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The Politics Of War by Gabriel Kolko. New York. 1969. Random House. 687 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Ronald Clyne. January 1969.

 

An extraordinary work of historical scholarship that merges the economic, the diplomatic, and the military aspects of World War II to draw the contours of the global crisis that have lasted from 1945 on to the present. It is dense work, but well worth the effort. You'll never think about the postwar world quite the same again.

 

politics of war random house 1969FROM THE PUBLISHER -

In THE POLITICS OF WAR, Gabriel Kolko has written anew kind of history of the epic events of World War II, a chronicle that merges the diplomatic, economic, and military aspects of the war to paint the contours of the global crises that have lasted from 1945 down to the present It is the first history of 1943-1945 period to assess critically American diplomacy in the context of the political and economic outcome of a world torn asunder: a world emerging from the war, confronting revolutions and revolutionaries everywhere, racked by hunger and the collapse of nations, and opening the first chapter of the cold war between the former Allies. Kolko presents the basic forces in the confrontation: the Communists and revolutionaries seeking to alter existing societies; the Soviet Union, a critical source of stability as well as change; and Great Britain, fatally weakened and heir to an empire in collapse. He shows how the United States responded to each of these factors, seeking to define and advance its own conception of a reformed world economic and political order, and America's future role in it. The Politics of War is the first volume to treat extensively United States peace aims for the postwar world and relate them to the conduct of American diplomacy in Poland and Eastern Europe, the first consideration of the United States' reaction to the Resistance and leftist mass movements from France to the Far East At the same time Kolko assesses the character of the radical movements in Europe and China in a manner that reveals the potential and nature of the vast forces of social revolution in modern times, movements s frequently in conflict with the Soviet Union as with the United States. THE POLITICS OF WAR is an account of the causes of modern political and social changes as well as the diplomacy of the Allies. Kolko has presented the first global history of the political basis and consequence of military strategy in a manner that throws entirely new light on reasons behind major military events: the dropping of the atomic bombs, the war in China, the Paris uprising of August 1944, or the last months of the military campaign against Germany. He makes the military and political realities one unified problem confronting the heads of state, portraying World War II as the leaders themselves regarded it. Based on a vast store of new and unexploited sources, unpublished as well as published, in THE POLITICS OF WAR the reader sees how and on what premises American leaders guided the nation through wartime diplomatic crises concerning the entire world and the future of American power. The volume is the most complete and original critical account of the period yet published, drawing on a larger quantity and variety of information than any single history of the war. THE POLITICS OF WAR is a broad and moving panorama of a world at war and in total upheaval, and the American role and response to the monumental military, political, and economic events. It is the first balanced history of the most important sustained crisis of our time, a microcosm that reveals the roots of the problems of the world today. 

 

Kolko GabrielGabriel Morris Kolko (August 17, 1932 - May 19, 2014) was an American-born Canadian historian and author. His research interests included American capitalism and political history, the Progressive Era, and US foreign policy in the 20th century.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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