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_____________________________________________________________ H-DIPLO ROUNDTABLE Arnold Offner, _Another Such Victory: President Truman and the Cold War, 1945-1953_ (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002). Roundtable Editor: Thomas Maddux <Thomas.Maddux@csun.edu> Reviewers: Mark Byrnes, Carolyn Eisenberg, Eduard Mark, Andrew Rotter, William Stueck, Vladislav Zubok ________________________________________________________________ Introduction: The H-Diplo roundtable on Professor Arnold Offner's recent study returns to the old battleground of the Cold War more than ten years after its conclusion. In the commentary on Professor Offner's reassessment of President Truman and the Cold War, a number of the issues that divided specialists on the Cold War are revisited, re-evaluated, and placed into a new perspective under the impact of the end of the conflict and the emergence of primary sources from the Soviet Union and its Cold War allies. Since the present intrudes into discussions of the past by historians, there are also some comparisons of President Truman and President George W. Bush. Professor Offner's book and the commentary explore many issues including 1.) Offner's central thesis on the nature and impact of Truman's perspective, values and decisions on the emergence, nature and extent of the Cold War. The commentators explore all areas of this issue, raising questions about how much Truman shaped U.S. policy, about the relationship of style and policy, and about the psychological dimensions of decision-making. 2.) Discussion on the degree of Truman's responsibility for the Cold War inevitably leads to evaluation of the nature of the conflict and the role of Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union and Mao Zedong and China. The availability of new documents and assessments on the communist side has shifted the debate somewhat in this roundtable but major disagreements, reflecting the revisionist-post-revisionist debate of the 1970s persist on somewhat different grounds with respect to the nature of Stalin's objectives, tactics, and relationship with Mao. 3.) Some Cold War issues receive less attention in this roundtable, such as the role of atomic diplomacy in Truman's policies, or the influence of open door economic considerations, and other issues receive continuing or expanded coverage such as Truman's policies in Asia and the question of whether or not Truman had viable alternatives to the policies pursued with respect to China before and after Mao's victory and the Korean War. 4.) The cultural turn hasn't made much of a dent in this roundtable either in Offner's study or the commentary despite some suggestions that categories of race and gender should be included, particularly in an evaluation of Truman's use of words. Thomas Maddux CSU Northridge Thomas.Maddux@csun.edu Roundtable Participants: Professor Arnold Offner is the Cornelia F. Hugel Professor of History and head of the Department of History at Lafayette College. His major field of teaching has been U.S. foreign policy and political history and in 1999 he received the Marquis Distinguished Teaching Award from Lafayette College. He is past president of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. His major publications have focused on U.S. foreign policy from the 1930s through the Korean War starting with _American Appeasement: United States Foreign Policy and Germany, 1933-1938_ (1969), and _The Origins of the Second World War: American Foreign Policy and World Politics, 1917-1941_ (1975). Professor Offner has edited _American and the Origins of World War II, 1933-1941_ (1971), and is co-editor of _Victory in Europe, 1945: From World War to Cold War_ (2000). Professor Offner's SHAFR presidential address, "'Another Such Victory': President Truman, American Foreign Policy, and the Cold War," published in _Diplomatic History_, 23, No. 2(Spring 1999), offers an early statement of his conclusion on Truman's Cold War leadership. Mark Byrnes is an Associate Professor at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Byrnes completed his Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin in 1993 with a dissertation under the direction of Robert A. Divine. He is currently revising his dissertation into a book manuscript, _Interests and Ideals: The Truman Administration, Spain and Yugoslavia, 1945-1953_ for the University of Missouri Press. Brynes has published _The Truman Years, 1945-1953_ (London: Longman Press, 2000) and several articles including "'Overruled and World Down': Truman Sends an Ambassador to Spain," _Presidential Studies Quarterly_, Vol. XXIX, No. 2 (June 1999), 263-279. Carolyn Eisenberg is Professor of History at Hofstra University. Eisenberg received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1971. Eisenberg's _Drawing the Line: The American Decision to Divide Germany, 1944-1949_ (Cambridge University Press, 1996) received The Stuart L. Bernath Prize of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and the 1996 Herbert Hoover Book Award of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Association. Eisenberg's teaching specializations include U.S. history, 20th Century Policy and Nixon. Dr. Eduard Mark has written extensively on the origins of the Cold War. He works for the historical program of the Department of the Air Force, where he is currently writing two histories about national security policy in the early Cold War. One deals with the defense of Western Europe, the other with plans and preparations for the strategic air offensive against the Soviet Union. Mark is the author of _Aerial Interdiction: Air Power and the Land Battle in Three American Wars_ (Washington, D.C.: Center for Air Force History, 1994) and _Defending the West: The United States Air Force and European Security, 1946-1988_ (Washington, D.C.: Air Force History and Museum Program, 1999) as well as a number of articles on the origins of the Cold War such as "American Policy toward Eastern Europe and the Origins of the Cold War, 1941-1946: An Alternative Interpretation," The Journal of American History, Vol. 68 (Sept. 1981), 313-336, and "October or Thermidor: Interpretations of Stalinism and the Perception of Soviet Foreign Policy in the United States, 1927-1947," The American Historical Review, Vol. 94 (Oct. 1989), 937-962. His most recent essays include "The War Scare of 1946 and Its Consequences," Diplomatic History, Vol. 21 (Summer 1997), 383-415, and "Revolution By Degrees: Stalin's National Front Strategy for Europe, 1941-1947," _Working Paper_, Cold War International History Project Andrew Rotter is Professor of History at Colgate University. Rotter obtained his Ph.D. at Stanford University in 1981 and teaches U.S. diplomatic history, recent U.S. history and the Vietnam War. Rotter has published _The Path to Vietnam_ (Cornell University Press, 1987), _Light at the End of the Tunnel: A Vietnam War Anthology_, 2nd edition (Scholarly Resources Press, 1999), and, most recently, _Comrades at Odds: Culture and Indo-U.S. Relations, 1947-1964_ (Cornell University Press, 2000). Rotter has also written several influential articles, most notably "Gender Relations, Foreign Relations: The United States and South Asia, 1947-1964," _Journal of American History_, Vol. 81 (September 1994), 518-42, and "The Gendering of Peoples and Nations" in James Merrill and Thomas G. Paterson, eds., _Major Problems in American Foreign Relations since 1914_, Vol. II (2000). William Stueck is Distinguished Research Professor of History at the University of Georgia. He received his Ph.D. from Brown University in 1977. His publications to date have focused on the period 1945 to 1953 and include, _The Road to Confrontation: American Policy toward China and Korea, 1947-1950_ (University of North Carolina, 1984), _The Wedemeyer Mission: American Politics and Foreign Policy during the Cold War_ (University of Georgia, 1984), _The Korean War: An International History_ (Princeton University Press, 1995), and most recently, _Rethinking the Korean War: A New Diplomatic and Strategic History_ (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002). He also has published articles on the Carter and Reagan administrations. His current research is for a historical survey of US-Korean relations. Vladislav Zubok received his Ph.D. from the Institute for the U.S. and Canada Studies of the Academy of Sciences, Moscow and has been a Research Fellow with the National Security Archive. He is currently an Associate Professor of History at Temple University. He was a Senior Series Consultant and on-air commentator for the CNN Cold War production in 1998-1999. Zubok is the co-author with Constantin Pleshakov of _Inside the Kremlin's Cold War. From Stalin to Khrushchev_ (1996) which won the Lionel Gelber Prize as the best English-language book on international relations in 1996. He has co-authored several other works and essays including "Why Did the Cold War End in 1989? Explanations of 'The Turn'" in Odd Arne Westad (ed.), _Reviewing the Cold War: Approaches, Interpretations, Theory_ (London, 20002), "Stalin and Nuclear Weapons" and "Khrushchev and Nuclear Weapons" (with Hope Harrison) in John Lewis Gaddis et. al., (eds.), _Cold War Statesmen Confront the Bomb_ (London, 1999).