Johanna Granville, The First Domino: International Decision Making during the Hungarian Crisis of 1956

The First Domino: International Decision Making in the 1956 Hungarian Crisis by Johanna Granville (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2004)

xx + 323 pp. $49.95. ISBN 1-58544-298-4

Johanna Granville as author of The First Domino, about the Hungarian Revolution of 1956Book by author Johanna Granville entitled The First Domino. International Decision Making during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956amazon buy book

Synopsis: The First Domino is the first full analysis in English, drawing on declassified archival documents from former communist bloc countries, to reinterpret international decision making during the Hungarian revolution of 1956. Johanna Granville not only investigates the reasons why the Soviet Union decided to invade Hungary, but also examines the roles of Poland, Yugoslavia, and the United States. The First Domino fills an obvious gap, since most of the previous literature, usually in Hungarian, focused on the internal aspect and was written largely by the revolution’s participants.

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: Roots of the Uprising: Spring 1953 to Summer 1956

Chapter 2: The Role of Yugoslavia and Poland: Summer to Fall 1956

Map of Central Europe.Johanna Granville

Chapter 3: The First Invasion: October 23-4, 1956

Chapter 4: The Second Invasion: November 4, 1956

Chapter 5: János Kádár and the Normalization Process

Chapter 6: The Role of the United States

Chapter 7: Conclusion

What Readers Are Saying:

“. . . Granville has combined new information with thoughtful analysis to enrich our understanding of one important event in Cold War history, and thus contributes to a better understanding of the broader canvas of that history as well.” –Raymond L. Garthoff, former CIA Analyst; Ambassador to Bulgaria; Senior Analyst, Brookings Institution; and author of several bestselling books, including A Journey through the Cold War

“. . . This is the best available analysis of the international history of the 1956 Hungarian rebellion against communism. Johanna Granville has written a book that through first-rate research brings together the key sources on that crisis and that thereby helps explain the decisions reached not only in Budapest and Moscow, but also in Washington and Belgrade.” –Odd Arne Westad, professor of history, Harvard University, and author of The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times, winner of the Bancroft Prize.

“. . . With her extensive scholarly examination of the Soviet intervention in Hungary, Johanna Granville makes a wonderful contribution to the new field of international Cold War history. With a wealth of new sources from the former East Bloc, Granville recreates the true atmosphere of the largest crisis in the communist world after Stalin’s death, a bizarre mixture of ideological rigidity, fears, hopes, and disastrous misperceptions. I hope that not only Westerners, but also Russians, will be able to read this book.” –Vladislav Zubok, professor of international history, London School of Economics, and award-winning author of A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev and Inside the Kremlin’s Cold War: From Stalin to Khrushchev.

“. . . A pioneering work on East European Cold War history, this is a remarkable study of Cold War history because the author has availed herself of recently opened Soviet and other archives to describe how Hungary became the first “domino” in a process that “resulted ultimately in the Soviet Union’s loss of hegemony over Eastern Europe in 1989.” –Arnold Beichman, a Hoover Institution research fellow, is a columnist for The Washington Times.

“. . .  Johanna Granville is one of the most industrious and talented of the scholars who have seized upon new archival opportunities to deepen our understanding of the Cold War.” –Lee Congdon, emeritus professor of history, James Madison University, History: Review of New Books

“. . . Johanna Granville’s The First Domino brings new evidence and insight to a well studied topic […] The book should appeal to many different audiences – Cold War students, East European scholars, military historians, and political scientists. Its lessons on the limits of military force and pitfalls associated with decision making are timeless and make it particularly valuable for use at staff and war colleges.” –James D. Marchio, analyst, Defense Intelligence Agency. The Journal of Military History

“. . . This is a book that fills an obvious gap. The extensive literature on the 1956 Hungarian revolution has, for understandable reasons, mostly focused on the internal rather than the external side of those tumultuous events. […]The publication of Granville’s work which facilitates a greater understanding of the 1956 Hungarian revolution through an excellent analysis of its external sources, is a timely contribution to the commemoration of 1956’s fiftieth anniversary this year. –László Péter, emeritus professor of Hungarian history, University of London

“. . . The First Domino. . . it stands with the finest work available in either English or Hungarian on the events of the revolution.” –Mark Pittaway, senior lecturer, Open University, International Affairs

“. . . Johanna Granville is one of the most knowledgeable American scholars on the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and its ramifications. […]A path-breaking monograph on Soviet and Hungarian decision-making in the Hungarian revolution of 1956, Johanna Granville’s book is also the best English-language study of the subject so far and deserves a wide readership.” –Anna M. Cienciala, emeritus professor of history, University of Kansas, Russian Review