Wilson Center Experts

Igor Lukes

Fellow
Global Europe Program

Expertise:
Europe
Affiliation:
University Professor and Professor of History and International Relations, Boston University
Wilson Center Project(s):
"The American Diplomats in Prague: 1945-1953: U.S.-Soviet Competition at the Beginning of the Cold War"
Term:
Sep 01, 2004
-
May 01, 2005

I am a historian of Central Europe in the twentieth century. I have written about Europe between the world wars and contemporary developments in East Central Europe, Russia, and the Balkans. My work has been published in five countries and in such journals as Journal of Contemporary History, Diplomacy and Statecraft, Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, and Slavic Review. My latest book is Czechoslovakia Between Stalin and Hitler: The Diplomacy of Edvard Benes in the 1930s (1996). I am also a co-author and co-editor of The Munich Conference: Prelude to World War II (1999), Inside the Apparat: Perspectives on the Soviet Union (1990) and Gorbachev's USSR: A System in Crisis (1990). In 1997 I received the Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching at Boston University.
 

Education

Ph.D. (1986) Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
 

Subjects

Eastern Europe
 

Experience

  • University Professor, Boston University, 1988-present
  • Assistant Professor, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, 1986-88

Expertise

History of Central Europe

Project Summary

This project approaches the Cold War from an unusual angle. It looks at it from the perspective of the trenches dug around the U.S. Embassy in Prague during the crucial post-World War II years. It analyzes the events that transformed Czechoslovakia, a democracy in 1945, into a Stalinist regime in the early 1950s. Its viewpoint is that of Americans who served in Prague between 1945 and 1953. It is based on hitherto secret documents released to me in the U.S. (FOIA) and from various archives in Prague. The narrative voices in the volume belong to American diplomats and intelligence officers, some of whom I interviewed. The project analyzes their various tactical successes, as well as their crushing strategic defeat. The project will provide original sources on diplomacy and intelligence operations during the Cold War and new analyses of interest to historians and contemporary policymakers. It contributes to our understanding of the meandering relationship between Washington and Moscow.

Major Publications

  • The Munich Crisis, 1938: Prelude to World War II (London: Frank Cass, 1999)
  • Czechoslovakia Between Stalin and Hitler (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996)
  • Inside the Apparat: Perspectives on the Soviet Union (Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1990)

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