: The Berlin Wall was the symbol of the Cold War. For the first time, this path-breaking book tells the behind-the-scenes story of the communists' decision to build the Wall in 1961. Hope Harrison's use of archival sources from the former East German and Soviet regimes is unrivalled, and from these sources she builds a highly original and provocative argument: the East Germans pushed the reluctant Soviets into building the Berlin Wall. This fascinating work portrays the different approaches favored by the East Germans and the Soviets to stop the exodus of refugees to West Germany. In the wake of Stalin's death in 1953, the Soviets refused the East German request to close their border to West Berlin. The Kremlin rulers told the hard-line East German leaders to solve their refugee problem not by closing the border, but by alleviating their domestic and foreign problems. The book describes how, over the next seven years, the East German regime managed to resist Soviet pressures for liberalization and instead pressured the Soviets into allowing them to build the Berlin Wall.Driving the Soviets Up the Wallforces us to view this critical juncture in the Cold War in a different light. Harrison's work makes us rethink the nature of relations between countries of the Soviet bloc even at the height of the Cold War, while also contributing to ongoing debates over the capacity of weaker states to influence their stronger allies.
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Item type Current location Call number URL Status Date due Barcode
Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
Online
DD284.5.S65 H368 2005 (Browse shelf) https://ezproxy.uttyler.edu/login?url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/j.ctt7sjwb Available ocn751980640

Originally published: 2003.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Description based on print version record.

The Berlin Wall was the symbol of the Cold War. For the first time, this path-breaking book tells the behind-the-scenes story of the communists' decision to build the Wall in 1961. Hope Harrison's use of archival sources from the former East German and Soviet regimes is unrivalled, and from these sources she builds a highly original and provocative argument: the East Germans pushed the reluctant Soviets into building the Berlin Wall. This fascinating work portrays the different approaches favored by the East Germans and the Soviets to stop the exodus of refugees to West Germany. In the wake of Stalin's death in 1953, the Soviets refused the East German request to close their border to West Berlin. The Kremlin rulers told the hard-line East German leaders to solve their refugee problem not by closing the border, but by alleviating their domestic and foreign problems. The book describes how, over the next seven years, the East German regime managed to resist Soviet pressures for liberalization and instead pressured the Soviets into allowing them to build the Berlin Wall.Driving the Soviets Up the Wallforces us to view this critical juncture in the Cold War in a different light. Harrison's work makes us rethink the nature of relations between countries of the Soviet bloc even at the height of the Cold War, while also contributing to ongoing debates over the capacity of weaker states to influence their stronger allies.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Harrison's volume reflects years of painstaking research in East German and Russian archives. Also based on extensive interviews, the book covers Soviet-East German relations from the establishment of the eastern zone in occupied Germany just after WW II to the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. Harrison (George Washington Univ.) maintains that the East Germans, especially SED party leader Walter Ulbricht, persistently prodded the hesitant Khrushchev leadership to build the wall as early as 1953. Although concerned about the mass hemorrhaging of GDR citizens fleeing to West Germany, the Moscow leaders wanted Ulbricht to solve the Republikflucht problem less drastically. In contrast to the other communist satellites, the Ulbricht regime was consistently able to resist pressures for reform in the 1953-61 period. This thesis challenges the Cold War paradigm that the Kremlin had total control over Warsaw Pact members. Harrison's book also contains an essay on sources and bibliography. It is a useful volume for academic collections. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Undergraduate and graduate students in East European history and international relations. J. Granville Stanford University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Hope M. Harrison is Director of the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies in the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University. She is also Associate Professor of History and International Affairs at the Elliott School. She served as Director for European and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council from 2000 to 2001.

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