Harold Wilson's Cold War

The Labour Government and East-West Politics, 1964-1970

Geraint Hughes

A reassessment of the relationship between the UK and the USSR at a troubled time.
Date Published :
June 2015
Publisher :
Boydell and Brewer
Series :
Royal Historical Society Studies in History New Series
Illustration :
1 black and white
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Paperback
ISBN : 9780861933327
Pages : 220
Dimensions : 9.25 X 6.25 inches
Stock Status : Available


The then Labour government's efforts to promote East-West détente 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.

About The Author

Lecturer Defence Studies Department, King's College, London

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