Press Release

31 October 2014

The world of intelligence, subversion and Cold War relations between the CIA, US government and Soviet bloc will be discussed in November as part of Canterbury Christ Church University's School of Humanities Research Seminar Series.

The event will also see the launch of the book, The CIA and the Soviet Bloc: Political Warfare, the Origins of the CIA and Countering Communism in Europe, written by Christ Church academic, Dr Steve Long.

The book features new archival material and a unique approach to unpicking the relationship between the CIA, the US government and the Soviet Union, shedding new light on intelligence, the Cold War, US diplomatic history and the history of twentieth century Europe.

Guest speakers for the seminar will be Dr Long and Professor Geoffrey Warner, formerly Fellow in Modern History at Brasenose College, Oxford and current Visiting Professor at Christ Church. They will talk about the key themes and issues of the book and discuss the implications of these findings for our understanding of early Cold War history. The event will be chaired by Christ Church’s Professor of Modern History, Kevin Ruane, who will also invite the audience to participate in a question and answer session.  

Dr Long, said: “The Central Intelligence Agency was established by Harry S. Truman after World War II and it soon provided covert political and paramilitary support to further US foreign policy. The US had opportunities to interfere in the Soviet bloc, such as the East German riots in 1953 and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, and failed to exploit them. Therefore, the Agency was not as effective in Eastern Europe, where the Soviet Union had established control, as it was in its other operations around the world.

“The accepted view is that the US believed in a post-World War II ordering of Europe which placed the East outside an American ‘sphere of influence’. However, what my new research shows is that the US did aspire to destabilise Soviet bloc regimes and sometimes even to overthrow them. But disorder prevailed over design in the planning and organisation of offensive intelligence operations during the early stages of the Cold War, and the period represents a missed opportunity for the US during the Cold War.”

The CIA and the Soviet bloc, Wednesday, 19 November, 6.30-8.30pm, Waterstones, Rose Lane Branch, 2nd floor. The event is free and open to all, no booking required.

Notes to Editor

  • The School of Humanities Research Seminar Series brings speakers from around the country to Canterbury Christ Church University to discuss a range of topics in American Studies, Archaeology, Creative Writing, English Literature, History, Religious Studies and Theology. In particular, the series aims to foster an environment in which the boundaries between individual disciplines are blurred, welcoming audiences from both inside and outside of the University setting.

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 20,000 students across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • 93% of our most recent UK graduates were in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • We are the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2013 UCAS).
  • We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills leading to public service careers.

*2012/13 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey

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Last edited: 05/12/2017 04:31:00