The Soviet Union and the Struggle For Collective Security in Europe, 1933-1939; The Soviet Union and the Failure of Collective Security, 1934-1938

In This Review

The Soviet Union and the Struggle For Collective Security in Europe, 1933-1939

By Jonathan Haslam
St. Martin's, 1984
310 pp. $29.95
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The Soviet Union and the Failure of Collective Security, 1934-1938

By Jiri Hochman
Cornell University Press, 1984
253 pp. $29.95
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Two talented historians, using much of the same source material, reach rather different conclusions on the policy of collective security and alliance with Paris and Prague, of which Maxim Litvinov was the protagonist and symbol. Haslam, whose narrative is generally more detailed, sees it as a serious commitment undercut by Anglo-French appeasement and by domestic opponents. Hochman, who focuses on the position of Czechoslovakia and the road to Munich, finds it more of a charade and always second best to the desired deal with Germany. Both document the continuing Soviet-German contacts after Hitler took power. Avid students of the period will have to read both books.