The Cold War after Stalin's Death: A Missed Opportunity for Peace?

The eighth book, The Cold War after Stalin’s Death: A Missed Opportunity for Peace? edited by Kenneth A. Osgood and Klaus Larres, was inspired in part by a series of three articles published by Mark Kramer in the Journal of Cold War Studies in 1999, which underscored how quickly and dramatically Soviet foreign policy changed after Stalin’s death in March 1953.  In retrospect, the boldness and scale of the changes in Moscow in the spring of 1953 raise an intriguing question: Was there a chance in 1953 to have arranged an East-West settlement that would have greatly diminished the intensity of the Cold War?  The essays collected in the book explore this crucial period of the Cold War, assessing both the possibilities for change and the obstacles to détente. The book draws on the collective talents of an international group of scholars with a wide range of historical, geographical, and linguistic expertise.  All of the essays are based on original research, many of them drawing from previously inaccessible archival documents from both East and West. Reviewers praised the book as “a richly varied collection of original essays [by] a stellar group of contributors,” “a superb anthology with an excellent introduction by Mark Kramer,” and an “exemplary collection of original essays [that] sheds much new light on the evolution of the Cold War during one of its most dangerous and fluid phases.”