Edward Hallett Carr: Historical Realism and the Liberal Tradition

David Freeland Duke

Abstract


The works of Edward Hallett Carr represent an important contribution to the historiography of Soviet Russia and to the study of international relations in general. Yet his work is often dismissed, primarily because Carr was considered 'ideologically unsound,' that is, a Stalinist. This essay examines the validity of that charge and concludes instead that Carr was in fact firmly realistic in his writings on the Soviet Union and on international relations. In the case of the Soviet Union, this paper argues that Carr's realism produced works of balance and judgement in a period - the Cold War- when such characteristics were anathema to the historiography of the subject. In at least one of his works on international relations, The Twenty Years' Crisis, this realism represented a novel and revolutionary approach to the the subject.

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