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p. 1176. West and Eastlocked

  • Stephen Lovell


‘West and East’ reviews the ambivalent Soviet relationship with the wider world. In 1918, Bolshevik revolutionaries hoped for a pan-European revolution and the collapse of capitalism. They set up the Comintern to facilitate this. At the same time, they pragmatically borrowed from and cooperated with the West, in order to catch up with it. ‘Socialism in one country’ marked a more isolationist path, but anti-fascism and later Nazi aggression led to an uneasy wartime alliance. Post-war, the Soviet Union lurched between repulsion from and fascination with Western culture. It was unable to stop measuring itself by American standards. Eventually Gorbachev adopted many Western ideas, but the East/West fault line remains.

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