The First Domino

The First Domino : International Decision Making during the Hungarian Crisis of 1956

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In the spring and summer of 1956 the Soviet Union invaded Hungary to reassert control of the country. This text is a full analysis, drawing on archival collections from the Eastern bloc countries to reinterpret decision making during this Cold War crisis. Johanna Granville selects four key patterns of misperception as laid out by political scientist Robert Jervis and shows how these patterns prevailed in the military crackdown and in other countries' reactions to it. Granville examines the statements and actions of Soviet Presidium members, the Hungarian leadership, US policy makers and Yugoslav and Polish leaders. She concludes that the United States bears some responsiblity for the events of 1956, as ill-advised US covert actions may have convinced Soviet leaders that America was attempting to weaken Soviet hegemony over Eastern Europe. Granville's multi-archival research tends to confirm the post-revisionists' theory about the old war: it was everyone's fault and no one's fault. It resulted from the emerging bipolar structure of the international system, the power vacuum in Europe's centre, and spiralling misconceptions.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 166.9 x 231.9 x 28.2mm | 716.68g
  • College Station, United States
  • English
  • New
  • index, bibliography
  • 1585442984
  • 9781585442980

Review quote

" . . . This is a book that fills an obvious gap. The extensive literature on the 1956 Hungarian revolution has, for understandable reasons, mostly focused on the internal rather than the external side of those tumultuous events. [ . . . ] The publication of Granville's work, which facilitates a greater understanding of the 1956 Hungarian revolution through an excellent analysis of its external sources, is a timely contribution to the commemoration of 1956's fiftieth anniversary this year."--L�szl� P�ter, emeritus professor of Hungarian history, University of London--L�szl� P�ter " . . . This is the best available analysis of the international history of the 1956 Hungarian rebellion against communism. Johanna Granville has written a book that through first-rate research brings together the key sources on that crisis and thereby helps explain the decisions reached not only in Budapest and Moscow, but also in Washington and Belgrade."--Odd Arne Westad, professor of history, Harvard University, and author of The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times, winner of the Bancroft Prize " . . . With her extensive scholarly examination of the Soviet intervention in Hungary, Johanna Granville makes a wonderful contribution to the new field of international Cold War history. With a wealth of new sources from the former East Bloc, Granville recreates the true atmosphere of the biggest crisis in the communist world after Stalin's death, a bizarre mixture of ideological rigidity, fears, hopes, and disastrous misperceptions. I hope that not only Westerners, but also Russians, will be able to read this book."--Vladislav Zubok, professor of international history, London School of Economics, and award-winning author of A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev and Inside the Kremlin's Cold War: From Stalin to Khrushchev. ." . . Granville has combined new information with thoughtful analysis to enrich our understanding of one important event in Cold War history, and thus contributes to a better understanding of the broader canvas of that history as well."--Raymond L. Garthoff, former CIA Analyst; Ambassador to Bulgaria; Senior Analyst, Brookings Institution; and author of several bestselling books, including A Journey through the Cold War ." . . a fascinating study, meticulously documented, that not only sheds new light on an agonizing incident in the Cold War, but shows how it fits with theories of decision-making. Using archives from several countries, Granville demonstrates that leaders woefully misunderstood each other, had very different perspectives, and failed to realize that their views were not shared."----Robert Jervis, Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Politics, Columbia University; President, American Political Science Association; and author, Perception and Misperception in International Politics--Robert Jervis
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About California Stanford University Hoover Institution Johanna Granville (Campbell National Fellow USA)

JOHANNA GRANVILLE was recently the Panitza Visiting Professor of communist studies at the American University of Bulgaria and formerly a Campbell Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. A visiting scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in 2000, she has also taught on Fulbright grants at the University of Debrecen in Hungary, and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, as well as at the U.S. Air War College, Harvard, Georgetown, Tufts, Carnegie Mellon, Clemson, and the University of Massachusetts at Boston. A recipient of Fulbright, IREX, Kennan Institute, and ACTR grants, she has spent many years conducting archival research in Russian and Ukrainian cities, Budapest, Warsaw, Bucharest, Vienna, and Berlin. She is the author of The First Domino: International Decision Making during the Hungarian Crisis of 1956 (Texas A & M University Press, 2004) and over forty refereed articles and working papers. She earned her MALD and Ph.D. in International Relations from Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and her BA in Russian Language and Literature from Amherst College. Her dissertation compared the Soviet military interventions in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Afghanistan.
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