From Igor Lukes’s essay, “The End of the Cold War: The Night the Masks Fell” (NER 30.4):
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In November 1947 Secretary of State George Marshall sent a memorandum to President Harry Truman entitled “Resume of World Situation.” Its premise was that Moscow was likely to consolidate its control over Eastern Europe, and though it would rule the area by naked force, its domination would not be permanent: “One of the most dangerous moments to world stability will come when some day Russian rule begins to crumble in the eastern European area.” That moment arrived in 1989, some forty-two years after Secretary Marshall’s memorandum had reached the Oval Office. What caused the implosion of Communism in Eastern Europe in 1989? And how did the West react to it?