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

Lorenz M. Lüthi McGill University in Montreal, Canada and Warren Cohen University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Date & Time

Mar. 27, 2008
3:30pm – 5:00pm ET


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.


Hosted By

Cold War International History Project

The Cold War International History Project supports the full and prompt release of historical materials by governments on all sides of the Cold War. Through an award winning Digital Archive, the Project allows scholars, journalists, students, and the interested public to reassess the Cold War and its many contemporary legacies. It is part of the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program.  Read more

History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program makes public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, facilitates scholarship based on those records, and uses these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

Asia Program

The Asia Program promotes policy debate and intellectual discussions on U.S. interests in the Asia-Pacific as well as political, economic, security, and social issues relating to the world’s most populous and economically dynamic region.   Read more

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