Die Sowjetunion und die Welt im Kalten Krieg: Neue Forschungsperspektiven auf eine vermeintlich hermetisch abgeschottete Gesellschaft
Title: Die Sowjetunion und die Welt im Kalten Krieg: Neue Forschungsperspektiven auf eine vermeintlich hermetisch abgeschottete Gesellschaft
Author: RUPPRECHT, Tobias
Citation: Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas, 2010, 58, 3, 381-399
Until recently, research in the field of Soviet social history on the one side and Cold War historiography on the other side went separate ways. Experts on the Soviet Union focused on the inner history of primarily Stalinism, whereas diplomatic and military historians dominated Cold War research with a strong bias for the Western perspective. This research reports seeks to give an overview of contemporary scholarship that tries to overcome that divide, outlining new trajectories and pointing at potential backlogs. In a first step, it presents a number of new monographs on the Cold War and asks to which extent they incorporate the Soviet point of view and social historical phenomena of the so called home front of the Cold War. Most research on the Cold War now uses a multiperspective approach, it gives analytical room also to actors on the Soviet and Third World side of the conflict, it takes their ideological mindsets seriously and it has discovered cultural diplomacy as a meaningful source to reconstruct them. Repercussions on Soviet society beyond political decision makers and party ideologues, however, are still largely absent from most Cold War monographs. The second paragraph then changes perspectives, assembling recent literature from historians of the Soviet Union who have transnationally broadened their view and analysed aspects of relations between the Soviet Union and the (Third) World. While most work is still traditional diplomatic history, there is also a tendency towards an examination of individual and group interactions across the Iron Curtain, and of Soviet perceptions of the world abroad through modern media and literature. A last paragraph finally discusses the contribution a transnationally amended Soviet history could make to the debate on global history. The Soviet path to modernity did not happen in a completely sealed-off world, it shared indeed many phenomena with the Western one. At the same time, a global history of the second half of the 20th century needs to consider the world wide fascination for and fear of the Soviet economic and social project.
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