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Decision to Intervene

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542 pages12 hours

Summary

In 1918 the United States Government decided to involve itself in the Russian Revolution by sending troops to Siberia. This book recreates that unhappily memorable story—the arrival of British marines at Murmansk, the diplomatic maneuvering, the growing Russian hostility, the uprising of the Czechoslovak troops in central Siberia which threatened to overturn the Bolsheviks, the acquisitive ambitions of the Japanese in Manchuria, and finally the decision by President Wilson to intervene with American troops. The Decision to Intervene is the second of three volumes in Mr. Kennan's distinguished chronicle of Soviet-American relations. Mr. Kennan’s method is to view a small but crucial segment of history in all its developing intricacy and detail. With rare literary skill he shows distinct individuals acting in an unfolding drama which they understand only partially and on which their influence is limited. Only by such a method can one learn how events seemed to those who took part in them, and how such momentous decisions (as Wilson’s decision to intervene in Russia surely was), are actually made.

Originally published in 1958.

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