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Brand: Geraint Hughes

Harold Wilson's Cold War

by Geraint Hughes

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Harold Wilson's Cold War : The Labour Government and East-West politics, 1964 - 1970

The then Labour government's efforts to promote East-West detente and to improve Anglo-Soviet relations from 1964 to 1970 have been largely overlooked; yet they were of huge significance. This book offers a major reappraisal. It challenges the caricature of Harold Wilson's rigid subservience to America, demonstrating that as a Prime Minister he intended to develop closer contacts with the Soviet leadership, and to foster co-operation on arms control, conflict resolution in Vietnam and East-West trade.

It illustrates how the Labour government reconciled its policy towards the USSR and Warsaw Pact states with its alignment with the USA and NATO membership. And it concludes that Wilson's failure to improve relations between the UK and USSR was due to both the impact of crises in Vietnam, the Middle East and Czechoslovakia, and to the unwillingness of the Soviet government to alter its fundamentally adversarial attitude to the West. Geraint Hughes teaches at the Joint Services Command and Staff College at Shrivenham.

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