Containing coexistence: America, Russia, and the ''Finnish by Jussi M. Hanhimaki

By Jussi M. Hanhimaki

Containing Coexistence: the USA, Russia, and the “Finnish Solution,” 1945–1956, is the 1st full-scale learn of Finland’s position in Soviet-American family throughout the onset of the chilly struggle. chilly conflict Finland used to be an enigma. Defeated through the Soviet Union in international warfare II, the rustic seemed ripe for becoming a member of the “people’s democracies” in 1945, whilst the Finnish communists made huge profits in elections. however it quickly turned transparent that Finland’s destiny was once to be varied; via the early Nineteen Fifties, the Finn claimed to be impartial, and by means of 1956 the Soviets recommended this declare. Finland’s skill to maintain its democratic associations and Western-oriented exchange styles mostly intact was once at the beginning approved in Washington. while the Soviets begun propagandizing Finland to illustrate of “peaceful coexistence” within the aftermath of Stalin’s dying, besides the fact that, Finland’s symbolic value as a Western outpost progressively gave technique to the belief of Finland as a prepared companion in a Soviet attempt to unfold neutralism to western Europe; later such issues will be captured less than the rubric of Finlandization. regardless of such growing to be matters, the U. S. often practiced a wary coverage that allowed the Fins to coexist with the Soviets, so long as such coexistence might be “contained” inside of strict limits. via evaluating the “Finnish resolution” with the overall position and improvement of neutrality, Jussi Hanhimaki provides an immense measurement to overseas experiences. Containing Coexistence is a vital contribution of political technological know-how scholarship to chilly battle reports studying lists.—Midwest publication assessment

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Additional resources for Containing coexistence: America, Russia, and the ''Finnish Solution''

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The worst sin, Paasikivi would argue repeatedly in private conversations and public speeches until his retirement from Finnish political life in early 1956, had been to ignore the geopolitical realities of Finland's position, that is, the country's proximity to the Soviet Union. Such neglect had, according to Paasikivi, led to such recent disasters as the 193940 Winter War and Finland's cobelligerency with Nazi Germany in 194144. This, he added, had led Finland to the brink of collapse by the fall of 1944 when Soviet occupation appeared imminent.

This work would never have materialized. I also thank the following scholars and friends in Finland, Great Britain, and the United States who have helped me in more ways than they probably realize: Mike Berry, Frank Cogliano, Seikko Eskola, Wendy Hazard, William R. Keylor, Ernest R. May, David A. Mayers, Maria Mitchell, Michael T. Ruddy, Guillaume de Syon, James C. Thomson, and Olli Vehviläinen. I owe a special thanks to John L. Gaddis and the Contemporary History Institute at Ohio University for a year well spent as a visiting fellow and to Akira Iriye and the participants in his seminar on international history at Harvard University for their helpful criticism, while my colleagues at the International History Department of the London School of Economics offered encouragement during the last hurdles prior to the actual publication of this book.

If Washington did not try to reverse the eastward trend of Finland's postwar foreign trade, the country would soon be in the lost column. Conversely, if Finland took a stand against the Soviet Union (if it accepted American aid), the country would become a symbol of free world resistance, indeed, of containment. Put another way, between 1948 and 1956 Washington began to view Finland increasingly as a testing ground of, or a symbol for, the new strategies of Soviet foreign policy. As a result, by 1956 Finland had very little positive symbolic value for the United States and much more for the Soviet Union.

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