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This view dominated public and political discourse in the immediate post-World War II decades. After the s public support for this assumption declined but remained strong. Among scholars, however, Soviet espionage and American communism were distinctly separate activities and linkage between the two was seen as weak or nonexistent.
As a consequence, there was little overlap between the historiography of the two fields of study. This paper will review these separate historiographic traditions and how in the late s the two partially merged and appear likely to remain linked for the foreseeable future.
The Historiography of Soviet Espionage in the United States Given the intense public Dissertations research era change governmental concern about Soviet espionage in the early Cold War it is not surprising that a vast literature on the subject has accumulated.
What is surprising, however, it that very little of it has been written by historians, political scientist, or others trained in professional scholarship.
Journalists, popular writers, and polemical advocates produced most of the books and essays on Soviet espionage in America, along with a considerable body of memoir and autobiographical writings by people involved in espionage or internal security.
A few example are: A Generation on Trial: Prior to the s there were, in fact, few scholarly books on the history of Soviet espionage.
Many academics no doubt shied away from the issue because of the scarcity of primary sources and sensationalistic aspects of the topic. He subjected the testimony of leading defectors from Soviet espionage and the Communist Party to a skeptical examination that assumed their testimony was suspect unless unimpeachable documentary corroboration was readily available.
The extravagance Dissertations research era change her claims about her espionage contacts, the vagueness of her testimony about the content of the secret material that she allegedly received, the absence of corroboration for most of her story, and above all, her evasiveness as a witness, all combine to raise serious doubts about her reliability.
One does not write a history of what one believes to have been largely mythical. Caute, Theoharis, and others, consequently, wrote not about Soviet espionage but about McCarthyism and what they regarded as manufactured anti-Communist panic about a non-existent link between the American Communist party and Soviet espionage, with the latter treated as insignificant in extent or importance.
Both books withstood angry assaults: Notably, however, no scholars produced a comprehensive response to either book. No historian went over the huge body of evidence that Weinstein, Radosh, and Milton reviewed and wrote a scholarly book setting out the case for the innocence of Alger Hiss or Julius Rosenberg.
Even though a logical conclusion was that Soviet espionage might have been more serious than the prevailing consensus, its full scope remained shrouded.
And, despite the lack of competing comprehensive scholarly books taking a contrary stance, a still-significant number of historians continued to insist that Julius Rosenberg and Alger Hiss were innocent.
Nor did the two books stimulate other professional historians to a greater interest in studying the history of Soviet espionage. Despite her central role in persuading the American public that Soviet spies had thoroughly penetrated the government, there was no scholarly biography of Bentley.
Nor did scholars produce an in depth study of the defector Louis Budenz, the convicted spies Jack Soble and Judith Coplon, the complex Amerasia affair, or the Gouzenko case in Canada with its American implications.
Prior to the s and the collapse of Soviet communism, writing about the history of Soviet espionage in America in the Stalin era remained largely the province of journalists, popular writers, and memoirists.
The prevailing academic consensus at the end of the s, while shaken by Perjury and The Rosenberg File, remained committed to a minimalist view of Soviet espionage and saw little involvement by the CPUSA. The entirely separate historiography of the American Communist movement sustained and supported this belief.
It was a thorough survey based on a close reading of the radical press as well as the leaflets, statements, and proclamations put out by the various groups and individuals involved. So far as we know, until the final years of the s Soviet intelligence agencies had only a transitory and limited presence in the United States.
Little was available, apart from newspaper stories and the records of congressional investigations. Formal FBI reports and statements of findings were used, but not the underlying investigatory files; those would not be made public until the s and the Freedom of Information Act.
Historians who wanted additional primary material had to obtain it themselves. Theodore Draper, in particular, was indefatigable: Draper, however, was exceptional in his success in unearthing primary material.
A number of the volumes in the series suffered from the limited availability of archival documentation and the dearth of supporting monographic studies of particular incidents and controversies. Nonetheless, many of the books uncovered fascinating material and remain useful as well as pioneering works.
Most of the authors were left-of-center and all shared an anti-Communist perspective.
Many were democratic socialist or New Deal liberal veterans of bruising battles with Communists and their allies in trade unions, intellectual organizations and political groups while some had gone through the CPUSA and learned to distrust it.
American Communism in Crisis,a thoughtful, poignant book by Joseph Starobin, former foreign editor of the Daily Worker who left the CPUSA and took up a new career as an academic historian, adopted a similar viewpoint.
A Critical History, dismissed the subject as unworthy of serious attention by devoting all of two sentences to it, writing: Very probably the extent of that infiltration has been exaggerated, though there can be little doubt that Communist spies and agents found their way into the Office of War Information, the Office of Strategic Services, and the Treasury Department.
Nor did Starobin discuss espionage, even though he was writing about an era during which the CPUSA was deeply involved with Soviet intelligence agencies and several prominent Party officials, including Browder and Steve Nelson were publicly accused of ties to them.
He reproduced a letter he had written to the FBI seeking information and J. But Latham was less concerned about the history of the American Communist movement than the political controversy in Washington over communism.
While he noted growing academic skepticism about a number of the cases, Latham clearly thought there was substance to the espionage charges, but he only incidentally linked Soviet espionage with the CPUSA.How to Conduct Research for your Dissertations.
A thesis/dissertation is an important phase in a student’s life and probably the biggest academic project most people take on.
Surely it is not an easy task and after the painful search for the dissertation topic, begins the phase to conduct research for your dissertation, but it is vital to keep in mind that .
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Basic parts of a dissertation or thesis include the introduction, the review of significant literature and the research method.