An analysis and critical commentary on the general approach of American foreign policy toward Soviet Russia during the formative years of the Cold War. Whitcomb contends that the United States must bear a major share of the responsibility for the endless litany of conflicts, crises, and military confrontations that came to mark our foreign relations after 1945. Whitcomb shows that the American foreign affairs tradition led the country to entertain persistent misperceptions of the realities of the international arena in which it had to function. At the same time, Whitcomb points to the incompatability between many of the nation's most cherished values and the habits of action that Americans exhibited in their relationships with other states. An important post-revisionist view, this book will be of interest to American foreign policy for scholars and students alike.