In This Review

Stalin's American Policy: From Entente to Detente to Cold War
Stalin's American Policy: From Entente to Detente to Cold War
By William Taubman
Norton, 1982, 291 pp.

Enough has been written about the origins of the cold war to make one hesitant to pick up a new book on Stalin's diplomacy from 1939 to 1949, but this author, having read all the revisionists, traditionalists and post-revisionists, gives an appraisal which falls into none of these categories and is the better for it. He has no hitherto secret sources, but his knowledge of Stalin and of Soviet political culture and his powers of analysis (necessarily including some speculation since none of us can read Stalin's mind) make this a book to be read by those who think they have had their fill of the subject and by those looking for a place to start. It also has useful lessons for today.