Peaceful Coexistence Cold War Essay

Peaceful Coexistence Cold War Essay-19
Kennan’s life was just how much the architect of America’s Cold War “containment” strategy—aimed at stopping Soviet expansionism—loved Russia.

Kennan’s life was just how much the architect of America’s Cold War “containment” strategy—aimed at stopping Soviet expansionism—loved Russia.

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This anniversary of Andrei Sakharov’s heroic essay comes during similarly dark days for the United States.

Despite the dramatic discontinuities between Donald Trump and Barack Obama, in divorcing human rights from foreign policy President Trump is following President Obama’s lead. Obama repeatedly prioritized engaging dictatorial regimes rather than challenging their human rights records.

For this work and other “thought crimes” the Soviet authorities stripped Sakharov of his honors, imprisoned many of his associates and, eventually, exiled him to Gorky. Although we dared not discuss it, my peers and I lived a life of double-think: toeing the Communist Party line in public, thinking independently in private.

In 1968, when this work was published, I was a 20-year-old mathematician studying at the Moscow equivalent of M. Like so many others, I read Sakharov’s essay in samizdat — a typewritten copy duplicated secretly, spread informally and read hungrily.

But whether or not there’s hope for change is not the question.

Ford Foundation Dissertation 2012 - Peaceful Coexistence Cold War Essay

If you want to be a free person, you don’t stand up for human rights because it will work, but because it is right.

This radical argument changed the course of history.

Sakharov’s essay carried a mild title — “Thoughts on Progress, Peaceful Coexistence and Intellectual Freedom” — but it was explosive.

Some Russian dissidents mistrusted the Zionist movement as particularistic and unpatriotic, fearing it would distract from their broader human rights agenda. He supported the refuseniks because he recognized the right to emigrate as a gateway to democratic entitlement that opens everyone to embracing freedom in a closed society.

By the mid-1970s I was serving as Sakharov’s spokesman, and I remember after yet another friend of ours had been sentenced to prison, he told me: “They want us to believe there’s no chance of success.

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