Based on over a hundred interviews and on secret records of White House–Kremlin contacts, Not One Inch shows how the United States successfully overcame Russian resistance in the 1990s to expand NATO to more than 900 million people. But it also reveals how Washington’s hardball tactics transformed the era between the Cold War and the present day, undermining what could have become a lasting partnership.
Vladimir Putin swears that Washington betrayed a promise that NATO would move “not one inch” eastward and justifies renewed confrontation as a necessary response to the alliance’s illegitimate “deployment of military infrastructure to our borders.” But the United States insists that neither President George H.W. Bush nor any other leader made such a promise.
Pulling back the curtain on U.S.–Russian relations in the critical years between the fall of the Berlin Wall and Putin’s rise to power, prize-winning Cold War historian M. E. Sarotte reveals the bitter clashes over NATO behind the facade of friendship and comes to a sobering conclusion: the damage did not have to happen. In this deeply researched and compellingly written book, Sarotte shows what went wrong.
Professor Mary Elise Sarotte is the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Distinguished Professorship of Historical Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington DC. Her six books include Not One Inch: America, Russia, and the Making of Post-Cold War Stalemate (2021), The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall (2014), and 1989: The Struggle to Create Post-Cold War Europe (2009), which were named a Financial Times Book of the Year (2009 and 2014), Economist Book of the Year (2014), and Foreign Affairs Book of the Year (2021) among receiving other prizes and awards. Sarotte earned her AB in History and Science at Harvard University and her PhD in History at Yale University. After graduate school, she served as a White House Fellow and subsequently joined the faculty of the University of Cambridge. Sarotte received tenure at Cambridge in 2004 and returned to the United States to teach at University of Southern California as the Dean’s Professor of History before moving to Hopkins. Sarotte is a former Humboldt Scholar, a former member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.