AMERICAN HISTORIOGRAPHY OF THE COLD WAR (1945–1991): ORTHODOX AND REVISIONIST SCHOOLS

Vadim Bespeka

Abstract


The Actualization of the studying the historiography problem of the Cold War, caused by the emergence of new approaches, attitudes, opened access to new archival data and digital materials of the opposing sides special services. It is appropriate to pay attention to the wide and diverse range of scientific achievements of American researchers due to the fact that the US-Soviet confrontation was not largely covered by Soviet and post-Soviet scholars during confrontation. Unlike the Soviet studies of that time, there are several areas of scientific research devoted to the problems of the origin and deployment of the Cold War in the USA. The main American scientific schools for the first of these periods of historiography are orthodox, revisionist, neo-orthodox and post-revisionist.

Our goal is to analyze and compare the historiographical works of the representatives of the orthodox and revisionist trends. They represent the difference in the search for American scholars on the events of the Cold War of the twentieth century most clearly.

Using of the historical-genetic method allowed us to analyze the development of these scientific schools and causal movement of events and their relationship with the researcher’s works. Using the historical – comparative method, we have highlighted the general and distinctive thoughts of orthodox and revisionist scientific trends.

It has been found that despite the use of a significant number of archival sources, government documents, memoirs and letters from top leaders of the state by orthodox scholars, there is a clear one-sidedness in views. In turn, unlike the participants of the traditional school, revisionist researchers are professional historians. This suggests that their theories are more objective, and politically unbiased. Secondly, there is a time gap, which undoubtedly also affects the transparency of the theories. Again, the ability to conduct a retrospective analysis of events is an extremely important tool of interpretation. Revisionist historians have used a very wide range of sources to substantiate their theories, including Soviet archives, in their scientific research.

The research originality is based on using only the original of the American publications of these researchers and representatives of scientific schools on the study of the phenomenon of the Cold War.

Prospects for further research we see in the consideration of the neo-orthodox and post-revisionist schools, which in our opinion, combined with this study, will create an overall picture of the understanding of the events of the Cold War. It will help uncover trends in the modern world.


Keywords


historiography; Cold War; orthodox school; revisionist school; American historiography; US; USSR

References


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Arthur, Schlesinger. (1967). «Origins of the Cold War». Foreign Affairs. 46 no. 1, (In Eng.)

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