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Meet Research Grant Recipient Kristina Minkova | June 18, 2018

Meet Research Grant Recipient Kristina Minkova

Each year some two dozen historians, writers and scholars receive Research Grants to explore the archives at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. These prestigious research grants are made possible thanks to the generosity of Truman Library Institute members and donors.

Donors have made it possible for the Truman Library Institute to give out nearly $2.7 million over the years for researchers all over the world to travel to Independence to immerse themselves in archival research and further our understanding of the Truman era.

Meet one of these grantees, Kristina Minkova, who recently traveled to the Truman Library from St. Petersburg State University in Russia to study the origins of the Cold War from a political, military and economic standpoint.

On the focus of her research…
My research project is aimed at providing a new, more objective vision of the origins of the Cold War. Although hundreds of books and articles have been written on this subject since 1948, I couldn’t find any that considered economic factors along with political and military considerations. It should be acknowledged that the description of Soviet-American relations in the first postwar years and the origins of the Cold War both in Soviet/Russian and American national historiography still bears an ideological stamp and often stems from subjective assumptions. This is partly explained by the fact that the bulk of Soviet documents had been for a long time unavailable to national and foreign researchers, and the American documents are stocked in different collections and not always available to Russian researchers.

On the importance of studying Truman-era history…
In the Soviet Union and Russia, little has been known about Truman and his administration. Truman is frequently described as a “President who hated the Soviet Union”, and little study has been conducted to prove or belie this statement. That is why it is so important to look into the Truman administration, to find out who influenced his first political decisions and to analyze the reasoning that lay behind them.

On her many discoveries while at the Truman Library…
Having taken several thousand pictures of various documents which I didn’t have enough time even to look at, I cannot say for sure how many important discoveries I’ve made. I just know they have been made. There are plenty of documents on the International Trade Organization (ITO) (and I must say that ITO project hasn’t been studied in the USSR and Russia at all), some very important ones on Lend-Lease, and I also found of great interest several reports about the prospects of Soviet-American relations and current political situation prepared by several different governmental bodies. Not directly related to my research but also very valuable are the letters from postwar Moscow written by John Paton Davies who described his experiences in a “capitalist world in the communistic universe.”

On the impact receiving a Truman Library Institute Research grant had on her project…
I am sure that the material gained in the Truman Library will help me finalize my monograph which I would be glad to present to the Library once it is published. It is a great honor to be among the Truman Library grantees, and I am very thankful to the administration that made my research trip here a possibility.

Thank you to the generous members and donors who have made it possible for researchers like Kristina to conduct their research! Are you interested in ensuring that important research like this continues? Donate today.

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