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The tragedy of American diplomacy? Rethinking the Marshall Plan

Cox, Michael and Kennedy-Pipe, Caroline (2005) The tragedy of American diplomacy? Rethinking the Marshall Plan. Journal of Cold War Studies, 7 (1). pp. 97-134. ISSN 1520-3972

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Identification Number: 10.1162/1520397053326202


Two British scholars reassess what they view as the decisive episode in the early Cold War, the Marshall Plan. Far from seeing the Plan as a mere act of generosity by the United States, they argue that it was an integral part of an increasingly aggressive U.S. posture toward the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union was still seeking a cooperative relationship with the United States, but the U.S. decision to establish a European Recovery Program (ERP) without a sincere intention of including the Soviet Union posed a threat to Soviet security interests. Josif Stalin wanted to prevent the United States from luring the East European countries away from the Soviet Union's sphere of influence and into the Western sphere. Although Stalin was reluctant to abandon his bid for close cooperation with the West, the Marshall Plan left him with little choice. As the ERP progressed, Stalin drastically tightened his hold over Eastern Europe and imposed Soviet-style systems on the countries in the region. The Marshall Plan thus had the "tragic" effect of creating a long-term divide in Europe that consigned tens of millions of people to life under tyranny.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: Published 2005 © MIT Press. LSE has developed LSE Research Online so that users may access research output of the School. Copyright and Moral Rights for the papers on this site are retained by the individual authors and/or other copyright owners. Users may download and/or print one copy of any article(s) in LSE Research Online to facilitate their private study or for non-commercial research. You may not engage in further distribution of the material or use it for any profit-making activities or any commercial gain. You may freely distribute the URL (<>) of the LSE Research Online website.
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
J Political Science > JZ International relations
E History America > E11 America (General)
Date Deposited: 11 May 2006
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2021 23:07

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