Marshall D. Shulman Book Prize

2015 Citation Recipient

Oscar Sanchez-Sibony

The Marshall D. Shulman Book Prize, established in 1987 and sponsored by the Harriman Institute at Columbia University, is awarded annually for an outstanding monograph dealing with the international relations, foreign policy, or foreign-policy decision-making of any of the states of the former Soviet Union or Eastern Europe published in the previous calendar year. The prize is dedicated to the encouragement of high-quality studies of the international behavior of the countries of the former Communist Bloc.

Winner: Oscar Sanchez-Sibony
Title: Red Globalization: The Political Economy of the Soviet Cold War from Stalin to Khrushchev (Cambridge University Press)

Oscar Sanchez-Sibony’s Red Globalization exposes the complex and long-lasting challenges and opportunities that the global capitalist economic system, in its various incarnations, presented the Soviet Union. Unearthing archival material—including high-level internal political communications—this fine work upends conventional memes of Soviet autarky and parallel Soviet and capitalist systems during the Cold War. Sanchez-Sibony deftly traces the reality of Soviet economic underdevelopment and the continuities in strategy during and after Stalin’s rule to contend with the preponderance of Western economic might like other middle-income economies. The historical and analytical renderings of Soviet exclusion from Bretton Woods, persistent acknowledgment by senior officials of the poor quality of Soviet goods and the impact on trade strategies, the Western sub-text and constraints on Soviet engagement in the global South, and steady influence of Anastas Mikoyan are especially illuminating. This book complements the spirit—intellectual and empirical—of Marshall Shulman’s own challenge to the prevailing realist and orthodox arguments of the early Cold War, by extending the period and imposing the prism of liberal political economy through which to reappraise the Stalinist legacy on Soviet foreign policy.

Honorable Mention: Austin Jersild
Title: The Sino-Soviet Alliance: An International History (UNC Press)

Through an impressive and multi-dimensional archival exploration, and novel re-framing of the system of komandirovka as a transnational institution, Austin Jersild’s engaging book, The Sino-Soviet Alliance, presents a new twist on the practice of intra-Soviet-Socialist bloc exchange. It posits an interesting set of arguments about Soviet imperial identity, newly applied to the relationship with China, and about how this imperial identity was constrained at the working- and technical-levels by Moscow’s own East-Central European “vassals” (who were not that vassal-like) as well as nuances of triangular diplomacy with the U.S.