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Men of Influence

Stalin's Diplomats in Europe, 1930-1939

Sabine Dullin
Translated by Richard Veasey

Hardback (Printed to Order)

Making a notable addition to the new historiography of mid-twentieth-century Soviet history, Sabine Dullin has researched the history of Soviet diplomacy from 1930 to 1939 through a variety of now-accessible diplomatic, political, administrative and social archives. This book adds into the mix the memories and testimonies of diplomatic personnel.

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CHAPTER ONE. Stalin’s actions and the part played by Litvinov.
Litvinov and Stalin: a marriage of convenience
The expert on the West
Litvinov and the right-wing opposition
A servant of the state with no political influence
The working relationship between Stalin and Litvinov
Stalin’s obsessions
The West, adversary and model
“We must push grain exports furiously”
Between reality and propaganda: the anti-Soviet war scare.
Litvinov’s own sphere of action
The intervention of diplomats on the economic front
Fashionable diplomacy
CHAPTER TWO. Diplomats who were not quite like the rest
Portrait of a crocodile
The radical and daring militant
The years in England
An old Bolshevik serving the new Russia
An elitist profile
Cultured and cosmopolitan diplomats
The rejection of plebeians
The circle of the faithful
Litvinov, chief administrator
The conflict between Chicherin and Litvinov
Towards a single command structure
The pre-eminence of ambassadors
The specific characteristics of state service in the USSR
A restricted way of life
Under the eye of the militant
Diplomats confronted by professional communists
CHAPTER THREE. Tactical oscillations
Away from Germany and towards France
The German threat
The potential of the French
The categorical imperative of security and compromises with the real
The three sides of the geopolitical triangle
Several readings
Germanophiles versus the anti-fascists
The quest for a policy of equidistance
The impossible Franco-Soviet military agreement
One policy against another
“Competent comrades” carry the day
CHAPTER FOUR. Gathering information, exerting influence
Pro-Soviet milieux
Paris-London: different degrees of intimacy
Geneva - the new focus of attention
Soviet diplomats and the press
The means of action
Tremendous possibilities for France
Spreading positive information about the USSR t

About the Author

Sabine Dullin is Associate Professor of History at the University of Paris 1 and Junior Member of the Institut Universaire de France. She is a specialist in Soviet history and international relations and author of Histoire de l'URSS, 1917-1991 (2005).