Rachel Applebaum and Emily MarkerMay 20, 2023
Empires after World War II: The Cases of the USSR and France
A Discussion with Rachel Applebaum and Emily Marker
New Books Network 2023
Where lay the fissures of Soviet power in Eastern Europe during the Cold War? Why did France fail in its postwar efforts to make its African colonies part of France itself? In two complementary books, Rachel Applebaum and Emily Marker explore the soft-power mechanisms of the Soviet and French empires after World War II. Their findings shed light on not only the distinctive characteristics of postwar empires, but on the reasons why Soviet internationalism and the unique French model of decolonization ultimately failed. Applebaum is author of Empire of Friends: Soviet Power and Socialist Internationalism in Cold War Czechoslovakia (Cornell UP, 2019). Marker is the author of Black France, White Europe: Youth, Race, and Belonging in the Postwar Era (Cornell UP, 2022).
Stephen V. Bittner is Special Topics Editor at Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History and Professor of History at Sonoma State University.