In This Review

The United States and the Berlin Blockade, 1948-1949
The United States and the Berlin Blockade, 1948-1949
By Avi Shlaim
University of California Press, 1983, 440 pp.

Inspired by the theories of Michael Brecher on decision-making in times of crisis, Shlaim concludes in this very detailed study that operating under stress did not adversely affect the capacity of American leaders during the first Berlin crisis. Even those who are skeptical of the utility of psychological models in the study of past and present international relations will admire the care with which Shlaim defines his terms and organizes the data. Whether decisions will be made as effectively in crises where the pressure to act is measured in hours rather than weeks is another matter.