Heritage of Fear: Illusion and Reality in the Cold War : A Review

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9780802710215: Heritage of Fear: Illusion and Reality in the Cold War : A Review

Book by Miller, Richard Lawrence

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From Publishers Weekly:

Focussing on the theme of military aggression, Miller surveys the Communist movement from its origins to the present, arguing that American fear of an onrushing Red juggernaut bent on destroying Western democracy is not and never has been based on reality. In a chronological explication from the historical record, he reviews the story of Communist failures from 1918 to 1987 and brings to our attention one startling fact: not a single democracy has fallen to Communist military aggression. Further, those countries that have turned Communist through violence were already dictatorships"History reveals that dictatorships are weak and true democracies are strong." Citing the Korean War as a crucial turning-point in American perceptions of the Soviet Union, Miller ( Truman ) argues that the 1950-1953 conflict provoked the establishment of a "permanent war economy" based on groundless fear of Soviet intentions. He is convinced that the post-World War II generation has been grievously misled by Washington's frenzied anticipation of trouble that was never brewing in the first place. "What we see when we look at the Soviets is but a mirror reflecting our own needless anxieties."
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Miller attempts to repudiate popular American claims that Communism represents a concerted Moscow-directed plan for world domination. He notes the poor track record of Communists in overthrowing healthy democratic governments and claims that each U.S. administration since Truman has used the rhetoric of an impending Soviet (Communist) attack for political and economic advantage, resulting in misdirection of U.S. policy and wasted resources. The work is well written and carefully argued, even if the themes are occasionally overstated. More attention could have been paid to the tenacity with which many U.S. citizens cling to these beliefs. For academic and larger public libraries. Steven D. Zink, Univ. of Nevada Libs., Reno
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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