The Sino-Soviet Split, 1956-1966: The Cold War in the Communist World

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Webcast Recap

A discussion of a new book by Lorenz Lüthi on the Sino-Soviet split, which became one of the defining events of the Cold War. Identifying the primary role of disputes over Marxist-Leninist ideology, he traces their devastating impact in sowing conflict between the two nations in the areas of economic development, party relations, and foreign policy.

Using a wide array of archival and documentary sources from three continents, Lüthi's book explores how Sino-Soviet relations were linked to Chinese domestic politics and to Mao's struggles with internal political rivals. Furthermore, Lüthi argues, the Sino-Soviet split had far-reaching consequences for the socialist camp and its connections to the nonaligned movement, the global Cold War, and the Vietnam War.


Lorenz M. Lüthi, an assistant professor of history and international affairs at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and the author of The Sino-Soviet Split, 1956-1966: The Cold War in the Communist World (2008). Lüthi holds a Ph.D. in history from Yale University and a lic. phil. I (equivalent to a combined B.A. and M.A.) in history, political science, and international law from the University of Zürich, Switzerland.

Warren Cohen, a distinguished university professor of history at the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a senior scholar at the Wilson Center. Professor Cohen specializes in US-East Asian relations, and is the author of 11 books, including most recently: America's Failing Empire: U.S. Foreign Relations Since the Cold War.