Dealing with Dictators
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Dealing with Dictators : The United States, Hungary, and East Central Europe, 1942-1989

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Dealing with Dictators explores America's Cold War efforts to make the dictatorships of Eastern Europe less tyrannical and more responsive to the country's international interests. During this period, US policies were a mix of economic and psychological warfare, subversion, cultural and economic penetration, and coercive diplomacy. Through careful examination of American and Hungarian sources, Laszlo Borhi assesses why some policies toward Hungary achieved their goals while others were not successful. When George H. W. Bush exclaimed to Mikhail Gorbachev on the day the Soviet Union collapsed, "Together we liberated Eastern Europe and unified Germany," he was hardly doing justice to the complicated history of the era. The story of the process by which the transition from Soviet satellite to independent state occurred in Hungary sheds light on the dynamics of systemic change in international politics at the end of the Cold War.show more

Product details

  • Book | 562 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 35.05mm | 56g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 0253019397
  • 9780253019394

Review quote

"In the voluminous secondary literature of the Cold War, Borhi has found important new ground. Borhi's research in the American and Hungarian archives is thorough, [and] impressively, he has succeeded in placing Hungarian-American relations within the larger topic of Eastern Europe, correctly paying significant attention to economic issues." -Peter Kenez, UC Santa Cruz "A tour de force of research and analysis, Laszlo Borhi's Dealing With Dictators has revived and reoriented our understanding of the import of United States foreign policies toward Hungary and East Central Europe during the Cold War." -Martin J. Sherwin,Professor of History at George Mason University, author (with Kai Bird) of the Pulitzer Prize biography, American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer "There are rare books that define an era. Borhi's Dealing with Dictators is second to none in helping us comprehend the difficult ups and downs of the U.S. - Hungarian bilateral relationship within the larger context of Cold War Central Europe. When it comes to the origins of the Cold War, Borhi is relentlessly anti-revisionist - it was the Soviets who built an empire in Eastern Europe to ruthlessly exploit the satellite economies. Dealing with Dictators concludes with an exhaustive chapter on Hungary's crucial role in ending the Cold War. This is international history writing at its best" -Gunter Bischof, Marshall Plan Professor of History, University of New Orleans "Laszlo Borhi's Dealing with Dictators makes a valuable contribution from both a theoretical and empirical point of view to the history of communist regimes leading up to the end of the Cold War... It is meticulously documented, drawing from Hungarian archives, US State Department archives, and US presidential libraries." -H-Diploshow more

About Laszlo Borhi

Laszlo Borhi is Peter A. Kadas Associate Chair and Professor of Central European History at Indiana University and Scientific Counsellor of the Institute of History Center for Humanities of the Hungarian Academy. He is the author of Hungary in the Cold War, 1945-1956: Between the United States and the Soviet Union (2004) and theco-author and co-editor of Soviet Occupation of Romania, Hungary and Austria, 1944-1948 (forthcoming). He is the recipient of the Gold Cross of Merit of the Hungarian Republic (2006), the Zoltan Bezeredj Prize of the Ministry of National Cultural Heritage of Hungary (2006), and the Gyorgy Ranki Prize of the Hungarian Historical Association (1995).Translator Jason Vincz, a specialist in Anglo-American and Eastern European literature, holds degrees from Harvard College, the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the Russian and East European Institute at Indiana University.show more

Table of contents

Introduction1. Peace Overtures, the Allies, and the Holocaust, 1942-19452. Cuius Regio, Eius Religio: The United States and the Soviet Seizure of Power3. Rollback4. 1956: Self-Liberation5. Reprisals and Bridge-Building6. The Dilemmas of External Transformation7. "The Status Quo is Not So Bad": Detente8. Nixon, Carter, and the Kadar Regime9. "Love Towards Kadar": Reagan and the Myth of Liberation10. 1989: "Together We Liberated Eastern Europe"ConclusionBibliographyIndexshow more