Two main scholarly sources were evaluated in the writing of this essay, an opinion source by Richard Pipes called “Misinterpreting the Cold War: The Hard-Liners Had It Right.”, and a factual piece on the fall of the Soviet Union, by Daniel Deudney and G. John Ikenberry, named “Who won the Cold War?”.
These two texts differ greatly from each other, and here they shall be compared and contrasted to each other.”Who won the Cold War” is an article in the bi-monthly magazine Foreign Policy No. 87 by Daniel Deudney and G. John Ikenberry in the Summer of 1992. Deudney is an Assistant Professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania. Ikenberry is an assistant professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University, and during 1991-92, he was a council on Foreign Relations international affairs fellow on the Policy Planning Staff of the US State Department.
They wrote this article to give a detailed background of the final years of the Cold War, to show that it was not the complete domination of Capitalism over Communism as Reagan had suggested, but that it was the failure of the internal structure of Communism, which US citizens had not seen due to the hubris of the US government, which wanted the public to believe it was due to the superiority of Capitalism. Scholars regard this work as a very valuable article, based on it’s placement into the magazine “Foreign Policy”. Foreign Policy is an award-winning, bimonthly magazine of global politics, economics, and ideas, whose readers comprise of some of the most influential leaders in business, government, and other professional arenas in the U.S. and more than 90 other countries. These writers aren’t biased towards any source, and are very factual and methodical in the statements made in their articles. They talk a lot about the hubris of the Reagan administration, and call out a lot of the things that they said contributed to the fall of the USSR, when really they didn’t do much at all. The article is very valuable in this way, as they don’t talk much about the nuclear buildup or US propaganda as a main cause of the fall of the USSR, but more focus on the fact that the USSR was failing internally, due to Gorbachev’s new policies and the internal unrest of the USSR’s citizens, internal revolutions, and the extreme poverty of the Union.
“Misinterpreting the Cold War: The Hard-Liners Had It Right.”, is a review of Raymond L. Garthoff’s “The Great Transition: American-Soviet Relations and the End of the Cold War” by Richard Pipes. Pipes is a Polish-American academic who specializes in Russian history, particularly with respect to the Soviet Union, who espoused a strong anti-communist point of view throughout his career. He also served served as a member of the National Security Council, holding the post of Director of East European and Soviet Affairs under President Ronald Reagan.
He was known for his strongly anti-Soviet rhetoric. This review states many facts against Garthoff’s views, where Pipes tells the audience that Gathoff does not understand the actual happenings of the Cold War, and is instead using liberal “soft-line” tactics to change public opinion against the Reagan administration. This is an invaluable piece of literature, as it delivers a direct line of the ideals from the Reagan administration to the reader. It is a very, very important piece to bounce ideas off of in order to get the facts and actual happenings of the Cold War, and to see what the Reagan administration actually was doing behind closed doors. While Richard Pipes’ review carries a Republican, “The Reagan Administration won” vibe to it, the article “Who won the Cold War” by Daniel Deudney and G. John Ikenberry carries with it a less biased, factual tone.
While Pipes’ review of Garthoff’s work was used to criticize the left’s view of the interworked complications of the Cold War, the article by Deudney and Ikenberry was a factual retelling of the USSR’s downfall, stating that it was plagued by internal problems, and less by the Reagan nuclear buildup and propaganda. But, while it is good that the Deudney and Ikenberry article is thoroughly researched, it is incomparable to the experiences of a man that was actually there, like Richard Pipes. While many of the researched facts are important to the writing, the experiences and opinions of Richard Pipes cannot be ignored, as he had a direct line to the president during this time of political unrest. These factors make these works both immeasurably useful to understanding the intricacies of foreign relations.
While a reader can fact check with Deudney and Ikenberry’s recap, the reader can also simultaneously read the personal thoughts of someone close to the Reagan administration, one half of the entire conflict. In actuality, the result of the fall of the Soviet Union was due to the internal conflicts coming from the Russian Mafia and the spread of capitalism due to the extreme poverty and harsh conditions due to communism, but the propaganda that was spread to the citizens of the capitalist US was also an important factor, as it can influence public perception of true facts.Section 2: Investigation This investigation will revolve around the end of the Cold War, and will investigate the claims of the US Reagan Administration on the ending of the Cold War and the fall of the Communist USSR versus the actual downfall of the USSR due to political power struggles, Russian Mafia uprising, and the revolutions inside the country. Did the US’s nuclear buildup and propaganda cause the fall of the USSR and the end of Communism in Russia? No, the destruction of the USSR came from the inside, due to the political struggles, extreme poverty, and the Russian Mafia. The most common interpretation, explicitly or implicitly, is that of an alleged U.S. “victory” in the Cold War. (Bozo 928) Many accounts tell of how Washington prevailed over the Soviet Union thanks to its economic and strategic superiority, imposed German unification on Western terms, and, having done so, successfully shaped a post-Cold War European and global order to its liking.
By contrast, other players such as France – with the exception of Germany due to Communist occupation – are often seen as “losers” in the end of the Cold War. This is the main knowledge by most people, as the US is still around and the USSR is not. This is also due to the Reagan and Bush administrations feeding us this information. An excerpt from Richard Pipes’s review states that “President Ronald Reagan was the outstanding champion,” (Pipes 155) of the Cold War.”The end of the Cold War marks the most important historical divide in half a century” (Deudney and Ikenberry 123)”Contrary to the conventional wisdom, the defense buildup did not produce Soviet capitulation” (Deudney and Ikenberry 126).