E. H. Carr pp 125-144 | Cite as

E.H. Carr and Isaac Deutscher: a Very ‘Special Relationship’

  • Michael Cox


Along the long road that led from the Truman Doctrine in 1947 to the final collapse of Soviet power over 40 years later there were an almost infinite number of intellectual battles and skirmishes surrounding the Cold War. Some of these took place in public, but many tended to be fought out in the pages of academic journals, magazines and books that were read by few but thought at the time to be deeply significant. Given the turbulent times, most of these encounters tended to be highly polemical, several became the subject of litigation, though some — like the great 1960s debate about the origins of the Cold War — helped redefine the way historians thought about the world around them. In the end, however, nearly all of these discussions returned to the same set of questions: about who started the conflict, which of the two sides (if any) held the moral high ground, on whose side should one stand and what attitude should one adopt towards the two principal antagonists? On these particularly dangerous rocks any number of reputations were made and unmade, friendships broken and forged, careers wrecked.


Special Relationship Soviet System Russian Revolution Revolutionary Idea Moral High Ground 
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  1. 1.
    Quoted in Jonathan Haslam, Vices of Integrity: E.H. Carr, 1892–1982 (London: Verso, 1999), p. 140.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See E.H. Carr, ‘Introduction’, in Isaac Deutscher, ed., Heretics and Renegades and Other Essays (London: Jonathan Cape, 1955), pp. 3–4.Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    On Deutscher’s early years, see Ludger Syre, Isaac Deutscher: Marxist, Publizist, Historiker: Sein Leben und Werk, 1907–1967 (Hamburg: Junius Verlag, 1984), pp. 22–158Google Scholar
  4. Tamara Deutscher, ‘Introduction: The Education of Jewish Child’, in Isaac Deutscher, ed., The Non-Jewish Jew and Other Essays (London: Oxford University Press, 1968), pp. 1–24Google Scholar
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  6. 11.
    E.H. Carr, 1917: Before and After (London: Macmillan, 1969), pp. 128–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 22.
    See E.H. Carr, ‘The Riddle of a Public Face’, The New Republic, 28 November 1949.Google Scholar
  8. 24.
    See Carr’s ‘Trotsky and Bolshevism’, The Times Literary Supplement, 19 February 1954.Google Scholar
  9. 28.
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  13. 35.
    Isaac Deutscher, Russia after Stalin (1953; London: Jonathan Cape, 1969) p. 54.Google Scholar
  14. 36.
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  15. 39.
    See Carr’s ‘Editor’s Introduction’ in N. Bukharin and E. Preobrajensky, The ABC of Communism (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1969), p. 51.Google Scholar
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    Quoted from Isaac Deutscher, ‘Between Past and Future’, in his Ironies of History: Essays On Contemporary Communism (London: Oxford University Press, 1966), pp. 199–206.Google Scholar
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    E. H. Carr, ‘Editor’s Introduction’, in N. Bukharin and E. Preobrajensky, The ABC of Communism (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1969), p. 51.Google Scholar
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    I explore these issues in Michael Cox, Rethinking The Soviet Collapse: Sovietology, The Death of Communism and the New Russia (London: Cassell/Pinter, 1998).Google Scholar

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© Michael Cox 2000

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  • Michael Cox

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