Masterpieces of History

Masterpieces of History: The Peaceful End of the Cold War in Europe, 1989

SVETLANA SAVRANSKAYA
THOMAS BLANTON
VLADISLAV ZUBOK
Editorial Assistant ANNA MELYAKOVA
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Pages: 783
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7829/j.ctt1282nd
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  • Book Info
    Masterpieces of History
    Book Description:

    Twenty years in the making, this collection presents 122 top-level Soviet, European and American records on the superpowers’ role in the annus mirabilis of 1989. Consisting of Politburo minutes; diary entries from Gorbachev’s senior aide, Anatoly Chernyaev; meeting notes and private communications of Gorbachev with George H.W. Bush, Margaret Thatcher, Helmut Kohl and François Mitterrand; and high-level CIA analyses, this volume offers a rare insider’s look at the historic, world-transforming events that culminated in the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the end of the Cold War. Most of these records have never been published before.

    eISBN: 978-615-5211-88-1
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-xiv)
  3. Preface and Acknowledgements
    (pp. xv-xx)
    SVETLANA SAVRANSKAYA and THOMAS BLANTON
  4. FOREWORD
    (pp. xxi-xxiv)
    Anatoly S. Chernyaev

    This book is based on the materials of a conference that took place in a picturesque spot on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean off the state of georgia—the Musgrove Plantation—in May 1998. That conference was probably one of the most significant ever held by the National Security Archive. It was organized by Tom Blanton, director of the Archive, and his colleagues. They courageously entered a subject, which allowed them to discover the origins, the motives and the circumstances of a turning point in world history—the cessation of the Cold War and of an ideological confrontation that...

  5. FOREWORD
    (pp. xxv-xxvi)
    Jack F. Matlock Jr.

    The conference held at the Musgrove plantation on Georgia’s southeast coast in 1998 illuminated one of the most important periods in 20th century history: the liberation of the countries in Eastern Europe from Soviet control. The fact that this episode occurred peacefully near the close of a century filled with violence and following over four decades of East–West confrontation made the event worthy of the most careful study. The National Security Archive rendered a service to historians and the public as a whole when it gathered declassified source material from both Soviet and American archives and invited scholars and...

  6. Acronyms
    (pp. xxvii-xxviii)
  7. Chronology of Events
    (pp. xxix-xliv)
  8. The Logic of 1989: The Soviet Peaceful Withdrawal from Eastern Europe
    (pp. 1-48)
    Svetlana Savranskaya

    The Cold War came to an end in the exact geographical region where it began. In 1989, Eastern Europe became the epicenter of breathtaking changes that went beyond all Western expectations, Soviet fears, and the hopes of the East Europeans themselves. The non-violent and even harmonious nature of the change was naturally welcome but it was also puzzling to contemporaries, just as it still is to students of international politics today, who see it as a kind of beautiful aberration from the realpolitik perspective. Indeed, the most unexpected and seemingly illogical aspect of the East European transformations was the peaceful...

  9. U.S. Policy and the Revolutions of 1989
    (pp. 49-98)
    Thomas Blanton

    The Cold War met a miraculous end during the late 1980s, with neither a bang nor a whimper. Instead, the lasting images of the Cold War’s demise were almost all peaceful (except in Romania) yet incandescent. Hammers and chisels reduced the Berlin Wall to souvenir rocks while Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” blared out over the Brandenburg Gate. A demonstrator handed dandelions to armored police in front of signs that said “Havel to the Castle,” and within days, indeed, the dissident playwright became President of Czechoslovakia. Grizzled union activists from Solidarity celebrated their 99-to-1 victory in Polish elections, as workers’ ballots...

  10. Dialogue: The Musgrove Conference, May 1–3, 1998
    (pp. 99-214)

    Thomas Blanton (moderator): Welcome. We have three goals for this conference. The first is simply to enjoy this place. Musgrove was built by Nancy Reynolds Bagley as a vacation retreat and a nature preserve for a beautiful section of St. Simons Island. This is where President Carter first gathered his Cabinet after the election of 1976 and before the inauguration. Thanks to the generosity of Smith Bagley, the Brenn Foundation, and the Arca Foundation, we are meeting like presidents. I have found that the biggest challenge at Musgrove is to bring to the table the conversations that take place away...

  11. Documents
    (pp. 215-700)

    Gorbachev: I think that we gave a fitting farewell to Konstantin Ustinovich Chernenko. It was well received by the party and the people. I spoke with Konstantin Ustinovich’s family yesterday. The family is very grateful. Now we have to think through all the questions related to memorializing K. U. Chernenko’s legacy. Let us entrust comrades [Yegor K.] Ligachev and [Mikhail V.] Zimyanin to work these issues through. At the same time, we should make decisions on all the issues regarding material support for K. U. Chernenko’s family. We already have a draft of this decision. Today, the flow of condolences...

  12. Main Actors
    (pp. 701-706)
  13. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 707-712)
  14. Index
    (pp. 713-730)
  15. [Illustrations]
    (pp. 731-738)