Macmillan, Khrushchev and the Berlin crisis 1958-1960


    • Newman, Kitty


Macmillan, Khrushchev and the Berlin crisis 1958-1960

Kitty Newman

(Cass series : Cold War history / series editor, Odd Arne Westad, 14)

Routledge, 2007

  • : hbk

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Bibliography: p. 211-219

Includes index



This new study casts fresh light on the roles of Harold Macmillan and Nikita Khrushchev and their efforts to achieve a compromise settlement on the pivotal Berlin Crisis. Drawing on previously unseen documents and secret archive material, Kitty Newman demonstrates how the British Prime Minister acted to prevent the crisis sliding into a disastrous nuclear conflict. She shows how his visit to Moscow in 1959 was a success, which convinced Khrushchev of a sincere effort to achieve a lasting settlement. Despite the initial reluctance of the French and the Americans, and the consistent opposition of the Germans, Macmillan's subsequent efforts led to a softening of the Western line on Berlin and to the formulation of a set of proposals that might have achieved a peaceful resolution to the crisis if the Paris Conference of 1960 had not collapsed in acrimony. This volume also assesses Khrushchev's role, which despite his sometimes intemperate language, was to secure a peaceful settlement which would stabilize the East German regime, maintain the status quo in Europe and prevent the reunification of a resurgent, nuclearized Germany, thereby paving the way for disarmament. This book will be of great interest to all students of post-war diplomacy, Soviet foreign policy, the Cold War and of international relations and strategic studies in general.


Introduction 1. Background to the Berlin Crisis, 1958-1960 A. Nikita Khrushchev's Personality and Foreign Policy Objectives B. Harold Macmillan's Personality and Foreign Policy Objectives C. Background to East-West Relations and the Berlin Problem 2. Soviet Policy on the Berlin Question, November 1958-February 1959 3. British Reaction to the Soviet Initiative on Berlin November 1958-February 1959 4. The Prime Minister's Visit to the Soviet Union 21 February-3 March 1959 5. Britain Seeks to Convert her Allies to the Macmillan Initiative 6. The Geneva Foreign Ministers Conference 11 May-5 August 1959 7. East-West Negotiations on an Interim Agreement for West Berlin September 1959 until the Paris Summit Conference, May 1960 8. The U-2 Crisis May 1960 A. The Story Unfolds 1-16 May 1960 B. An Analysis of Soviet Reaction C. A Lost Opportunity. Conclusion

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