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An Excerpt from The Politics of War, a Book by Gabriel Kolko

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This excerpt is from Gabriel Kolko's monumental study of American foreign policy -- The Politics of War: The World and United States Foreign Policy, 1943-1945.   The excerpt is taken from the beginning of Chapter 14 of the book, and it sketches the weightiest issues involved in the Yalta Conference of February 1945.  


As a preface, there follows a comment on The Politics of War from the back cover of the Vintage Books paperback edition of 1968, from which the excerpt is taken:


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a book of major importance, the first revisionist book concerned with the origins of the Cold War which is also a work of first-rate scholarship.  As such, it marks a turning point in the historiography of the war and postwar period.  It is also an unsettling book. The truth that emerges from it is radically different from what we have taken for granted to be the truth.   What we had been but dimly aware of now occupies the center of the stage, and what we had been accustomed to think of as the decisive determinants fades into insignificance altogether. - Hans J. Morgenthau, in The New York Review of Books.


Gabriel Kolko,
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See Kolko's entry at Wikipedia by clicking here.  


The Politics of War is not a fast read; and Kolko's style is occasionally turgid, his grammar sometimes difficult.   But the insights are more than worth the trouble it takes to re-read occasional sentences.   Also, the material in the excerpt presupposes an interest in, if not a familiarity with the history of the Second World War in Europe.  


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Kolko writes without parentheses, so the ones in the excerpt are mine:    



Chapter 14: The Yalta Conference - The Effort to Forge a Political Alliance.

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I have a law degree (Stanford, 66') but have never practiced. Instead, from 1967 through 1977, I tried to contribute to the revolution in America. As unsuccessful as everyone else over that decade, in 1978 I went to work for the U.S. Forest (more...)

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