Book Talk "Stalin and the Fate of Europe: The Postwar Struggle for Sovereignty" with Norman M. Naimark
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The Cold War division of Europe was not inevitable―the acclaimed author of Stalin’s Genocides shows how postwar Europeans fought to determine their own destinies.
Was the division of Europe after World War II inevitable? In this powerful reassessment of the postwar order in Europe, Norman Naimark suggests that Joseph Stalin was far more open to a settlement on the continent than we have thought. Through revealing case studies from Poland and Yugoslavia to Denmark and Albania, Naimark recasts the early Cold War by focusing on Europeans’ fight to determine their future.
As nations devastated by war began rebuilding, Soviet intentions loomed large. Stalin’s armies controlled most of the eastern half of the continent, and in France and Italy, communist parties were serious political forces. Yet Naimark reveals a surprisingly flexible Stalin, who initially had no intention of dividing Europe. During a window of opportunity from 1945 to 1948, leaders across the political spectrum, including Juho Kusti Paasikivi of Finland, Wladyslaw Gomulka of Poland, and Karl Renner of Austria, pushed back against outside pressures. For some, this meant struggling against Soviet dominance. For others, it meant enlisting the Americans to support their aims.
The first frost of Cold War could be felt in the tense patrolling of zones of occupation in Germany, but not until 1948, with the coup in Czechoslovakia and the Berlin Blockade, did the familiar polarization set in. The split did not become irreversible until the formal division of Germany and establishment of NATO in 1949. In illuminating how European leaders deftly managed national interests in the face of dominating powers, Stalin and the Fate of Europe reveals the real potential of an alternative trajectory for the continent.
Norman M. Naimark received his A.B., M.A. and Ph.D (1972) from Stanford University. He spent fifteen years as Professor at Boston University and Research Fellow at the Russian Research Center at Harvard before returning to Stanford in 1988. He is presently Robert and Florence McDonnell Professor of East European Studies in the History Department at Stanford University, and is Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Freeman-Spogli Institute. Earlier he served as Chair of the Department of History, Burke Family Director of the Bing Overseas Studies Program, and Fisher Director of Stanford Global Studies.
A selection of his books include The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Germany (Harvard 1995); Fires of Hatred; Ethnic Cleansing in 20th Century Europe (Harvard 2001); Stalin’s Genocides (Princeton 2010), Genocide: A World History (Oxford 2017), and, most recently Stalin and the Fate of Europe: The Struggle for Sovereignty (Harvard 2019).
Naimark has been awarded the Officer’s Cross First Class of the German Federal Republic. He twice received the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Teaching at Stanford. He also received the Award for Distinguished Contributions to Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies from ASEEES in 2011-12.
David Holloway is the Raymond A. Spruance Professor in International History, Professor of Political Science, and Senior Fellow at FSI, Emeritus. He received his BA, MA, and PhD from the University of Cambridge. He has been co-director of CISAC (1991-1997) and director of FSI (1998-2003). He is the author of Stalin and the Bomb: the Soviet Union and Atomic Energy, 1939-1956 (Yale U. P., 1994) among other works.
Robert Rakove is Lecturer in International Relations. He received his PhD from the University of Virginia and is the author of Kennedy, Johnson, and the Nonaligned World. Rakove studies U.S. foreign policy, particularly in the Cold War era.
Amir Weiner is Associate Professor of Soviet History and the director of the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies.
Co-sponsored by the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, and the Center for International Security and Cooperation.
Norman M. Naimark
Encina Hall, C235
Stanford, CA 94305-6165
Norman M. Naimark is the Robert and Florence McDonnell Professor of East European Studies, a Professor of History and (by courtesy) of German Studies, and Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution and (by courtesy) of the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies. Norman formerly served as the Sakurako and William Fisher Family Director of the Stanford Global Studies Division, the Burke Family Director of the Bing Overseas Studies Program, the Convener of the European Forum (predecessor to The Europe Center), Chair of the History Department, and the Director of Stanford’s Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies.
Norman earned his Ph.D. in History from Stanford University in 1972 and before returning to join the faculty in 1988, he was a professor of history at Boston University and a fellow of the Russian Research Center at Harvard. He also held the visiting Catherine Wasserman Davis Chair of Slavic Studies at Wellesley College. He has been awarded the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (1996), the Richard W. Lyman Award for outstanding faculty volunteer service (1995), and the Dean's Teaching Award from Stanford University for 1991-92 and 2002-3.
Norman is interested in modern Eastern European and Russian history and his research focuses on Soviet policies and actions in Europe after World War II and on genocide and ethnic cleansing in the twentieth century. His published monographs on these topics include The History of the "Proletariat": The Emergence of Marxism in the Kingdom of Poland, 1870–1887 (1979, Columbia University Press), Terrorists and Social Democrats: The Russian Revolutionary Movement under Alexander III (1983, Harvard University Press), The Russians in Germany: The History of The Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945–1949 (1995, Harvard University Press), The Establishment of Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe (1998, Westview Press), Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing In 20th Century Europe (2001, Harvard University Press), Stalin's Genocides (2010, Princeton University Press), and Genocide: A World History (2016, Oxford University Press). Naimark’s latest book, Stalin and the Fate of Europe: The Postwar Struggle for Sovereignty (Harvard 2019), explores seven case studies that illuminate Soviet policy in Europe and European attempts to build new, independent countries after World War II.
Encina Hall, E214
Stanford, CA 94305-6165
David Holloway is the Raymond A. Spruance Professor of International History, a professor of political science, and an FSI senior fellow. He was co-director of CISAC from 1991 to 1997, and director of FSI from 1998 to 2003. His research focuses on the international history of nuclear weapons, on science and technology in the Soviet Union, and on the relationship between international history and international relations theory. His book Stalin and the Bomb: The Soviet Union and Atomic Energy, 1939-1956 (Yale University Press, 1994) was chosen by the New York Times Book Review as one of the 11 best books of 1994, and it won the Vucinich and Shulman prizes of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. It has been translated into seven languages, most recently into Chinese. The Chinese translation is due to be published later in 2018. Holloway also wrote The Soviet Union and the Arms Race (1983) and co-authored The Reagan Strategic Defense Initiative: Technical, Political and Arms Control Assessment (1984). He has contributed to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Foreign Affairs, and other scholarly journals.
Since joining the Stanford faculty in 1986 -- first as a professor of political science and later (in 1996) as a professor of history as well -- Holloway has served as chair and co-chair of the International Relations Program (1989-1991), and as associate dean in the School of Humanities and Sciences (1997-1998). Before coming to Stanford, he taught at the University of Lancaster (1967-1970) and the University of Edinburgh (1970-1986). Born in Dublin, Ireland, he received his undergraduate degree in modern languages and literature, and his PhD in social and political sciences, both from Cambridge University.
Building 200, Room 336
Stanford, CA 94305-2024
Amir Weiner's research concerns Soviet history with an emphasis on the interaction between totalitarian politics, ideology, nationality, and society. He is the author of Making Sense of War, Landscaping the Human Garden and numerous articles and edited volumes on the impact of World War II on the Soviet polity, the social history of WWII and Soviet frontier politics. His forthcoming book, The KGB: Ruthless Sword, Imperfect Shield, will be published by Yale University Press in 2021. He is currently working on a collective autobiography of KGB officers titled Coffee with the KGB: Conversations with Soviet Security Officers. Professor Weiner has taught courses on modern Russian history; the Second World War; Totalitarianism; War and Society in Modern Europe; Modern Ukrainian History; and History and Memory.