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Norman Naimark: Stalin and the Fate of Europe: The Postwar Struggle for Sovereignty

November 4 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

The Russia and Eurasia Program at The Fletcher School is pleased to award its second annual U.S.-Russia Relations Book Prize to Professor Norman Naimark of Stanford University for his new book Stalin and the Fate of Europe: The Postwar Struggle for Sovereignty (2019). The award recognizes an outstanding book on historical or contemporary foreign policy discourse pertaining to the past or present of U.S.-Russia relations. Please join us for a book talk by Naimark about the Cold War division of Europe. Please make sure to register via myFletcher to participate in the event either in person or on Zoom.

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 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. He 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. Naimark 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 1991-1992 and 2002-2003. He 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.

Details

Date:
November 4
Time:
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:
Website:
https://cglink.me/2dk/r1300255

Organizer

Fletcher Russia and Eurasia Program
Email:
FletcherRussia@tufts.edu
Website:
sites.tufts.edu/fletcherrussia

Venue

Crowe Room, Goddard 310
The Fletcher School, Tufts University, 160 Packard Avenue
Medford, MA United States
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