By Jussi M. Hanhimaki
Containing Coexistence: the United States, Russia, and the “Finnish Solution,” 1945–1956, is the 1st full-scale research of Finland’s function in Soviet-American kinfolk in the course of the onset of the chilly battle. chilly battle Finland was once an enigma. Defeated by way of the Soviet Union in global conflict II, the rustic seemed ripe for becoming a member of the “people’s democracies” in 1945, while the Finnish communists made big earnings in elections. however it quickly grew to become transparent that Finland’s destiny used to be to be diverse; via the early Fifties, the Finn claimed to be impartial, and by means of 1956 the Soviets recommended this declare. Finland’s skill to maintain its democratic associations and Western-oriented exchange styles principally intact used to be first and foremost accredited in Washington. whilst the Soviets begun propagandizing Finland as an instance of “peaceful coexistence” within the aftermath of Stalin’s dying, although, Finland’s symbolic importance as a Western outpost progressively gave solution to the belief of Finland as a keen associate in a Soviet attempt to unfold neutralism to western Europe; later such issues will be captured less than the rubric of Finlandization. regardless of such becoming matters, the U. S. normally practiced a wary coverage that allowed the Fins to coexist with the Soviets, so long as such coexistence may be “contained” inside strict limits. by means of evaluating the “Finnish resolution” with the overall function and improvement of neutrality, Jussi Hanhimaki provides an immense size to overseas reports. Containing Coexistence is a vital contribution of political technological know-how scholarship to chilly conflict reviews interpreting lists.—Midwest booklet assessment
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Additional resources for Containing coexistence: America, Russia, and the ''Finnish Solution''
First, although it was clear in 1944 and 1945 that Finland was to a large degree at the mercy of the victors, in general, and the Soviet Union, in particular, the country had fought at the end of the war on the "right side," against the Germans. Second, Finland remained the only European country, aside from Great Britain and the Soviet Union, that participated in the war but did not suffer from foreign occupation. In addition, the major Western power, the United States, had never declared war on Finland.
As a result, it is clear that the Helsinki government was in a very different situation at the end of the war than, say, such countries as Hungary, Rumania, or Czechoslovakia. 17 Nevertheless, there is little doubt that any attempt to create a working relationship, much less a friendly one, between Finland and its perivihollinen (hereditary enemy), the Soviet Union, ran against great odds. Or, if such a relationship was to succeed, it seemed likely that it could not coincide with the continuation of the type of democratic, multiparty system that had developed in Finland during the prewar period.
The real problem was the apparent change in Soviet attitude: Moscow began to view Finland's efforts to remain neutral in a much more positive light during the 1950s. In fact, after Stalin's death, Moscow used the Finno-Soviet relationship as an example of the fruits of peaceful coexistence between socialist and capitalist countries. From the American point of view Finland was no longer the same country that had resisted Soviet domination in 1948. By 1956 Finland was seen as a vehicle of a new Soviet strategy that was meant to erode the unity of the free world by slowly popularizing the notion that coexistence and neutrality could be fruitful policy alternatives for other small countries as well.