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1. The Cold War: A New History
2. Secrets of the Cold War: US Army
3. The Global Cold War: Third World
4. Cold War Civil Rights: Race and
5. The Culture of the Cold War (The
6. A Fiery Peace in a Cold War: Bernard
7. Cold War Peacemaker: The Story
8. Mao's China and the Cold War (The
9. The Cold War and the Color Line:
10. Inside the Kremlin's Cold War:
11. The Cold War: A Military History
12. The Cold War: A Very Short Introduction
13. Cold War, Cool Medium: Television,
14. Latin America's Cold War
15. Cold War Orientalism: Asia in
16. The Atomic Bomb and the Origins
17. The Cultural Cold War: The CIA
18. Conflict After Cold War: Arguments
19. The New Cold War: Putin's Russia
20. The United States and the End

1. The Cold War: A New History
by John Lewis Gaddis
Paperback: 352 Pages (2006-12-26)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$8.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0143038273
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The "dean of Cold War historians" (The New York Times) now presents the definitive account of the global confrontation that dominated the last half of the twentieth century. Drawing on newly opened archives and the reminiscences of the major players, John Lewis Gaddis explains not just what happened but why—from the months in 1945 when the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. went from alliance to antagonism to the barely averted holocaust of the Cuban Missile Crisis to the maneuvers of Nixon and Mao, Reagan and Gorbachev. Brilliant, accessible, almost Shakespearean in its drama, The Cold War stands as a triumphant summation of the era that, more than any other, shaped our own. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (80)

5-0 out of 5 stars BEST BOOK EVER
This is probably the best history book I've read so far. It's not a book filled with facts and dates that makes you forget what you read two chapters ago. Gaddis keeps the reader intrigued and motivated to read on after the end of each section. He explains throughly the ideological and political motives of the Cold War and how it affected the overall aftermath of the Cold War. If you love reading about the Cold War and a great author, check out this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gaddis' The Cold War
In a straight forward analysis that is easy to read and comprehend, Gaddis' study is the definitive literature of the Cold War. This reading is highly recommended for those interested in this tragic period in human history, that was completely avoidable. After a critical analysis of the research, it is agreed that Gaddis is the foremost historian of the Cold War era.

4-0 out of 5 stars right to the point
Everything you ever wanted to know about the cold war is in this book. Easy to understand and right to the point.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good, But Reads Like a Memo
Here is the Cold War in 50,000 words. Gaddis' ability
to distill the critical information and movements from
the 40s through the 80s makes this an admirable quick
check resource book, but not a classic to read and re-read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mission Accomplished
This book accomplishes the goal that it sets for itself.Gaddis sets out to write a concise history of the Cold War and manages to do it in 267 pages.The book is fascinating.While it doesn't get too deep into any details (hence the concise part) it covers the overall strategies and themes of the Cold War in sharp detail.One of the most interesting elements of the book is that he describes well the personalities that make things tick.In one of the final sections of the book he makes clear that the Cold War ends the way that it does because of the unique personalities that were influential at the time.The book does a very good job of conveying the sense of hope and wonder at the mostly peaceful dissolution of a conflict that some people thought would end the world.The book is clearly written and accessible, event to those whose historical knowledge of the period is mostly basic.Well done! ... Read more

2. Secrets of the Cold War: US Army Europe's Intelligence and Counterintelligence Activities Against the Soviets During the Cold War
by Leland C McCaslin
Hardcover: 248 Pages (2010-10-19)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$26.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1906033919
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Secrets of the Cold War' focuses on a dark period of a silent war and offers a new perspective on the struggle between the superpowers of the world told in the words of those who were there. The author, formerly an expert in counterintelligence in US Army Europe, weaves together exciting true accounts of allies collecting enemy information in the East and fighting spies and terrorist in the West. Amassing Soviet military information by Allied agents in the East is at the forefront! Learn the bizarre method a British agent uses to obtain the muzzle size of a Russian tank as he risks his life jumping on a moving train in East Germany. A French officer drives into a Soviet tank column and escapes undiscovered by cunning methods. In West Germany, terrorist attacks and spies are rampant. Communists shoot a rocket propelled grenade into a General's occupied limo and terrorists kidnap another General. From the espionage files, an American soldier is nearly recruited in a downtown bar to be a spy and a First Sergeant is lured by sex to be an unknowing participant in spying. Behind-the-lines images are historic and intriguing. See photographs of a French officer and a Soviet officer relaxing in the East German woods in a temporary unofficial peace; 'James Bond' type cars with their light tricks and their ability to leave their Stasi shadows 'wheel spinning' in the snow will amaze readers. A Russian translator for the presidential hotline recounts a story about having to lock his doors in the Pentagon, separating himself and his sergeant from the Pentagon Generals when a message comes in from the Soviets. When he called the White House to relay the message to the President and stood by for a possible reply to the Soviet Chairman, he stopped working for the Generals and started working solely for the President.In another riveting account, a US Berlin tank unit goes on red alert when the Soviets stop a US convoy on the autobahn between West Germany and Berlin. The Berlin Command orders the tanks to rescue them, "If anything gets in your way, either run over it or blow it away!" Young US Berlin train commanders recount their encounters with their Soviet counterparts aboard the Berlin Duty Train. In an unusual train incident, one male Soviet Officer places a love note in a young US female Train Commander's pocket, touching her leg. The note is in the book.Containing a host of first-person accounts that lift the lid on previously untold clandestine activities, this is a major contribution to Cold War history, and exciting reading for all those who have an interest in the real-life world of military intelligence, counterintelligence and espionage. Francis Gary Powers, Jr: "Well written and informative, the book is a magnificent assessment of the Cold War history." Retired four Star General Kroesen, of US Army Europe: "Given the criticism, bad news and alleged malfeasances associated with our intelligence services during the past decade, it is most refreshing to find a book relating a far different story." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A book for any vet interested in the intel ops in Europe
My first assignment in the Army of the 60s was in an Armored Division headquarters near Stuttgart (4th Armored Div) and my recollection of the monthly intel briefings and that everyone has a responsibility to be aware of the surroundings whether on post or off.I returned to Germany almost thirty years later as a civilian (GS) and the warnings hadn't really changed except for the terminology and some computer related issues.Lee McCaslin does a great job relating his time in Berlin and Heidelberg at the Headquarters of US Army Europe.My recommendation is that the book be required for all Intel officers, NCOs and civilians assigned to intel units worldwide.Perhaps when more declassifications occur, Lee McCaslin can issue eiher a sequel or second edition with deleted information.

5-0 out of 5 stars We were there
We were there!

As one of Lee's compatriots, I welcomed the news that Lee was fulfilling his long-time desire to write about the cold war.We were both fortunate to work and practice our trades within the Army Headquarters in Heidelberg, in addition to serving at other "cold war" posts.

I greatly appreciate Lee's effort, which brings to mind my involvement in many of the same activities, not to mention many other similar activities which are still cloaked by the mists of time and security.

Congratulations, Lee, and Thank You!

5-0 out of 5 stars So Very Exciting!
Having great interest in the political and military struggles and intelligence work of today, it only makes sense to further investigate some of the inner workings of intelligence activity of the recent past.It's amazing to read the first hand accounts of some of these real world activities!!!Thank you Mr. McCaslin for your service! ... Read more

3. The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times
by Odd Arne Westad
Paperback: 498 Pages (2007-02-19)
list price: US$20.99 -- used & new: US$10.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 052170314X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The Cold War between the former Soviet Union and the United States indelibly shaped the world we live in today--especially international politics, economics, and military affairs. This volume shows how the globalization of the Cold War during the 20th century created the foundations for most of today's key international conflicts, including the "war on terror." Odd Arne Westad examines the origins and course of Third World revolutions and the ideologies that drove the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. towards interventionism. He focuses on how these interventions gave rise to resentments and resistance that, in the end, helped to topple one and to seriously challenge the other superpower. In addition, he demonstrates how these worldwide interventions determined the international and domestic framework within which political, social and cultural changes took place in such countries as China, Indonesia, Iran, Ethiopia, Angola, Cuba, and Nicaragua. According to Westad, these changes, plus the ideologies, movements and states that interventionism stirred up, constitute the real legacy of the Cold War.Odd Arne Westad is Professor of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science. In 2004 he was named head of department and co-director of the new LSE Cold War Studies Centre. Professor Westad is the author, or editor, of ten books on contemporary international history including Decisive Encounters: The Chinese Civil War, 1946-1950 (2003) and, with Jussi Hanhimaki, The Cold War: A History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts (2003). In addition, he is a founding editor of the journal Cold War History. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

2-0 out of 5 stars Padded Notes
The core of this book is what appears to be very detailed notes of official Soviet correspondence related to the wars in Afghanistan (1979-1989), Angola (1975-1976), and Somalia-Ethiopia (1974-1978).It is padded with much less-detailed, less recondite information about Cold War operations in Latin America, Indonesia, and the Arab World (mostly the former South Yemen).That, in turn, is further padded with some "analysis" that highly damaging to the book's value as history.

The first layer of "padding" includes most of chapter 3 ("Creating the Third World"), in which Westad races through an unmanageably long itinerary of newly liberated colonies of Western Europe, or else Latin America.This is actually valuable at times, especially if one follows the endnotes: Westad focuses on the destructive aspect of the US in the 3rd World to 1960, and documents it with many non-radical sources.However, Westad is apparently convinced that the former colonial powers or Latin states were entirely without agency of any kind; so the result is that he can simply treat the US as a malevolent black box.

Westad is clearly far more sympathetic to the Soviets, probably because his research tends to pursue Soviet motives through (a) official memoranda to (b) a series of compelling motivations. In contrast, the motives of US figures are documented through informal tapes, and not pursued.The Soviets are therefore portrayed as cautiously evading conflict, and responding only to multiple US provocations; the Usonians are portrayed as omnipotent louts whose behavior requires no explanation.*

The most damaging aspect of the book lies in what I called the "outer" layer of padding.It's padding because it purports to be "analysis" of the overall sweep of events, but it shows clear signs of having been included as boilerplate. First, Westad entirely ignores the role of Europeans.Oddly, the East Germans are represented frequently as having independent influence; the French, almost never. Westad claimed this was because he believed the 3rd World, not Europe, was the "real" theater of the Cold War. This is silly, because Europe was still a participant in the 3rd world.I think there are two other reasons he didn't mention.

1. First, acknowledging the colonial powers as as having agency would have made everything more complicated.Instead of being 4/5ths padding, the book would have been highly distilled and required enormous effort to write.

2.Second, Westad has no desire to indict capitalism, just the US. This book has a remarkably crude, even Manichaean, view of historical causality.There is no inner division within the USA, and no sharing of agency among Western elites.Westad allows for deep turmoil and complexity in the Soviet leadership, but not in the "Western camp."

This becomes spectacular in his attempts to blame the entire poverty of the 3rd world on the USA, rather than acknowledging Europe's share of responsibility.His economic narratives presuppose, for example, omnipotence by the US government, complete ability to anticipate consequences, and complete discretion.** Likewise, he "blames" the US for creating the IMF in order to "Americanize" developing nations; the real reason was that the IMF was vital to the new recovery scheme, in which growth rates were delinked from gold.Again, the Western European contributions to both demands for and approval of US policies are ignored, for clearly invidious reasons.

Those interested in finding a better thought-out and more accurate indictment of US economic/security policies should consider Galeano's Open Veins of Latin America, which is infinitely superior.
*It's understandable that Westad might simply be kinder to the USSR because it lost, and the USA survived.No doubt he regards the USSR as the natural defender of native rebellions against oppressive neocolonial polities.But rather than really make his case, he uses very manipulative language, such as endlessly following the death toll from each US intervention with a figure representing the same percentage of Americans; for example, 30K Nicaraguans killed in the civil war there, followed by 1.2 million (the same percentage of Americans as 30K is of Nicaraguans).He does nothing like this for the Soviets.

** For example, he claims the US caused the debt crisis by "deliberately" driving its currency up (1980's); in fact, the US government was trying to stop galloping inflation at considerable expense to its own economy.He mixes up real and nominal interest rates, and blames US deficits for a global credit crisis (the US public deficit in the early 80's was not unusually large as a share of GDP for OECD countries in that time period).

Fiscal and monetary policies of large countries accommodate interests inside and outside that country.In a crisis like the period 1971-1984, no policy option could avoid causing widespread unhappiness.In any parallel universe, any alternative course of action could have been deemed "selfish."And so on.

2-0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing
The author made this an unnecesarily difficult to read by using convoluted run on sentances and dancing around points instead of just stating them.

He had some good information but it was all overview level in detail.He'd say what happened but leave out how or why, which is what makes history truley interesting.

The book also seemed to lack a coherent organization, it would focus on the US or the Soviets for a long while then switch, which made it difficult to view the cold war in any kind of chronological order.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding overview of a huge topic
This is by far the best book available about the Cold War in the Third World. I have been waiting for a good book on this subject for quite some time, and I was not disappointed.
Westad starts out with a broad overview of American and Soviet history with particular emphasis on the importance of ideology and expansionism. He shows that the Cold War was primarily an ideological struggle between two powers that occurred at a time when when many new nations were coming into being due to European decolonialization. The two forces contributed to the radicalization and violence of the Third World in the Cold War.
Westad does an excellent job of providing both wide scope and in-depth analysis of a number of conflicts. He covers Cuba, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Somalia, Angola, Iran, Afghanistan and Central America. Unless you are an expert in all these conflicts, you are sure to learn something from this book. I am somewhat familiar with a few of them and found no major inaccuracies. And Westad does a great job of integrating them together into a tight narrative and argument.
My only complaint is that the book ends with an argument against "intervention." After 400 pages of explaining why past interventions were so important to the direction of modern history, it seems a bit of a contradiction to the rest of the book. But this is just a tiny criticism of an otherwise great book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Overview of a Neglected Topic
This fine book is devoted to a hugely important topic typically neglected in most discussions of the Cold War; the course and impact of the Cold War in the Third World.Most overview monographs on the Cold War concentrate on US-Soviet relations and/or the impact of the Cold War in Europe and Japan.Westad successfully attempts an overview and structural analysis of the Cold War in the Third World.Westad opens with a pair of summary chapters on the USA and Soviet Union leading up to the beginning of the Cold War.He then covers the early decades of the Cold War in the Third World concisely, and devotes much of the book to the last 2 decades of the Cold War, including detailed analyses of the events in Afghanistan, Africa, and Central America.Based on a wealth of secondary sources and analysis of primary literature from both US and Soviet archives, the narrative is comprehensive, clear, and punctuated with thoughtful analysis.

There is a lot of surprising information.While many readers will be aware of US interventions in places like Guatemala and Iran, Westad's descriptions of the depth of US interventions in places like Indonesia and Brazil will come as a surprise.Similarly, his description of how the Soviet involvement in the Third World came to be seen as a crucial element of the legitimacy of the Soviet state goes a long way towards explaining why the events in Afghanistan had such importance.With respect to the battleground states of the various Third World countries where US and Soviet interventions took place, this is generally a series of tragic stories, usually involving considerable bloodshed and impoverishment.

Westad goes considerably beyond good narrative.Several well articulated themes run through the narrative.A basic concept is that the Cold War was driven by two competing ideologies about what should be the basis of modern society - American liberal capitalism and Soviet communism. Westad is very good on how ideological considerations consistently drove US and Soviet policy decisions, including the many cases where ideology led to gross misunderstandings of reality. Another important theme is the independent role of local elites in Third World countries.Over and over again, these elites or portions of them sought superpower support to pursue their own ends, often quite different from those of the superpowers. This led, for example, to the depressingly frequent US support of brutal dictatorships and the Soviet support of regimes who suppressed local communist parties.Westad is very good as well at showing how the Cold War involvement of the superpowers was entangled with decolonialization, another important theme.Both the US and Soviet Union presented themselves as, and made serious efforts to act as, modernizers.In a series of particularly ironic developments, both US and Soviet policies often mimicked the development policies of the imperial states they displaced.

My only substantial criticisms of Westad are his treatment of the origins of the Cold War.Westad presents US policies as rooted in a long history of US expansionism and capitalist ideology.There is considerable truth in this position but it ignores some of the specific circumstances of the 1940s.The failure of the post-WWI settlement seemed to demand a dominant international US role after WWII.Similarly, as Westad's own narrative shows, US fears of the Soviet Union were driven in good part by Stalin's aggressive and paranoid behavior.

Westad concludes by highlighting the frequently tragic consequences of US and Soviet intervention in Third World states, often transforming local conflicts into major disasters.The results of US and Soviet interventions in the Third World are among the most important results of the Cold War, and these results have been largely negative.

5-0 out of 5 stars A good introduction
This is an important introduction to the topic of the Third World and the Cold War which has been gaining more study recently and deservedly so.For too long the history of the Cold War focused on foreign policy and Europe, but this book examines the doctrine of intervention, beggining mostly with Eisenhower in the U.S and increasing greatly with Khruschev and Brezhnev in the U.S.S.R.The book examines unique examples such as Cuba, Vietnam, Southern Africa, and Afghanistan.But it is also a sweeping account of this phenomenon, whereby many countries went from being colonized to being politiszed between the West and the Soviet Union.A very interesting study that seeks to show how the modern state of affairs in the world is tied up with the affects of the Cold War.

Seth J. Frantzman ... Read more

4. Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy (Politics and Society in Twentieth Century America)
by Mary L. Dudziak
Paperback: 344 Pages (2002-01-28)
list price: US$30.95 -- used & new: US$24.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0691095132
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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In 1958, an African-American handyman named Jimmy Wilson was sentenced to die in Alabama for stealing two dollars. Shocking as this sentence was, it was overturned only after intense international attention and the interference of an embarrassed John Foster Dulles. Soon after the United States' segregated military defeated a racist regime in World War II, American racism was a major concern of U.S. allies, a chief Soviet propaganda theme, and an obstacle to American Cold War goals throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Each lynching harmed foreign relations, and "the Negro problem" became a central issue in every administration from Truman to Johnson.

In what may be the best analysis of how international relations affected any domestic issue, Mary Dudziak interprets postwar civil rights as a Cold War feature. She argues that the Cold War helped facilitate key social reforms, including desegregation. Civil rights activists gained tremendous advantage as the government sought to polish its international image. But improving the nation's reputation did not always require real change. This focus on image rather than substance--combined with constraints on McCarthy-era political activism and the triumph of law-and-order rhetoric--limited the nature and extent of progress.

Archival information, much of it newly available, supports Dudziak's argument that civil rights was Cold War policy. But the story is also one of people: an African-American veteran of World War II lynched in Georgia; an attorney general flooded by civil rights petitions from abroad; the teenagers who desegregated Little Rock's Central High; African diplomats denied restaurant service; black artists living in Europe and supporting the civil rights movement from overseas; conservative politicians viewing desegregation as a communist plot; and civil rights leaders who saw their struggle eclipsed by Vietnam.

Never before has any scholar so directly connected civil rights and the Cold War. Contributing mightily to our understanding of both, Dudziak advances--in clear and lively prose--a new wave of scholarship that corrects isolationist tendencies in American history by applying an international perspective to domestic affairs. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Confluence of the Global and the Local
Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy is arguably the finest articulation of how international affairs influenced domestic issues. Cold War Civil Rights directly connects civil rights and the Cold War.In this book, Mary Dudziak interprets postwar civil rights as a Cold War feature. She contends that the Cold War facilitated key social changes, in particular desegregation. Dudziak use the 1958 case of an African American repairperson named Jimmy Wilson who was the death penalty in Alabama for stealing two dollars (Dudziak, Cold War Civil Rights 3-6). Deplorable as this case and its resultant sentence was it was reversed upon intense international scrutiny and the intervention of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles (Dudziak, Cold War Civil Rights 3-6). As a second case study, Dudziak looks at a segregated military defeating a racist regime in World War II. American racism was a major concern of US allies, a chief Soviet propaganda theme, and an obstacle to American Cold War goals throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America (Dudziak, Cold War Civil Rights 47-48, 61-63, 65-66 and 77). Finally, every incident of lynching affected foreign relations, and "the Negro problem" became a core issue from Truman to Johnson administrations (Dudziak, Cold War Civil Rights 11-15, and 203-216). Archival information, much of it newly obtainable, supports Dudziak's contention that civil rights were inextricably linked to Cold War foreign policy as civil rights activists gained tremendous cultural capital and voice as the US government sought to improve its international image. Contributing to our understanding of both civil rights and the Cold War., Dudziak also moves forward a new wave of scholarship that rights American history by applying a global perspective to a local event.

4-0 out of 5 stars An enlightening book on public diplomacy
If you think Las Vegas tourist ads and "listening tours" are components of public diplomacy and international relations, you need to read this book. If you think media coverage is intense now, you need to read this book. Dudziak gets into the reality and impact of media coverage forty years ago and its impact on the global information war of the time that is remarkably similar to today: "Following World War II, anything that undermined the image of American democracy was seen as threatening world peace and aiding Soviet aspiration to dominate the world... Nations were divided between a way of life 'distinguished by free institutions, representative government, free elections, guarantees of individual liberty, freedom of speech and religion, and freedom from political oppression' and a way of life that "relies upon terror and oppression, a controlled press and radio, fixed elections, and the suppression of personal freedoms."

Dudziak looks at the impact of race and the civil rights movement in the United States on American public diplomacy and foreign policy. The impact of America's "color bar" on foreign relations is astonishing and Dudziak helps contextualize the movement and government responses within contemporary pressures.

Indiscriminate actions against foreign and American dignitaries reinforced the accessibility of race-based norms to all and played into Soviet propaganda and provided a painful counternarrative that impacted US foreign relations. The US Ambassador, Chester Bowles, to India, speaking in 1952 at Yale University said, "A year, a month, or even a week in Asia is enough to convince any perceptive American that the colored peoples of Asia and Africa, who total two-thirds of the world's population, seldom think about the United States without considering the limitations under which our 13 million Negroes are living."

As we attempted to project democracy and its emphasis on equality and freedom, in opposition to Soviet tyranny, discrimination in the US was well known beyond our borders. Dudziak presents "With Us or Against Us" examples with Louis Armstrong and Josephine Baker as examples, among others. In the case of Baker, State Department officers justified censorship and hardship imposed on Baker by discounting her personal beliefs. Her "derogatory" remarks "concerning racial discrimination in the United States" were deemed to be "presenting a distorted and malicious picture of actual conditions." If we do not practice democracy, how well will our promotion of it be received? This was a real question of the time that other history books ignore and was the very question Ambassador Bowles asked.

As Dudziak wrote, "Domestic difficulties were managed by US presidents with an eye toward how their actions would play overseas." Disingenuous or factually misleading statements to justify domestic policies and opinions are not the mainstay of any single generation. While not intending to be destructive to the nation, these policies have a severely detrimental affect on domestic cohesion and leadership within the foreign relations. Dudziak implies the race issue in the international press was the seed of negative views of the US. The golden temple of American democracy was seen as something falling short, even hypocritical. Locksley Edmunson, writing in 1973, could be speaking of today with our Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, and alleged secret CIA prisons when he wrote, "Those states best technically equipped to maintain world order are not necessarily the ones whose credentials recommend them as the most appropriate guardians of a global conscience."

You can read different things out of Mary Dudziak's book. As a student of public diplomacy, my take-away centered on the impact on foreign policy, which the author does a good job investigating. The take-away? Practice what you preach, or at least be effective in making them think you're trying to.

4-0 out of 5 stars Causes and Effects
Upon first consideration one would think that the reciprocal influences of the Cold War and American civil rights activity would be self-evident.Perhaps, but Dudziak's book is full of surprises and details how galling the "American Dilemma" was to U.S. foreign policy-makers and various presidents and how each responded to the concerns of African, Asian, American, and European countries regarding the United States civil rights struggle over several decades.Why was civil rights legislation important to American foreign policy?How was Eisenhower's response to school desegregation in Little Rock influenced by foreign perceptions?How did the international attention to civil rights activity affect John Kennedy's domestic policies? Why was the State Department so concerned about Asian and African criticisms of the United States' record on civil rights?How was the Civil Rights Act of 1965 viewed by the international community?How did the views of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X affect United States foreign policy efforts?Was the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to an American activist also an international signal that worried a president and the State Department?These questions and many more are answered by Dudziak.

Dudziak deserves recognition and commendations for clearly demonstrating that the United States civil rights movement had a global as well as a national impact on America's foreign policy efforts and placed the United States squarely between the demands of a persecuted domestic minority and the scrutiny of the nations to which it declared itself the leader of human rights, liberty, and freedom in contrast to the totalitarian regimes of communist countries.

This book is well worth reading and an important addition to the growing number of books on the history of race relations that was not, and is not,taught in school.Kudos to Dudziak for an important job well done.

5-0 out of 5 stars Eye Opening and Important -- A Great Read!
Mary Dudziak revisits a familiar chapter in American history--the civil rights movement--but provides readers with a completely new perspective on it.

We know about the work that was being done in the streets.But now Dudziak helps us see the movement through the eyes of America's cold war policymakers.For them, civil rights was a foreign policy problem, and Dudziak helps us see how this explains many of the movements successes and (maybe more important) many of its defeats.

Essential reading for everyone interested in American history, civil rights, constitutional law (yes, even Brown v. Board of Education must be seen in light of this analysis), and foreign policy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
This book is fabulous.Clear and articulate, it reads like a story and explores an aspect of the civil rights movement most authors and historians have neglected.It is meticulously researched and filled with information from sources ranging from presidential telephone conversations to news wires to official publications.The civil rights movement cannot be fully understood without reflecting upon the information contained in this book. ... Read more

5. The Culture of the Cold War (The American Moment)
by Stephen J. Whitfield
Paperback: 288 Pages (1996-04-22)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$12.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0801851955
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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"Without the Cold War, what's the point of being an American?" As if in answer to this poignant question from John Updike's Rabbit at Rest, Stephen Whitfield examines the impact of the Cold War -- and its dramatic ending -- on American culture in an updated version of his highly acclaimed study. In a new epilogue to this second edition, he extends his analysis from the McCarthyism of the 1950s, including its effects on the American and European intelligensia, to the civil rights movement of the 1960s and beyond.

Whitfield treats his subject matter with the eye of a historian, reminding the reader that the Cold War is now a thing of the past. His treatment underscores the importance of the Cold War to our national identity and forces the reader to ask, Where do we go from here? The question is especially crucial for the Cold War historian, Whitfield argues. His new epilogue is partly a guide for new historians to tackle the complexities of Cold War studies.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

2-0 out of 5 stars No end notes or foot notes
Considering that Stephen Whitfield's The Culture of the Cold War is part of the American Moment series and is published by Johns Hopkins UP, I felt this would be a safe purchase of a book catering to my interests as a history undergrad. By chapter four, however, I was certain that my purchase was misguided. Whitfield provides sensational quotes which would prompt any undergrad who is even halfway serious about their field to rush to the foot- or endnotes for further reading. The joke is on the reader as neither exists in this book.

A bibliographical essay is the closest that Whitfield comes to revealing his sources. This essay contains publications which the author describe as "rather pedestrian" (p245; referencing Parmet, Eisenhower and the American Crusades), "self-referential" (p251; referencing Hines, Populuxe), and "authors [who] sprinkle their learning with paprika" (p257, referencing Erik Barnouw and J. Fred MacDonald). Knowing how amazing homemade macaroni and cheese is when sprinkled with paprika I will presume this to be a compliment.

Choosing to not struggle through a coded labyrinth to determine if quotes were accurate, misquoted, or taken out of context, I bailed after chapter four. For example, Whitfield quotes Eisenhower as stating to Billy Graham, "Billy, I believe one reason I was elected President was to lead America in a religious revival," (p90) but there is no citation for this supposed quote.Is the intended undergrad reader expected to turn to the bibliographical essay and comb every publication regarding Eisenhower or Graham?

Another example is found on page 49 where Whitfield states the Internal Security Act of 1950 created "concentration camps in Pennsylvania, Florida, Oklahoma, Arizona (two), and California." I have searched for possible sources which would discuss these "concentration camps" and have come up empty.Scholarly web sites discussing the ISA fail to mention any concentration camps.If the author had only included citations...

I cannot escape the thought that one who veils his sources likely has dubious intentions and investing any further reading would be a waste of time. Without citations, one is left with the feeling that they have listened to elderly relatives recalling oral histories.This is not acceptable for a text intended for undergrads.

His writing style is enjoyable, but I just cannot commit time to a text without notes. Someone who doesn't care about sources and whether what they are reading can be verified would love it.I am pleased with the breadth of publications listed in the essay and consider it partially worth the cost of the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Solid overview of US cultural history from 1946-1962
Whitfield's book serves as a succinct overview of American Cold War culture, which he defines as ending in the early 1960s (a questionable decision but one made by many scholars who employ the "Cold War Culture" rubric).

What sets apart this book from other entries in the literature is Whitfield's recognition of the importance of religion to Cold War America and his willingness to grapple with the Cold War's full range of moral implications (an element lacking in most academic studies of the domestic side of the Cold War, which tend to fixate endlessly on McCarthy, who is used to tar and discredit all variants of American anti-Communism). This is not to suggest that Whitfield is an apologist for McCarthy, not at all, but to commend Whitfield for understanding that, to paraphrase Arthur Koestler, the Cold War was the story of the United States fighting for a half-truth against a total lie.

5-0 out of 5 stars Culture of Cold War -- Whitfield
Whitfield's book is extremely informative. The connections he makes are fascinating. The book made me want to go out to the library and Blockbuster and look at the popular books and movies he talks about for a second time in a fresh light.

3-0 out of 5 stars Intelectually Challenging
This was rated a "3" by me because it was a little redundant as well as choppy.The book was great in the sense of intelecutal reading but lacked the story like atmosphere.I wouldn't recommend this book to be read for enjoyment, but it would be great if it were used as research on a paper.The chapters are broken up into sections 1,2,3,..etc, so once you have read one section the rest are really just other examples of what the author is trying to get across,easy to skim through for good facts and info.Good Luck! ... Read more

6. A Fiery Peace in a Cold War: Bernard Schriever and the Ultimate Weapon (Vintage)
by Neil Sheehan
Paperback: 576 Pages (2010-10-05)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$7.69
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679745491
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

In this long-awaited history, Neil Sheehan, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, describes the US-Soviet arms race through the story of the colorful and visionary American Air Force officer, Bernard Schriever.
This never-before-told story details Schriever’s quest to prevent the Soviet Union from acquiring nuclear superiority, and describes American efforts to develop the unstoppable nuclear-weapon delivery system, the intercontinental ballistic missle, the first weapons meant to deter an atomic holocaust rather than to be fired in anger. In this sweeping narrative, Sheehan brings to life a huge cast of some of the most intriguing characters of the cold war, including the brilliant physicist John Von Neumann, and the hawkish Air Force general, Curtis LeMay. Melding biography, history, world affairs, and science, A Fiery Peace in a Cold War transports the reader back and forth from individual drama to world stage.

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Customer Reviews (68)

5-0 out of 5 stars It did more than we expected
The often maligned missile program is justified in this book; the program did work; it may have been expensive,but it was a "peacekeeper" and there was no Third World War.And the benfits to the Space Program were enormous.

4-0 out of 5 stars Decent read...keep your political opinions to yourself
As an AF space officer I read the book on a recommendation from a coworker.A bit dry but a good history of the ICBM program and, more importantly, the very capable father of our nation's spacelift capability Gen Bennie Schriever.Neil Sheehan leans way too far to the left for my taste so his shots at Donald Rumsfeld and George W. Bush seemed unnecessary, petty and detracted from his well written book.I think I'll pick up Warren Kozak's book on Curtis LeMay now.

2-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Topic, Boring Book
Sheehan's method is to investigate a broad topic through the lens of one particpant's story. It worked brilliantly in Bright Shining Lie, but fails here. I wanted more of the technology and drama, but the book is mainly a series of mini biographies structured like this:

[Male human] grew up in [region]. He entered [education institution] and studied [some technical field]. He joined the army air corps in [year]. He served in the [WWII theatre] as a [military specialty]. After the war, [Army general] noticed his talents and he joined [missile development team].

There must be two dozen such bios and their repetition is tedious.

Sheehan's predictable Cold War revisionism is restrained, and only occasionally annoys.

Two stars for inherently interesting subject matter and a smattering of high points.

4-0 out of 5 stars Ah, the good old days
Mr. Sheehan takes us back to the last days of the last five star general and the only Airman to hold that rank, Hap Arnold; he saw the future, needing command engineers, not just bomber commanders, those daring ops men of old.Enter Benny Schriver, not the only German-speaking gun of post-war America.Not a sailor, he was of Bremerhaven.I will forgive Mr. Sheehan for his biographically suspect device of tracing the importance of golf among the winning traits of this central figure.He reasons that this solitary pursuit of competitive excellence accounts for Benny's (as the golfing press dubbed him) staunchness under fire while creating America's Intercontinental Ballistic Missile program; after all Mr. Sheehan could hardly have foreseen the timidity of the Tiger in our woods, so to speak.Post hoc, propter hoc is his growling error.But biographical astuteness is no requisite for another fine book of his.I had not known that Texas A&M had been an all-male military school.Benny bounced into flight school at Kelly Field, home of Air Corps advanced training, to solo after just six hours.His depression era pay was already much above average because a fifty per cent kicker for flight pay - a.k.a. the crash and burn differential.Mr. Sheehan is now in stride as Benny gets another leg up by falling in with Tooey Spaatz, who would become the first A. F. Chief of Staff.You will be relieved to know that officers during the Great Depression did their part by working only half days, which does wonders for your gold handicap.

After the start of the war, Lieutenant Schriever studied aeronautical engineering at Stanford; his sad father-in-law, George Brett had the bad luck to be the Air Corps general assigned to MacArthur, whose combat experience consisted of shooting American Veterans against the direct orders of his Commander-in-Chief (this turned out to be good practice for later) at the Anacostia debacle.Mac had refused to admit Brett to his staff meetings because he was not "Regular Army".He must have missed the memo on Pearl Harbor.Mac did not want anybody talking to somebody like Hap Arnold.As a result, Brett was denied permission to bomb the Japanese Air Force, caught on the ground.The Japanese General was sure it was a divine omen.Mr. Sheehan merely says George Kenny replaced Brett; and in general shows little interest in the Pacific War. Otherwise this hefty volume would add another couple hundred pages.

After the war came the early days of espionage, when the focus was political instead of practical.Because Robert Oppenheimer was a political target, enormous energy was spent hounding him.This smear campaign left generous cover for the real spies, who, as real spies, knew to keep a low profile.Oppenheimer was merely an activist, open and forward, always playing by the rules.The political baboons completely overlooked the treacherous agents who were in the same laboratory, Hall and Fuchs.Hall's brother was an Air Force big shot, and Fuchs played the good little ex-Nazi ex-pat.They efficiently and quietly passed atomic secrets to the Soviets of far greater impact than anything the hapless Rosenbergs were ever accused of and executed for.It should not make us feel any better, but the vaunted British counter intelligence was hardly any better.It was they who vetted Klaus Fuchs and sent him to Los Alamos in 1943.

Did you know Stalin was his stage name?It means man of steel.His real name was the lilting Tjzhugashuili.By 1950, Ole Huga and his NKVD chief, Berea had some 200,000 German slave laborers mining uranium.They later died in the gold mines to preserve secrecy.He attributed the deaths of millions of Ukrainians he had murdered during the war to the German Army.He just swept their bones under the capacious Nazi rug.But Mr. Sheehan's point is that Stalin was not an expansionist like Hitler.Stalin preferred to keep his atrocities in his own yard.The U. S. assumed he was bent on world domination.Europe was only a buffer zone.We watched Soviet adventurism in Iranian Azerbaijan and in Afghanistan.It was all Stalin could manage to keep Czarist trophies in the south and east under control.

Mr. Sheehan spends a considerable number pf pages following Schrieber's early career; and through him, those of a number of Air Force luminaries: Jimmy Doolittle (the Great Misnomer); Carl Spaatz; Hap Arnold and Curtis LeMay.If you are reading this book with a focus on the nuclear aspect of the Cold War, you might grow a little impatient with all these colorful side shows through this longish section.More likely, you will enjoy his style and tid-bits.I had not known that General Jack D. Ripper was fashioned after LeMay in "Dr. Strangelove".Nor did I understand the Jet Stream rendered the Norden bombsight useless because the tail wind did not allow time for set-up.So Jack, er, Curtis simply ignored the military targets, dumped explosives for gasoline and petroleum gels, better know during Vietnam as Napalm, and went straight for the wooden residential areas.

LeMay was a myopic captive of the last war.Remember the Bomber Gap?LeMay again.He completely missed the Soviet change in direction away from bombers.They had a couple of hundred, the CIA figured from their photographs of tail numbers.They may have circled the same parade of all they had in successive loops on the May Day company picnic in Moscow.Eisenhower capped the B-52's at 744, which Kennedy upheld.At 30 megaton each that worked out to 20 billion tons of TNT, or 10 kilotons of TNT for each Soviet subject.Eisenhower quipped, "I do not know how many times you can kill a man, but about three should be enough.

LeMay sat in Omaha and sulked.And he hated Schriever in the worst way, pulling stunts like having him assigned to the motor pool in Korea to get him the heck away from Ike Eisenhower and the like.That one caused a scurry of brass all over Pentagonian creation to track down those petulant orders and rescind them to the circular file.

My one beef with Mr. Sheehan is his occasional quickness to confuse notoriety with excellence.He sometimes overestimates famous men, his biggest departure from his previous magnum opus, "A Bright Shining Lie".He does it with MacArthur, Edward Teller, and even with LeMay to an extent.On the other hand he does a panoramic job of parading this cast of characters in vivid little bio's between the heavy action.The magnificent von Neumann is remembered on his deathbed, listening to his brother read Faust.Impatient with the gap in poetry as the page so slowly turned, he, without missing a foot of meter began reciting the lines from the next page.

These were the glory days of American engineering, imported and home grown.Simon Ramo, born in my old stomping grounds at Salt Lake City, was lured to those of my parents, back East in Schenectady, New York by General Electric.The recruiter had told him he would enjoy playing in the city's symphony, as most of their musicians did.Simon became the Concertmaster, and then he became the "R" in TRW.

Mr. Sheehan takes us to the next big event following the hydrogen weapon:the Atlas Missile project to throw it with.Those were the very days when corporate treason led Eisenhower to understand that continuing assault on our Republic, that of the military-industrial complex.His last speech to us as President made it as clear as clear can be.

But it was off to that other gift of Atlas, the manned space program.Huh, turns out it is rocket science after all.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unsung Heroes
I couldn't put this book down and give it five stars partly because I knew many of the people who are in it.There were a lot of things I wish had been in the book but were not.Vince Ford was my next door neighbor for years, and I heard all the stories and more first hand.Vince and I went everywhere and did all kinds of things together well into his nineties.He was always a delight to be with.There was never a cross word between us, and I never tired of being with him.There was never a hint that he was other than scrupulously honest and forthright.He was of extraordinary high character.

The first time I met Bennie Schriever, I got into an argument with him.Hell, I didn't know who he was, yet.He was visiting Vince, and as it later turned out, he was right and I was wrong.I came to love Bennie the same as all the others who knew him.His abilities, his courage, his tireless dedication to our country made him a true hero to me.He was above all, a straight-shooter.

I came along after Trev Gardner and Johnny Von Neumann were gone, but I heard everything about them from Ford.What I find a little disappointing is that there were so many anecdotes and little asides that would have made delightful additions to the book that were left out.For example, Vince Ford was known as "Grid" (as in "you may fire when ready, Gridley") to Bennie and all the insiders.It characterized so well his role for Bennie.There were so many little stories to tell.One time we were out, and I ordered a martini straight up.Vince said, "You're supposed to sip those things, aren't you?"I nodded.He went on to say that he had had lunch with Von Neumann in Princeton one time, and "Johnny" brought Oppenheimer along with him."Oppenheimer ordered a martini.I turned my head for a moment, and, when I looked back, Judas!It was gone!He put down three more of them the same way."

Sam Cohen is prominently missing from the book.Sam is the only member of the inner sanctum still alive, and although Sheehan lists him among those he interviewed, he has nothing else to say about him.Sam was a nuclear physicist and is known as "the father of the neutron bomb."He was an integral part of Bennie's team.Sam is almost ninety now and still tough, brilliant, forthright and at times testy.He loved Bennie and served him well.Sam is prominent by his absence.

Vince Ford enjoyed personal friendships over his long life with such folks as Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Stewart, Charles Lindbergh, Hap Arnold and many more.He had many adventures and served the highest levels of our military and government with honor and excellence.He never set out to talk about himself; all these things just came out in context of our discussions.

Bennie, Vince, Trev, Johnny and all the other guys on Bennie's team were of inestimable service to our country at a time of great danger. Tragically, most people today never heard of them. ... Read more

7. Cold War Peacemaker: The Story of Cowtown and the Convair B-36
by Dennis R. Jenkins, Don Pyeatt
Hardcover: 240 Pages (2010-01-15)
list price: US$32.95 -- used & new: US$21.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1580071279
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Great airplanes don't simply appear in history, they evolve through a myriad of technological, political, and economic processes. In this book you will experience one of the most unlikely developments in aviation history the Convair B-36 very-long-range nuclear bomber. From its beginnings during the world s greatest conflict, through construction in a former wild-west cattle town, and deployment into the Cold War, the story of the Convair B-36 and how it intimidated the Soviet Union is an interesting study in politics and technology. In Cold War Peacemaker, you will experience life during the Cold War as your parents and grandparents lived it. You will meet military leaders, politicians, cowboys, tycoons and a cowboy tycoon who worked together to save the free world from communist domination. You will also see up-close the amazing technology of aviation at the beginning of the nuclear age and how it was manifested in the B-36. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Definitive History of the B-36 and its Times
I'm an old SAC type who lived with B-36's on Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico in the early 50's. An impressive airplane! Pyeatt and Jenkins have told a beautifully illustrated story of this majestic lady, her birth, life and death.

I particularly appreciated the detail given to the times in which she reigned and her family derivatives. It helps explain why she was so important.

A reader can gain a great appreciation by just leafing through the book and enjoying the photos, but that would be like trying to appreciate the Smithsonian by dashing through in a marathon. Plan on spending many hours savoring this record of a triumph of technology, engineering, political wrangling and sheer determination by her admiring defenders.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cold War Peacemaker
Book arrived in excellent condition and ahead of time.Great service.Would highly recommend the seller.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Truth About Convair's B-36
Having owned two previous books by Dennis Jenkins I was anxious to dive into this account of Convair's magnificent bomber, the B-36. Don Pyeatt's contribution was a big draw for me as the subtitle addresses his Fort Worth, Texas roots. Both authors have presented an accurate story of this fabled aircraft and I am glad I have added it to my B-36 collection. The authors shattered some myths about this aircraft to set the record straight. The addition of a few unpublished images throughout the book was a treat, but I soon discovered many of the photos have been published previously. So I quickly realized that the new information within this book was probably meant to be included in, "Magnesium Overcast," another first class book by Jenkins, but simply found no room to do so. Much of "Cold War Peacemaker" contents is edited or lifted from this book. That is not a criticism. I must admit, though, I read through the Cowtown history rather rapidly (Evelyn Wood style) as it slowly lost my attention and seemed to wander from the B-36's heritage. Still, the book can be a great companion to "Magnesium Overcast" or stand on its one for the first time B-36 enthusiast. But maybe this book should have been called, "Magnesium Overview."

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice on the Coffee Table and Great for the Serious Historian, Too!
The "Cold War Peacemaker: the Story of Cowtown and Convair B-36" is about an amazing longrange bomber that bridged the gap between the propeller and jet ages during the early years of the Cold War. Huge and somewhat awkward looking, the aircraft ultimately employed both pusher props and jet engines. This plane was an intimidator and when it flew overhead its strange sound vibrations rattled china in more than a few cabinets. It sent a strong message to the Soviet Union intended to prevent nuclear war. The B-36 in its variations was a remarkable aircraft technologically. And even amidst all of the contemporary advances in the aerospace industry, the innovative solutions to engineering challenges that came to fruition in the B-36 are still impressive.Authors Don Pyeatt and Dennis Jenkins have succeeded in publishing a comprehensive history of the B-36 that deserves acclaim. Whether you are a casual aviation enthusiast or a seasoned historian, this book is worth the purchase price. Packed with amazing photos, diagrams, and myriad details in its appendices and endnotes, the monograph is history at its best.

It is suggested that readers also watch the movie, "Strategic Air Command," starring the B-36 and Jimmy Stewart. Produced for the general public to promote the USAF and airpower during the Cold War, it is really quite good. Best of all, you'll hear and see the B-36 in all its glory.

5-0 out of 5 stars Magnesium Overcast Redux
What, another book about the B-36? It's not exactly aviation's best-known subject--not like the North American P-51 Mustang or the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, for example--but Convair's huge intercontinental-range strategic bomber has gotten its fair share of press in the last decade or so. There's Meyers K. Jacobsen's superb 400-page magnum opus "Convair B-36: A Comprehensive History of Americas Big Stick" (1997), Dennis R. Jenkins' short but useful "Convair B-36 Peacemaker" (1999) (Volume 14 in the Specialty Press Warbird Tech Series) and his outstanding, heavily illustrated "Magnesium Overcast" (2001), among others. Now comes "Cold War Peacemaker." Do aviation enthusiasts really need another book about the big rumbling aerial behemoth?

If you don't have any or all of the other books mentioned, it's a no-brainer decision. Pick up a copy of "Cold War Peacemaker" immediately. It's a fascinating, detailed history that covers virtually every aspect of the bomber's design, development, flight test, production, deployment, variants, upgrades, operations--literally everything you'd want to know about the thundering Peacemaker. Its superbly illustrated with hundreds of sharp black-and-white photos and line drawings, plus a 19-page color section. As a bonus, the 30-page Chapter 1 relates the history of Fort Worth and describes the rise of the aviation industry in "Cowtown," a subject on which the other books are silent. Here's the complete Table of Contents:

Chapter 1--Cowboys to Cockpits: Aviation Comes to Fort Worth (Page 16)
Chapter 2--Consolidated B-36: A True Intercontinental Bomber (46)
Chapter 3--The Bleeding Edge: 1940s High Technology (108)
Chapter 4--Conflict Unfinished: A Chilly Peace and a Cold War (128)

But then there are some great Appendices:

Appendix A--The First Wide-Body: The San Diego Built XC-99 (176)
Appendix B--Unworthy Competitor: The All-Jet YB-60 (184)
Appendix C--Dream Unrealized: Atomic-Powered Aircraft (192)
Appendix D--Completely Different: Track Landing Gear (200)
Appendix E--Stillborn Concept: Pratt & Whitney VDT Engines (208)
Appendix F--Ahead of Its Time: Bell GAM-63 Rascal (212)
Appendix G--Bizarre Concept: Parasites and Other Coupling Ideas (220)

The authoritative narrative and crisp photos (with detailed captions) in these sections are sure to make any airplane geek salivate. Plus there are nine pages of detailed endnotes that cite sources and expand on the main text.

Okay, so you should definitely buy "Cold War Peacemaker" if it's to be your only B-36 book. But what if, like me, you already have the other books mentioned, or even more? Should you add this one to your collection? Well, I'm such a fan of the B-36 that I simply had to have this volume in my aviation library, and I never regretted buying it. I suspect most other aviation buffs will feel the same. Even if you already own some B-36 books, there's no reason not to buy "Cold War Peacemaker." Although much of the story and many of the photos have appeared elsewhere, there's enough new material in it to make it a must-have. Its great stuff, and I recommend it highly.
... Read more

8. Mao's China and the Cold War (The New Cold War History)
by Chen Jian
Paperback: 416 Pages (2001-06-25)
list price: US$26.00 -- used & new: US$21.06
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0807849324
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This comprehensive study of China's Cold War experience reveals the crucial role Beijing played in shaping the orientation of the global Cold War and the confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union.

The success of China's Communist revolution in 1949 set the stage, Chen says. The Korean War, the Taiwan Strait crises, and the Vietnam War--all of which involved China as a central actor--represented the only major "hot" conflicts during the Cold War period, making East Asia the main battlefield of the Cold War, while creating conditions to prevent the two superpowers from engaging in a direct military showdown. Beijing's split with Moscow and rapprochement with Washington fundamentally transformed the international balance of power, argues Chen, eventually leading to the end of the Cold War with the collapse of the Soviet Empire and the decline of international communism.

Based on sources that include recently declassified Chinese documents, the book offers pathbreaking insights into the course and outcome of the Cold War. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Chen Jian Corners the Market
Chen Jian's works on China's rise to international power are groundbreaking books exploiting Chinese (and Soviet too) source materials and interviews.This book follows along the same pattern established in his 1994 book, "China's Road to the Korean War," which argues that Mao's ideological commitment to the social and political revolution forecasted, even guaranteed, a shooting conflict with the United States.In Mao's China and the Cold War, Chen goes further in his analysis, demonstrating that it was Mao's worldview and determination to make China the central figure in the international Communist movement that was the driving force behind China's many foreign entanglements: Korea, First and Second Indo-China Wars, Taiwan Strait Crisis, the sundering of the brotherly alliance between Beijing and Hanoi, and the nearly fatal rift between Mao and Moscow.Chen deftly describes Mao's concern for "continuous revolution," and the fear that reactionary movements abroad would influence the Chinese population at home.Of equal concern to Mao was the effort to harness the people's enthusiasm for ultimately disasterous endeavors, such as the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.Chen shows that Mao accomplished these "mobilizations" and maintained his grip on power by demonizing first the United States, then the Soviet Union.This form of politics served Mao well, allowing him to keep his supporters in check (even if he ended up purging them in the end) and his opponents disoriented.It even allowed him the freedom to make the compromise most surprising of all -- normalization of relations with the United States in the early '70s.Chen points out that even with this act, Mao was pursuing his goal of radicalizing his own movement, particulary vis-a-vis the Soviets.Ironic, then, that in permanently casting away from the Soviet-led bloc (to which Mao had more than once pledged allegiance), Mao nearly guaranteed the former's disintegration and went a long way to undermining international Communism's appeal world-wide.

A bibliographical essay addressing each chapter enhances the usefulness of this book for students and those getting acquainted with the Far East during the Cold War.

5-0 out of 5 stars A pathbreaking piece of scholarship
Chen Jian's book for a number of years has been the standard "must read" text for any student of modern Chinese history. An excellent example of "new Cold War" scholarship, the book makes excellent use of newly available Chinese primary sources and secondary materials to explain policy making of the PRC leadership. The book's central argument is that Mao's endless pursuit of "continous revolution" in China defined his priorities in foreign policy, so that essentially a confrontational foreign policy became a necessary backdrop to domestic political developments. The argument has its own critics; one may argue, for instance, that the domestic politics first approach is unduly Sino-centric, and ignores the dynamic of China's relationship with other powers, notably the US and the USSR. But for better or worse, Chen Jian's argument cannot be ignored. The book is nicely written, and I had my undergraduate students digest it with apparent ease. Highly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars View of the Cold War years from a different perspective
Chen presents the Cold War from a Chinese perspective and he details Chairman Mao's rise to power and his complete control of the party till his death in 1976.His discussion on the internal political struggles within the Chinese Communist Party is fascinating.I found the book helpful in understanding the underlying communist thoughts and policies as related to the Korean War and the Vietnam War.I also really enjoyed Chen's closing thoughts on the future of communism in China.The book is quite insightful and an enjoyable read. ... Read more

9. The Cold War and the Color Line: American Race Relations in the Global Arena
by Thomas Borstelmann
Paperback: 384 Pages (2003-09-15)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$16.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0674012380
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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After World War II the United States faced two preeminent challenges: how to administer its responsibilities abroad as the world's strongest power, and how to manage the rising movement at home for racial justice and civil rights. The effort to contain the growing influence of the Soviet Union resulted in the Cold War, a conflict that emphasized the American commitment to freedom. The absence of that freedom for nonwhite American citizens confronted the nation's leaders with an embarrassing contradiction.

Racial discrimination after 1945 was a foreign as well as a domestic problem. World War II opened the door to both the U.S. civil rights movement and the struggle of Asians and Africans abroad for independence from colonial rule. America's closest allies against the Soviet Union, however, were colonial powers whose interests had to be balanced against those of the emerging independent Third World in a multiracial, anticommunist alliance. At the same time, U.S. racial reform was essential to preserve the domestic consensus needed to sustain the Cold War struggle.

The Cold War and the Color Line is the first comprehensive examination of how the Cold War intersected with the final destruction of global white supremacy. Thomas Borstelmann pays close attention to the two Souths--Southern Africa and the American South--as the primary sites of white authority's last stand. He reveals America's efforts to contain the racial polarization that threatened to unravel the anticommunist western alliance. In so doing, he recasts the history of American race relations in its true international context, one that is meaningful and relevant for our own era of globalization.

(20011015) ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars What impact did racial considerations have on U.S. strategic priorities and decisions after 1945?
Borstelmann asks, in closing out The Cold War and the Color Line, "What impact did racial considerations have on U.S. strategic priorities and decisions after 1945?" (Borstelmann, The Cold War and the Color Line 268) To answer his own question he provides, "By the end of the Cold War, the United States had emerged as the multiracial leader of a multiracial world" (Borstelmann, The Cold War and the Color Line 271). However, to frame the question so narrowly does an injustice to both the Cold War and Civil Rights efforts. One thing is for sure; both the Cold War and the Civil Rights movements had an impact on each other. After World War II, the United States faced two paramount challenges: how to manage its responsibilities abroad as the world's strongest power, and how to handle the rising movement at home for racial justice and civil rights. The effort to contain the growing influence of the USSR resulted in the Cold War, a conflict that was marked with the American rhetoric vis-à-vis commitment to freedom. The lack of that freedom for nonwhite American citizens confronted the nation's leaders with an uncomfortable incongruity. World War II opened the door to both the US Civil Rights movement and the struggle of Asians and Africans abroad vis-à-vis decolonization. It seemed all these issues converged to challenge domestic stances in relation of race and screamed for a resolution. First, America's closest allies against the USSR were colonial powers whose interests had to be balanced against those of the emerging independent Third World in a multiracial, anticommunist alliance. Second, in the US, racial reform was vital to maintain the domestic consensus needed to sustain the Cold War struggle. The Cold War and the Color Line is a comprehensive examination of how the Cold War converged with the final destruction of global white supremacy. Thomas Borstelmann pays close attention to Southern Africa and the American South as the spaces of white authority's last stand. He reveals America's efforts to contain the racial polarization that threatened to unravel the anticommunist western alliance. In so doing, he recasts the history of American race relations in its true international context, one that is meaningful and relevant for our own era of globalization.

During the fifty-five years or so since World War II, it has been unusual for the federal government to give its undivided attention to civil rights and rarer still for foreign policy toward southern Africa to occupy center stage. Almost never did policy makers link American civil rights to the worldwide advance of decolonization and majority rule. Yet as Thomas Borstelmann argues, these two movements were inextricably linked. While the attention of American governments, at least into the 1990s, was riveted on the Soviet Union and the activities of its allies and clients, an enormous change was occurring out of focus, a development that the author argues is in many respects more important than the defeat of Soviet communism. To follow this alternative history, from the apex of white supremacy in the early twentieth century to the present, is to recognize that America had "emerged as the multicultural leader of a multicultural world" (Borstelmann, The Cold War and the Color Line 271).

The question for Borstelmann is how this momentous change came about: what forces, intentional or not, combined to loosen the grip of white supremacy in America and in the Third World. He argues that the issue of anticommunism had a profound effect on progress toward racial justice. Opposition to Soviet advances meant the need to court allies like former colonial powers and white supremacists in Southern Africa. At the same time, Harry Truman and his advisers sought to court emerging Third World nations.

Borstelmann's analysis includes double demise of communism and apartheid in the early 1990s. While the story, particularly the second half of the book, extends to the present, his core interest is in presidential administrations from Truman through Johnson. The period after 1972 receives far less attention, in part because civil rights takes root in the United States, and because the forces that eventually undermined apartheid had begun their course. On his stage, the cast of players is fascinating because most of them were forced to play conflicting roles. Truman, Lyndon Johnson, and Jimmy Carter, who to one degree or another were committed to move civil rights forward in the United States, seeing a confluence of internal opposition, public opinion, and the sacrifice of their best intentions to policies and alliances demanded by the cold war.

The X factor in this narrative is the Cold War. American competition with the USSR gave rise to dire contradictions: alliances with racist, anti-communist southern senators and white supremacists in southern Africa, and, on the other hand, policies encouraging Third World nations to accept American models of democracy. Inexorably, this is a complex story, and predictably, Borstelmann finds ironies at every policy turn.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read...
The Cold War and the Color Line is a must read for anyone who is interested in understanding democracy and the challenges of making it real.Another great read to accompany this is Eyes Off the Prize.Were high school students allowed to read this sort of text not only would they find history more interesting, but they'd likely become more engaged as citizens.

5-0 out of 5 stars Race Relations - A Global Perspective
"The Cold War and the Color Line" by Thomas Borstlemann was a textbook in one of my stepson's history classes at Southeastern Louisiana University. He thought I might enjoy it and I did. The focus is on the presidencies of Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson during the U.S. civil rights era. Borstlemann describes how America's practice of racial segregation (and support of European colonial powers, and the segregationist regime in South Africa) hampered it in the minds of third world countries as these mostly non-white countries chose between capitalist and democratic systems and the Communist model. An interesting observation of Bortlesmann's is that the presidents that did the most in support of civil rights for racial minorities were those who grew up in the South--Truman (Missouri) desegregated the military; Johnson (Texas) got the Voting Rights Act passed, and both Carter (Georgia) and Clinton (Arkansas) took a strong interest in the rights of both African-Americans and blacks in Africa. On the other hand, the presidents raised outside the South (Eisenhower in Kansas, Kennedy in Massachusetts, Nixon in California, Reagan in Illinois and Bush in Connecticut) viewed racial equality as a secondary issue at best, or in some cases even worked to reverse past gains.As a "50-something", I lived through most of this era (albeit in central New York state, not the deep South), and found Borstlemann's work to be very illuminating.Since I've lived in the south (South Carolina, Virginia and Louisiana) for the last 30 years, I appreciated the book from the "new South" perspective as well.Highly recommended to students of history and race relations.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Cold War and Race Relations out of their Vacuums
In The Cold War and the Color Line, Borstelmann evaluates how US domestic and international race relations shaped the Cold War and how the Cold war shaped the domestic and international race relations. From my studies, and I imagine the studies of the majority of average Americans, the civil rights movement, de-colonization, and the Cold War happened in individual vacuums - separate from each other, only linked by common abstract dates. Borstelmann shows these happenings are all highly connected - at times acting as catalysts for another. "There was no greater weakness for the United States in waging the Cold War than inequality and discrimination," Borstelmann asserts. The United States had to confront racial segregation and discrimination within its own borders as well as regimes around the world to develop a multiracial global coalition against Soviet Communism. The US had to inspire the newly de-colonized non-white nations to sway towards the "free world." But how was the US to inspire a world, the majority non-white when Jim Crow was still firmly implanted in American society? Borstelmann follows the developments of these issues through the Presidencies that were tempered by the Cold War. I found the book a pleasant surprise. The book went beyond what I expected - being the race situations during the Cold War. Borstelmann took his work beyond that to a living political environment - domestic and international as one -where de-colonization, the Cold war environment, and the Civil Rights movement were taken out of their individual vacuums and thrown into a perspective that understands the complexities of that no so long ago reality. I am positive that anyone interested in race relations will embrace this book. Also I believe for a complete perspective of the Cold War or for any interested in the momentous events that transpired in the 20th century, this well researched book will make an excellent read. ... Read more

10. Inside the Kremlin's Cold War: From Stalin to Krushchev
by Vladislav Zubok, Constantine Pleshakov
Paperback: 382 Pages (1997-04-25)
list price: US$27.00 -- used & new: US$7.25
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Asin: 0674455320
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Covering the volatile period from 1945 to 1962, Zubok and Pleshakov explore the personalities and motivations of the key people who directed Soviet political life and shaped Soviet foreign policy. They begin with the fearsome figure of Joseph Stalin, who was driven by the dual dream of a Communist revolution and a global empire. They reveal the scope and limits of Stalin's ambitions by taking us into the world of his closest subordinates, the ruthless and unimaginative foreign minister Molotov and the Party's chief propagandist, Zhdanov, a man brimming with hubris and missionary zeal. The authors expose the machinations of the much-feared secret police chief Beria and the party cadre manager Malenkov, who tried but failed to set Soviet policies on a different course after Stalin's death. Finally, they document the motives and actions of the self-made and self-confident Nikita Khrushchev, full of Russian pride and party dogma, who overturned many of Stalin's policies with bold strategizing on a global scale. The authors show how, despite such attempts to change Soviet diplomacy, Stalin's legacy continued to divide Germany and Europe, and led the Soviets to the split with Maoist China and to the Cuban missile crisis.

Zubok and Pleshakov's groundbreaking work reveals how Soviet statesmen conceived and conducted their rivalry with the West within the context of their own domestic and global concerns and aspirations. The authors persuasively demonstrate that the Soviet leaders did not seek a conflict with the United States, yet failed to prevent it or bring it to conclusion. They also document why and how Kremlin policy-makers, cautious and scheming as they were, triggered the gravest crises of the Cold War in Korea, Berlin, and Cuba. Taking us into the corridors of the Kremlin and the minds of its leaders, Zubok and Pleshakov present intimate portraits of the men who made the West fear, to reveal why and how they acted as they did.

Amazon.com Review
The Cold War hovered over Americans like a black cloud for more than40 years. But with the defeat of Communism in 1991, documents have beenreleased indicating that the United States might have avoided it. VladislavZubok and Constantine Plashakov reveal that high-level Soviet diplomatsadvised Stalin to abandon global confrontation for a partnership with theUnited States and Britain to prevent Germany's resuscitation and to help inthe Soviet Union's reconstruction. Though FDR's death and Winston Churchill'selectoral defeat complicated the plan, it was the Hiroshima bombing underTruman that severed relations. Though later Soviet attempts to reconcile werethwarted by Khruschev's hope for a Russian revolution, the authors remind usthat Russia's course does not depend on Russia alone. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Much-needed New Information
Well, it turns out that Reagan, Truman, and even McCarthy were right all along.The Soviets were evil and laughed themselves sick at the lame efforts by the likes of Averill Harriman, Dean Acheson, and Jimmy Carter to convince them of our good intentions.They had nothing but bad intentions and didn't particularly care what ours were.The Soviets spent 40 years just shaking their heads wondering how we couldn't see that.Zubok brings out tons of information from Soviet archives (which are now probably going to be closed again) that should rewrite the history of the late 20th Century.

3-0 out of 5 stars Really worthwhile book on the subject, but...
Its really great to see some Russian points of view on this part of history. It's a complex time, and we need many points of view if we are to draw conclusions.

This book does well in highlighting the link between Stalin and the echos to Russias imperial past in his reign. It also does well in reminding us just how important security was in the minds of the Russians at that time. Often this is neglected by western historians, and indeed American leaders at that time.

I do sadly note though, that the "Stalin as monster" theme permiates the book. Yes, Stalin was brutal and respressive, but constantly reminding as in emotive language does little to further the material. It also ignores the fact that systems produce people, and he was a product of his culture and his time.

This book seems to me to let the US 'off the hook' for their part in the cold war. It seems to insinuate that they were making more rational decisions than the Soviets, when their policy was just as flawed when they got it wrong, and just as insightful when it was done well. Truman was not responsible for millions of deaths in his own country, but his foreign policy was a form of bullying economic imperialism. Had Truman been smart enough to lend money to the Soviets, the world would have been a very different place. This is a crucial part of Cold War history.

Despite some flaws, its a really interesting book, and I hope we get a lot more Russian books on the subject.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Look into the Kremlin
I found this book an interesting look at the key men who ran Soviet foreign policy between 1945-1964.

The book is arranged into biographical sketches about Stalin, Molotov, Malenkov, etc., and each chapter focuses on the foreign policy issue they were most involved with.I found this a little dissatisfying, since it was not strictly chronological, but I assume most readers would have a basic handle on Cold War chronology.

The chapters on Stalin, Molotov and Khushchev were the most interesting.I think this book would be most useful to college undergrads in Russian history or 20th Century diplomacy.

2-0 out of 5 stars Futile Justification
It is very interesting to learn how Russian historians view Cold War. It is well-written and easy to understand.

It seems to me, however, that the authors have some nostalgia for 19th century Russian imperialism. While ideology is described as delirium tremens, there is no criticism of Russian expansionism. Even Stalin's expansionism is justified by his concern for security. By denying Soviet Union's ambition and emphasizing economic loss which Russian people had to suffer, the authors are misleading readers to wrong direction.

4-0 out of 5 stars A useful insight
Inside the Kremlin's Cold War: From Stalin to Kruschev, opens a newdimension to those who are intrested in reading what had really happenedduring the Cold War. The sections about the atomic bomb preperations andeffort of Stalin and three consequent letters of Khruschev to Kennedyduring the Cuban Missile crisis -from which we understand caused astrategic policy change by the CPSU- are valuable pieces of information. Auseful insight which could bu read as a thriller. ... Read more

11. The Cold War: A Military History
by Stephen E. Ambrose, Caleb Carr, Thomas Fleming, Victor Hanson
Paperback: 496 Pages (2006-11-07)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$9.86
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Asin: 081296716X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Even fifteen years after the end of the Cold War, it is still hard to grasp that we no longer live under its immense specter. For nearly half a century, from the end of World War II to the early 1990s, all world events hung in the balance of a simmering dispute between two of the greatest military powers in history. Hundreds of millions of people held their collective breath as the United States and the Soviet Union, two national ideological entities, waged proxy wars to determine spheres of influence–and millions of others perished in places like Korea, Vietnam, and Angola, where this cold war flared hot.

Such a consideration of the Cold War–as a military event with sociopolitical and economic overtones–is the crux of this stellar collection of twenty-six essays compiled and edited by Robert Cowley, the longtime editor of MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History. Befitting such a complex and far-ranging period, the volume’s contributing writers cover myriad angles. John Prados, in “The War Scare of 1983,” shows just how close we were to escalating a war of words into a nuclear holocaust. Victor Davis Hanson offers “The Right Man,” his pungent reassessment of the bellicose air-power zealot Curtis LeMay as a man whose words were judged more critically than his actions.

The secret war also gets its due in George Feiffer’s “The Berlin Tunnel,” which details the charismatic C.I.A. operative “Big Bill” Harvey’s effort to tunnel under East Berlin and tap Soviet phone lines–and the Soviets’ equally audacious reaction to the plan; while “The Truth About Overflights,” by R. Cargill Hall, sheds light on some of the Cold War’s best-kept secrets.

The often overlooked human cost of fighting the Cold War finds a clear voice in “MIA” by Marilyn Elkins, the widow of a Navy airman, who details the struggle to learn the truth about her husband, Lt. Frank C. Elkins, whose A-4 Skyhawk disappeared over Vietnam in 1966. In addition there are profiles of the war’s “front lines”–Dien Bien Phu, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Bay of Pigs–as well as of prominent military and civil leaders from both sides, including Harry S. Truman, Nikita Khrushchev, Dean Acheson, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Richard M. Nixon, Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, and others.

Encompassing so many perspectives and events, The Cold War succeeds at an impossible task: illuminating and explaining the history of an undeclared shadow war that threatened the very existence of humankind.

From the Hardcover edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

3-0 out of 5 stars Incomplete and ultimately biased
This book disappointed me and I agree with the other reviewers who say it is incomplete and too heavily focused on Korea and Vietnam. Even beyond that, the selection and content of the essays is negative to the point of bias against the US--I do not agree with the reviewer who says the theme is "America won." To the contrary, many of the essays go out of their way to point out alleged American errors of diplomacy and military action, and ignores significant American steps that led to success, such as Reagan's decision at Reykjavik not to compromise on SDI. While the book is framed as a military history, it does discuss arms treaties and the importance of missile technology (and limitations thereon) to the Cold War; not to mention Reagan's role in structuring the limitations talks is a non-trivial oversight. Further, there is nothing about submarine warfare or undersea cable tapping, Grenada, Afghanistan, Uganda, Nicaragua or other East-West proxy wars, the terror caused by Soviet projection of military power (e.g., Hungary 1956), the Walker Navy spy ring, military uses of cryptography, or other important areas. If you want to read about American errors in Vietnam, buy the book, but otherwise look for a more complete and balanced account of the whole conflict.

4-0 out of 5 stars Limited scope...
The quality of the individual articles is very high.As a collection, however, something is lacking.A better title would have been, "The Vietnam and Korean Wars with Bonus Material".Such huge portion of the book is dedicated to southeast Asia that one would think it was heart of the Cold War.I find it amazing there isn't a single article on Afghanistan (heck, he could have even have put in the Vietnam section that dominates the book and called the chapter "Russia's Turn").In fact, the word Afghanistan doesn't even appear in the entire text.Not a word on the wide variety of surrogate wars fought in the Americas or the Middle East either.

Another flaw is that the introductory pages to each article written by the editor add almost nothing to the text.The articles would stand better on their own.

So basically I'd give the articles five stars.I'd give the editing/collation perhaps two stars.I gave it four overall because the bulk of what your read is very good and I'll give credit where credit is due.Nonetheless, the narrow scope of the collection and the poor quality of the editor's introductions is annoying.

2-0 out of 5 stars interesting but unsatisfying
there are a number of vignettes in this book that are interesting, however the general tone of the book is very America centric, perhaps with an underlying tone of "we won", which detracts from those essays that are more balanced. Generally this was unsatisfying, frustrating eneough to write this review, as although the better essays are quite good, overall there is a lack of substance.

However, the title is a tad misleading .

3-0 out of 5 stars Excellent but Incomplete
The book is a series of articles by many prominent modern historians and it begins at the beginning (a very good place to start) of the Cold War with an article entitled, "The Day the War Started."

Unfortunately, the book essentially ends in the early 1980s with, "The War Scare of 1983."What this means is the book does not consider the last years of the Cold War or how it ended.Another missing piece is that, other than the first series of articles on the war's beginnings and the more well known aspects of the Cold War such as the Cuban Missile Crisis and Berlin, the focus of the book is on the Korean and Vietnam Wars.It ignores other aspects of the Cold War such as our military involvement in Central America throughout the 1980s, the whole issue of brush fire wars in Europe's former colonies in which one side or the other was supported by the US or USSR, and the bipolarization of mid-level conflicts, such as in the Middle East, where, again, the US and USSR supported opposing sides.These missing aspects are not trivial in the context of the Cold War.

Having said that, I'm glad I bought the book, and I've already recommended it to others.It's impossible to not get a lot out of a book that includes articles by the likes of Williamson Murray, John F. Guilmartin, Jr., Douglas Porch, Stephen E. Ambrose, Victor David Hanson, and far more.But, in the end, it is incomplete - hence the three stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Military History of a Time of Peace, Unless You Were There
From the end of the Second World War until the collapse of the Soviet Union almost a half century later the two major powers in the world faced a kind of war. It was called the cold war because not much fighting occurred. To be sure, there was some in places like Korea, Viet Nam and Afghanistan. And there were some time where the two superpowers faced each other over loaded weapons such as Berlin and Cuba. But all in all, this was the longest time since the Roman Empire that the two strongest countries on the globe didn't go to war.

During much of this time the Military History Quarterly has provided a venue for the most prominent historians of our time to present articles on points of history as it was being lived. Robert Cowley is the founding editor of MHQ. In this volume he has selected articles from the Cold War period that serve to be a history of the Cold War written as it happened. The authors include some of the most prominent historians of that time, and some others that are not so well known but who provide an insight into the times. ... Read more

12. The Cold War: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by Robert J. McMahon
Paperback: 200 Pages (2003-07-10)
list price: US$11.95 -- used & new: US$6.28
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0192801783
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The massive disorder and economic ruin following the Second World War inevitably predetermined the scope and intensity of the Cold War. But why did it last so long? And what impact did it have on the United States, the Soviet Union, Europe, and the Third World? Finally, how did it affect the broader history of the second half of the twentieth century--what were the human and financial costs? This Very Short Introduction provides a clear and stimulating interpretive overview of the Cold War, one that will both invite debate and encourage deeper investigation. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very short but very good.
After searching some time for a short history of the Cold War, this little gem virtually fell into my lap. Though it's very, very brief, I cannot mark it down for excluding material because it is simply meant as an introduction. Because my previous experiences of this genre have been mixed: The Wall: The People's Story, The Berlin Wall: 13 August 1961 - 9 November 1989 and The Cold War by John Lewis Gaddis, I actually approached it with some trepidation. This was particularly the case because it was written by an American.

What I got was very different from what I expected. While Gaddis approaches the subject with heavy handed jingoism, relating standard conventional wisdom, Robert McMahon delivers a very reflective style of analysis which promotes a real understanding of what was going on. I have never believed in a partisan approach to history because it only ever gives one side of the story while making the other side look ridiculous or untenable. Rather than simply saying that the Soviets did something evil and getting bogged down in a moral argument, McMahon actually explains why it happened the way it did and leaves it for the reader to judge for themselves. Without this approach it would be just another book.

He goes into some detail about the levels of political aggression on both sides but with particular reference to the rhetoric delivered by a conga line of US presidents starting with Truman and ending with Reagan. This is what makes the book unique and it is this question of American sense of proportion which takes it to another level. How bad was the threat from the USSR and how much did a level of US paranoia contribute to upping the ante? Gaddis, in contrast, is simply incapable of doing that.

In the end we learn that it was Gorbachev who was making all the concessions, usually against the will of some extremist apparatchiks and not without significant personal risk. It happened so quickly, in fact that the changes even pre-empted US pressure. The subtext of McMahon's thesis is that the traditional view that the US won the Cold War by superiority in technology and philosophy was not actually what happened. It was not the US who won but the entire world and from the point of view someone who lived through it, is a far more accurate and sympathetic analysis of what happened.

This is a great little book, as is the case with so many in this series and I wholeheartedly recommend it. It's not for everyone and if your political persuasions don't run in this direction, you probably won't like it. If you are reasonably open minded, you will end up with a far better understanding than you might from a traditional view many times the length. McMahon has enough material to easily write a book 4 times the size which would be a great source on the period and would probably be a best seller. The sooner he does it, the better because I'll be first in the queue to buy it!

4-0 out of 5 stars Quick and to the point
This is exactly what the title says, the entire Cold War in 168 pages. Oxford University Press has started this "Very Short Introductions" series on many different subjects for those with short attention spans or those teaching undergraduate courses (two categories which aren't necessarily mutually excusive). I decided to read this one to see what there books were like, and to see if this book could be used in one of my future classes. For anybody that has some in depth knowledge of the Cold War, or certain aspects thereof, this book can be very frustrating, since it is a brief overview of events. However, everything is covered, from the origins to the battle for the Third World to Cold War culture to the collapse of the Eastern Block. For someone wanting a short intro to the Cold War outside of a University, this would serve them well, though the book pays much more attention to the US than the Soviet Union. When I cover this subject in future classes I will cover most of the areas covered in this book in lectures, and will assign reading looking at one or two aspects of the Cold War in more detail.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to the Cold War.

This is a pocket sized book with a title that implies it offers a brief overview of the Cold War but make no mistake, there is nothing lacking in this little gem. Starting with World War II and the destruction of the old Eurocentric world order, the book progresses to the origins of the Cold War, through developing problems in South East Asia, the rise of the Superpowers and finally ends with the fall of Communism in the former USSR.
There are many illustrations and some useful maps along with a very useful chapter pointing to further reading for anyone wishing to extend their knowledge of the subject. This book contains more than enough information to give a good grounding in the subject, not only for the casual reader but also for the student. It may be a `very short introduction' but it is an extremely thorough one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very well written.
I'm a Political Science/History major at the University of Pittsburgh, and this was one of the books in a ps class I took.It's very well written, and very informative.McMahon gives a brief rundown of the history and policy of the United States and the Soviet Union during this era in a way that's not at all hard on the reader.It was actually a very fun read, and is quite helpful if you don't know much about the Cold War.It's also short enough that it can easily be read in one sitting in a couple of hours.Great read, and a good book to pick up.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good on the Facts but Limitied in its Understanding
Although McMahon hits all of the salient events in the Cold War, he views the Cold War as a rivalry only between the USA and USSR, one in which their respective allies have little or no abiding national interest but, with few exceptions, act at the direction of their overseers in Washington and Moscow. Perhaps a broader analysis of the multiple national interests in the Cold War would give the work a dimension that could not qualify as a "very short introduction." But that doesn't seem to be McMahon's issue.He defines the Cold War solely in terms of a conflict between the superpowers:

"In brief, it was the divergent aspirations, needs, histories, governing institutions, and ideologies of the Untied States and the Soviet Union that turned unavoidable tensions into the epic four-decade confrontation that we call the Cold War" (p. 5).

McMahon is quite good when he shows how the conflicts in the Cold War were principally played out through third-world countries.He needs to discuss a bit more the frequent devastating effects the conflict had for the lives, prosperity, sovereignty and dignity of the people in these nations.Multiple millions of people died as a result of the international chess game among the major powers.

McMahon is one of the few writers to point out that Stalin offered the West a unified Germany with free elections as long as Germany was demilitarized (much like Japan was after World War 2) and was not a part of NATO, reasonable conditions given that Germany had invaded Russia twice in the 20th century.But the USA turned down the deal thinking that an armed partitioned West Germany met the USA's strategic interest by providing an advanced front line abutting the Warsaw Pact nations.

McMahon gets high marks for showing that it was principally the unilateral actions taken by Gorbachev that led to the end of Cold War and not, as in the USA propagandists' fantasy, Ronald Reagan.
... Read more

13. Cold War, Cool Medium: Television, McCarthyism, and American Culture (Film and Culture)
by Thomas Doherty
Paperback: 320 Pages (2005-03-31)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$21.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 023112953X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Conventional wisdom holds that television was a co-conspirator in the repressions of Cold War America, that it was a facilitator to the blacklist and handmaiden to McCarthyism. But Thomas Doherty argues that, through the influence of television, America actually became a more open and tolerant place. Although many books have been written about this period,Cold War, Cool Medium is the only one to examine it through the lens of television programming.

To the unjaded viewership of Cold War America, the television set was not a harbinger of intellectual degradation and moral decay, but a thrilling new household appliance capable of bringing the wonders of the world directly into the home. The "cool medium" permeated the lives of every American, quickly becoming one of the most powerful cultural forces of the twentieth century. While television has frequently been blamed for spurring the rise of Senator Joseph McCarthy, it was also the national stage upon which America witnessed -- and ultimately welcomed -- his downfall. In this provocative and nuanced cultural history, Doherty chronicles some of the most fascinating and ideologically charged episodes in television history: the warm-hearted Jewish sitcomThe Goldbergs; the subversive threat fromI Love Lucy; the sermons of Fulton J. Sheen onLife Is Worth Living; the anticommunist seriesI Led 3 Lives; the legendary jousts between Edward R. Murrow and Joseph McCarthy onSee It Now; and the hypnotic, 188-hour political spectacle that was the Army-McCarthy hearings.

By rerunning the programs, freezing the frames, and reading between the lines,Cold War, Cool Medium paints a picture of Cold War America that belies many black-and-white clichés. Doherty not only details how the blacklist operated within the television industry but also how the shows themselves struggled to defy it, arguing that television was preprogrammed to reinforce the very freedoms that McCarthyism attempted to curtail.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars THIS BOOK IS NEEDED
I purchased this book as part of my research to a follow-up book, Don't Weep for Me, America: How Democracy in America Became the Prince (While We Slept). I wanted to see if the Cold War was the same big fraud as today's War on Terror. Thanks to author, Thomas Doherty, I learned that not only was McCarthy THE chief propagandist for the "red scare", but that television was almost invented for the purspose of providing its platform. The blacklist that author Doherty details in his excellent chapter, "The Gestalt of the Blacklist" is an incredible story that a reasonable person would have trouble understanding could happen in a true constitutional republic. But it did happen. And today, the level of crime committed by the state, through planned and systematic propaganda has reached its...zenith...

5-0 out of 5 stars Superior Socio-Cultural History
The author should take a bow. He has written a wonderfully balanced, anecdotal-rich account of the simultaneous evolution of the Cold War, TV and political culture in the Age of McCarthy (which is, in all too many ways, an age we are still in.) That the junior senator from the cheeshead state was a craven opportunist is as well known now as it was even then, but what he exploited via the new electronic medium was the pervasive fear that subversion lurked behind every vacuum tube as well as behind every State Department desk.

5-0 out of 5 stars Terrific
Cold War, Cool Medium is a terrific and compulsively readable study of McCarthyism in the context of the early history of television.Doherty astutely establishes the way televison worked in its formative days.Then he shows how its weaknesses aided in the rise of McCarthy and how both its strengths and weaknesses aided in his fall.Superb and easiy to read history. ... Read more

14. Latin America's Cold War
by Hal Brands
Hardcover: 408 Pages (2010-09-30)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$21.99
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Asin: 0674055284
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For Latin America, the Cold War was anything but cold. Nor was it the so-called “long peace” afforded the world’s superpowers by their nuclear standoff. In this book, the first to take an international perspective on the postwar decades in the region, Hal Brands sets out to explain what exactly happened in Latin America during the Cold War, and why it was so traumatic.

Tracing the tumultuous course of regional affairs from the late 1940s through the early 1990s, Latin America’s Cold War delves into the myriad crises and turning points of the period—the Cuban revolution and its aftermath; the recurring cycles of insurgency and counter-insurgency; the emergence of currents like the National Security Doctrine, liberation theology, and dependency theory; the rise and demise of a hemispheric diplomatic challenge to U.S. hegemony in the 1970s; the conflagration that engulfed Central America from the Nicaraguan revolution onward; and the democratic and economic reforms of the 1980s.

Most important, the book chronicles these events in a way that is both multinational and multilayered, weaving the experiences of a diverse cast of characters into an understanding of how global, regional, and local influences interacted to shape Cold War crises in Latin America. Ultimately, Brands exposes Latin America’s Cold War as not a single conflict, but rather a series of overlapping political, social, geostrategic, and ideological struggles whose repercussions can be felt to this day.

... Read more

15. Cold War Orientalism: Asia in the Middlebrow Imagination, 1945-1961
by Christina Klein
Paperback: 336 Pages (2003-03-10)
list price: US$26.95 -- used & new: US$26.92
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Asin: 0520232305
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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In the years following World War II, American writers and artists produced a steady stream of popular stories about Americans living, working, and traveling in Asia and the Pacific. Meanwhile the U.S., competing with the Soviet Union for global power, extended its reach into Asia to an unprecedented degree. This book reveals that these trends--the proliferation of Orientalist culture and the expansion of U.S. power--were linked in complex and surprising ways. While most cultural historians of the Cold War have focused on the culture of containment, Christina Klein reads the postwar period as one of international economic and political integration--a distinct chapter in the process of U.S.-led globalization.

Through her analysis of a wide range of texts and cultural phenomena--including Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific and The King and I, James Michener's travel essays and novel Hawaii, and Eisenhower's People-to-People Program--Klein shows how U.S. policy makers, together with middlebrow artists, writers, and intellectuals, created a culture of global integration that represented the growth of U.S. power in Asia as the forging of emotionally satisfying bonds between Americans and Asians. Her book enlarges Edward Said's notion of Orientalism in order to bring to light a cultural narrative about both domestic and international integration that still resonates today. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Different Perspective on the Cold War
According to Christina Klein, just after World War II, the American arts and popular culture scene - writers, artists and movies blossomed with stories that related to American experiences in Asia. Concurrently, the United States had already put in place a policy of containment - in competition with the CCCP for the decolonizing East and Southeast Asia. In Cold War Orientalism, Klein argues that a growing Orientalist discourse worked in a contrapuntal way - not to undermine the narrative of containment (but with a counter narrative of integration) that produced both unintended and complex outcomes. First, the Otherness of the pre-war "Oriental" was gradually replaced by images of cultural pluralism that allowed Asian Americans to have multiple personas a move with real ideological benefits (Klein, Cold War Orientalism 231, 241).

Klein argues that they were "the cultural space in which the ideologies undergirding those policies could be, at various moments, articulated, endorsed, questioned, softened and mystified" (Klein, Cold War Orientalism 9). With so much at risk as the United States began to confront the ideological threat of Communism, the willingness of ordinary US citizens to accept wide-ranging US engagement in Asia became a key issue for those who thought that indifference could pave the way for further geopolitical setbacks (Klein, Cold War Orientalism 27-28). Winning the allegiance of others in the Cold War was a "sentimental formulation, grounded in the fear of loss and the desire for connection" (Klein, Cold War Orientalism 43-44).

Similar to the project began by Melani McAlister in Epic Encounters; Klein complicates the notion of Orientalism by adding complexity to the static East/West binary. Klein argues is a sense of sentimentalism that lays the epistemic groundwork for the kinds of language that will lead to policies and governmental moves that will work alongside the policy of containment, eventually lead to, and heavily inform contemporary globalization. Klein's archive is vast. She utilizes as wide array of text and media in public culture: Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I and South Pacific, Michener's travel essays and novel Hawaii, and Eisenhower's People-to-People Program. As mentioned to previously, Klein navigates us through the complex workings and interlocking agendas of U.S. policy makers interacting with "middlebrow" imagination. Klein is interested in how the culture of global integration resulted in American hegemony in the Asia/Pacific sphere through the creation of emotional links between US and Asia.

Christina Klein investigates the ways in which American "middlebrow" intellectuals and artists produced representations of non-Communist Asia from 1945-1961. She exposes the complex connections between the expansion of the United States as a global power and the persistence of American Orientalist discourse. Klein analyzes the Cold War period within the framework of integration--as opposed to the dominant theme of containment--that encouraged an anti-imperial and reciprocal "sentimental education" intended to bridge the real and imagined differences between East and West. She views the sentimental as a politicized discourse with the potential to "serve as an instrument for exercising power" (Klein, Cold War Orientalism 15) particularly in the context of economic and political globalization. The middlebrow culture that shaped this sentimental discourse helped produce a U.S. national identity that was non-colonial and simultaneously a dominant power in Asia.

In Cold War Orientalism, Klein, like McAlister also extends Edward Said's Orientalism through the notion of sentimentalism that results in a policy of integration. She explores how a cultural narrative developed both as domestic pedagogy and the complex narrative of "international integration" was created and resonates today. Both disrupt the binary of us versus them and infuse Orientalism with the notion of interdependence. In extending Edward Said's notion of Orientalism, Klein Challenges Said's oppositional solution to the Orientalist discourse and the power structure it creates. Cold War scholars usually focus on the masculine Truman Doctrine of Containment as foundation of their studies. Klein highlights the importance of the "global imaginary of integration" by using Wilcox's 1957 speech that encouraged "sentimental education."

As a function of methodology, she uses an interdisciplinary approach. Klein links foreign policy with popular culture; material and symbolic representations of Asia. She uses cultural analysis to figure out foreign relations and history. She uses literary sources and film analyses. Klein uses "Texts": political speeches, White House memos, National Security Council deliberations, foreign policy analyses, State Department publications, "I am interested in the intricacies of literary, cinematic, and theatrical form and how they work to create meaning. I am also interested, however, in the particularities of any given text's production, circulation and reception." (Klein, Cold War Orientalism 6).

5-0 out of 5 stars Key To Understanding the Baby Boomer Generation
This book is a knock up the side of the head! Now I understand the disconnect between what I was brought up to believe about the United States and the non-western world, and what is happening now e.g. US policy is really that of Britain before 1942!
Must read for all us old hippies!

5-0 out of 5 stars New Understanding Of East and West During the Cold War
Edward W. Said convincingly argued in his 1979 masterpiece, Orientalism that the West (mainly America) traditionally had a rather monolithic view of the East.This perception, according to Said, was based more on fantasy than in fact - and that the West saw the East in terms of the `other.'MIT Literary Professor Christina Klein re-visits Said's conclusions in Cold War Orientalism:Asia in the Middlebrow Imagination, 1945-1961.In this work, she successfully argues that "while many American representations fit comfortably with Said's model of Orientalism, many post-war representations of noncommunist Asia do not, although they do not contradict it entirely"

Essentially, Klein illustrates that various cultural mediums in post-WWII America actively engage Asian topics to bridge the cultural divide between East and West.In her powerful and well written work, Klein masterfully explains "the relationship between the expansion of U.S. power into Asia between 1945 and 1961 and the simultaneous proliferation of popular American representations of Asia" (p. 5).

There are numerous examples cited in this work that provide evidence to support her main claim that America and the Orient (the East) "could learn to understand each other" (p. 200.).For instance, she brilliantly illustrates that America reached out to post-WWII Asia through films such as The King and I and The Bridges of Toko-Ri; and through magazines such as the Readers Digest and Saturday Review.These cultural mediums, asserted Klein, educated America about Asian topics - and advanced the American Cold War interest of "economic globalization" (p. 268).

Although Klein wisely stops her study in 1961, her conclusion draws parallels between recent U.S.-Asia relations and those of post-WWII such as the revival of the King and Iin 1996 and a 1991 speech by Dole Foods CEO who "praised Asian Americans as a National Resource" (p. 269).

A cursory query of reviews for Klein's work resulted in an abundance of praise and admiration for her scholarship.Klein, noted one reviewer, "is not content to simplify the complexity of the time period in order to schematize things too neatly.Rather, she seeks to dig into the richness of America's expectations for Asia, including the countervailing currents within that relationship" (review by Jespersen T. Christopher). The blend and overall comparisons between cultural mediums provides the reader with a rich and compelling story.

The passages, scholarship, anecdotes, and readability of this work are impressive.But the real value of this work is that it advances a new understanding of the East and West during the Cold War - where the former educates the latter in a mutually beneficial platform.In this reviewer's opinion, there are no obvious weaknesses to this work, nor are there any harsh criticisms from other reviewers about Klein's overall thesis.This is an important work for students of the Cold War and expands nicely on Said's research on Orientalism.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Cold War Was Much More Than Containment and McCarthyism
Christina Klein contends that the paradigm of the Truman Doctrine can not offer a complete understanding of Cold War American culture or policy. She juxtaposes its policy of global communist containment with a 1957 speech by American diplomat Francis Wilcox that harped the need to educate Americans about the world beyond the national boundaries. This contrasts what the author terms the "global imaginary of containment" with the "global imaginary of integration." Both of these are educational projects. The first teaches the global politic as a heroic crusade against communism, the latter teaches it as a sentimental connection with the cultures of non-Americans. While acknowledging the abundance of quality scholarship that investigates the former project, Klein positions Cold War Orientalism as an investigation of the policy of Cold War internationalism and its related trope of "sentimental education." In doing so, she aims to dichotomize the discourse of history by proving that integration of the capitalist world went hand-in-hand with Soviet containment.

Klein begins by documenting the Federal policy initiatives that promoted cold war internationalism in the American populace, like the United States Information Agency's people-to-people program. These initiatives rose in the wake of McCarthyism because the Truman Doctrine had a basic rhetorical disadvantage when promoted to the American public. As shown in her analysis of National Security Council directives, a foreign policy of communist containment has the public relations problem of being defined by that which it opposes. The integration of "free" people and commodities becomes the necessary positive to imbue the ideology of containment with original purpose.

The author then considers how "middlebrow intellectuals"-the author's term for the editors of mass periodicals like Reader's Digest, claimed Cold War internationalism as a public pedagogy and instructed readers about the American commitment to cultural difference. The text importantly contends that "middlebrow"-an adjective and Klein's subtitular term-has roots in cultural populism of the 1920s. It functionally describes a process of repackaging diverse culture for mass consumption. This "offered [upwardly mobile immigrant] consumers the cultural capital that would make them feel more secure in their new class identity (Klein 64)." It also appropriates the cultural inadequacy that permeated the Untied State's post-WWI uneasiness with the global mantle. It translates this inadequacy into a call for individuals to claim the authority of widely informed knowledge. Finally, Klein contends that the "middlebrow imagination" conflated education with enjoyment and moral purpose, ironically couching human difference in the trappings of soothing universalism. To show the connection between Cold War Internationalism as public policy and middlebrow cultural project, the author compares novelized travel accounts (like James Michiner's The Voice of Asia) to policy documents like NSC-48. Both envision an Asian communism that is rabidly expansionist and interstitial states that teeter on the verge of being "lost" or safely preserved in the bloc of the free world through cultural understanding (Klein 126).

While Klein's scholarship is original, taking policies that have been discretely engaged by multiple works and disciplines (like, for example, the propaganda policy considerations of Jacques Ellul), her lexicon of sentimental internationalism also offers a fresh critique of liberalism. It remains an unfinished project to extend this exciting paradigm into wider considerations of American conflict and axes of difference. ... Read more

16. The Atomic Bomb and the Origins of the Cold War
by Prof. Campbell Craig, Prof. Sergey S Radchenko
Hardcover: 232 Pages (2008-08-28)
list price: US$27.00 -- used & new: US$16.50
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Asin: 0300110286
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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After a devastating world war, culminating in the obliteration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it was clear that the United States and the Soviet Union had to establish a cooperative order if the planet was to escape an atomic World War III.


In this provocative study, Campbell Craig and Sergey Radchenko show how the atomic bomb pushed the United States and the Soviet Union not toward cooperation but toward deep bipolar confrontation. Joseph Stalin, sure that the Americans meant to deploy their new weapon against Russia and defeat socialism, would stop at nothing to build his own bomb. Harry Truman, initially willing to consider cooperation, discovered that its pursuit would mean political suicide, especially when news of Soviet atomic spies reached the public. Both superpowers, moreover, discerned a new reality of the atomic age: now, cooperation must be total. The dangers posed by the bomb meant that intermediate measures of international cooperation would protect no one. Yet no two nations in history were less prepared to pursue total cooperation than were the United States and the Soviet Union. The logic of the bomb pointed them toward immediate Cold War.


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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars An interesting account of the Origins of the Cold War
The authors of this book make the case that the atomic bomb was main factor in creating the Cold War. FDR and later Truman wanted to use the atomic bomb as a diplomatic lever against the Soviet Union. Both of these presidents would only share the secret of the bomb with the Soviets if they complied with the American demands on letting the Eastern European countries pursue their own destiny. The Russians on the other hand wanted to develop their own bomb not because they thought it would be decisive but because it was viewed as propaganda tool against the Soviets which demonstrated Western strength. In the book the authors make the case that dropping the first atmomic bomb on Hiroshima was necessary but the second on Nagasaki was not and was mainly a demonstration to scare the Russians into accepting American demands. The authors also stated that the Baruch Plan was used as propaganda ploy by both sides with the Americans wanting the Soviets to reject the plan while the Soviets used it to display American nuclear blackmail. Also spying made the problem worse becuase it stiffened US resolve to not give up nuclear secrets to an international body for fear that the Soviets were developing their own nuclear weapon. When theSoviets finally developed their bomb, the arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union began. The only weakness of the book is that the authors have ignored how Germany and the division of that country was probably a greater factor in starting the Cold War. Also from reading the recent work by Hasegawa it appears that the dropping of the atomic bomb was not really necessary unlike what the authors have stated in this book. Nevertheless this is a interesting book about how the arms race started. ... Read more

17. The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters
by Frances Stonor Saunders
Paperback: 528 Pages (2001-04)
list price: US$26.95 -- used & new: US$16.56
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Asin: 1565846648
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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In addition to being short-listed for the Guardian First Book Award upon publication in 2000, Frances Stonor Saunders's The Cultural Cold War was met with the kind of attention reserved for books that directly hit a cultural nerve. Impassioned reviews and features in major publications such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal have consistently praised Saunders's detailed knowledge of the CIA's covert operations. The Cultural Cold War presents for the first time shocking evidence of cultural manipulation during the Cold War. This "impressively detailed" (Kirkus Reviews) book draws together newly declassified documents and exclusive interviews to expose the CIA's astonishing campaign wherein some of the most vocal exponents of intellectual freedom became instruments of the American government. Those involved included George Orwell, Bertrand Russell, Jean-Paul Sartre, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and Gloria Steinem. The result is "a tale of intrigue and betrayal, with scene after scene as thrilling as any in a John Le Carré novel" (The Chronicle of Higher Education).8 pages of black-and-white photographs.Amazon.com Review
It is well known that the CIA funded right-wing intellectuals after World War II; fewer know that it also courted individuals from the center and the left in an effort to turn the intelligentsia away from communism and toward an acceptance of "the American way." Frances Stonor Saunders sifts through the history of the covert Congress for Cultural Freedom in The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters. The book centers on the career of Michael Josselson, the principal intellectual figure in the operation, and his eventual betrayal by people who scapegoated him. Sanders demonstrates that, in the early days, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and the emergent CIA were less dominated by the far right than they later became, and that the idea of helping out progressive moderates--rather than being Machiavellian--actually appealed to the men at the top.

Many intellectuals were still drawn to Stalin's Russia. Saunders superbly traces the crisis of conscience that McCarthyism and its associated book-burning caused, and the subsequent rise of more moderate ideals. This exhaustive account, despite neglecting some important side issues, is an essential book. --Roz Kaveney, Amazon.co.uk ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

3-0 out of 5 stars In Other Words
After the Russian Revolution of 1917, there were long-standing disagreements until the early 1940s; the Cold War was a bitter, usually non-military conflict for fifty years after WWII. It resumed in 1945, Korean War and Vietnam. As a result, the United States and Soviet Union were always "racing" for arms including nuclear weapons. In the '50s, a climate of fear causing internal instability in the U. S.

The roots of the Cold War lay deep in our past. Russia's miliary power grew and the Soviet Union was developed; consequently, communism was their religion. An uneasy stalemate lasted until 1933. The Great Depression in America caused enemies to become friends there for a time. Stalin vs. Hitler, U.S. Great Britain and Soviet Union formed the grand alliance. Americans believe in the principles of liberty, equality and opportunity. U. S. emerged from the war strong and secure, eager to spread its vision of freedom and economic opportunity around the world.

In 1950s, scientists created new thermonuclear weapons -- hydrogen bombs, which were much more powerful the atomic bomb. Russian Sputnik circled the globe in 1957. Margaret Chase Smith promoted a "Declaration of Conscience" in 1954 as she censured Joseph R. McCarthy's use of hate and character assassination. David Alman, novelist and playwright, promoted the Broadway play, 'The Crucible,' as a parable of McCarthyism. He felt it was "really about the Rosenbergs." McCarthy destroyed many careers and reputations, like Alger Hiss who was proven not guilty of any offence.

Russia's superpower status today comes from energy, not its military.Thhe world's top producer of crude oil is there.Seventy percent of its reserves are found in Western Siberia where they used to isolate their criminals.Their oil industry developoment in a place where severe winters last four months.Russia's new economy seems bright.

5-0 out of 5 stars Exciting history of CIA propagandism in the West
Most people are probably aware that the CIA sponsored a lot of activities, legal and extralegal, in the war against the Communist bloc known as the Cold War. But it is perhaps less well-known to what extent the CIA was involved in sponsoring, bribing and suborning writers, musicians, actors and intellectuals to agitate against the Soviet Union and its allies, as well as communism and Marxism in general. In particular the CIA-run organization "Congress for Cultural Freedom" and its flagship intellectual journal 'Encounter' had a great influence in the West in terms of effective propagandizing for the US point of view.

Frances Stonor Saunders, an independent film producer and writer for the New Statesman, has now produced an authoritative modern history of the CIA and the Congress, as well as related organizations, focusing both on the global political dimen. She focuses on the global politics, but also on the individuals involved on all sides, the many prominent writers and intellectuals in the organizations, and what it looked like from the CIA's perspective, for which she makes use of newly declassified documents. She shows convincingly that the "non-Communist Left" was by and large bribed or cajoled by the CIA, in so far as they didn't enthousiastically volunteer, into joining their propaganda front. She also shows that later denials by people such as Stephen Spender and Melvin Lasky of their knowledge of CIA involvement is extremely unrealistic and most likely just another lie.

That is not to say that this work is a polemic; far from it, Saunders writes very matter-of-factly and evenhandedly, and has little interest in discussing the merits of various political positions, though she does not fail to comment on the context of the Cold War at times, when she contrasts high-minded phrasery with the rather brutal and cynical realities of Vietnam, CIA activity in Latin America, the Soviet purges, the repression of Hungary, etc. The book is very extensive, making use of various sorts of sources, including interviews with important participants, in which they reflect remarkably often in a rather cynical way on their past activities. It's quite astounding how many famous writers, composers, intellectuals etc., from Nabokov's cousin to Stravinsky and from Russell to Stuart Hampshire, were involved in organized campaigns to attack and discredit their socialist colleagues. For that alone, this book is worth reading, that these crimes are not forgotten.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Historical Analysis
Eric Ehrman's review fully fails to explain the value of this book.First he says there's nothing new here because Simone de Beauvoir wrote a novel that touches on it.If he fails to understand the difference between a novel and history then he can't be taken seriously.

He also suggests that the question about why Conor Cruise O'Brien criticized Camus is a "bigger picture."What a mind-bogglingly stupid statement!

The point of this book is that after WWII, Western Europe was in danger of falling under the sway of the Soviet Union.Capitalism had been blamed for not only the worldwide depression, but both world wars, and socialism was seen by many as a more respectable alternative.As well, Russia had a respectable cultural heritage, while Americans were seen as gum-chewing cowboys.So keeping Western Europe in the free world was a huge task.If Ehrmann thinks a tiff between O'Brien and Camus is a bigger picture than this...well, words to describe the utter silliness of that escape me.

Of course the most important--and famous--policy towards that goal was the Marshall Plan.Keep Europeans from starving after the war, and rebuild their economies, and voila, they're on our side.But there was a cultural war as well, and this is Saunders' focus.The CIA of the time was an intriguing good old boy's club, very much in the manner of the British intelligence service at the time, filled with highly educated, cultured, and well-bred folks (read John Le Carre's novels and you'll get a sense of the type).These people understood that cultural issues were important--as blue-blood Yankees they had been raised with a sense of noblesse oblige, and many of them came from families that had created the great art museums for the very purpose of bringing culture to the masses.(Seems insufferably elitist today, but that's how it was.)

Notably, these early CIA folk had to fight against backwoods southern politicians who lacked their insight.While the politicians rejected the use of public funds to support anyone who was marginally to the left of the average southern reactionary, the CIA people recognized that including them in shows touring Europe served the purpose of boosting the U.S. over the Soviet Union.

First, avant garde work such as the abstract expressionists (condemned by one politician as being coded maps to such sensitive U.S. sites as Hoover Dam) contrasted well with the restricted formalism of socialist realism, highlighting America's cultural vitality.Second, by including left-leaning artists, it showed (perhaps not entirely truthfully) that America was big enough, strong enough, and free enough to allow dissidents to operate freely, also in strong contrast to the ideological restrictiveness of the Soviet Union.

I give the book 4 stars, rather than 5, because the one point where Ehrman is correct is in his criticism of Saunders' prose.She appears to be trying very hard to be an elegant and sophisticated writer, but it simply comes across as stilted and artificial.That's too bad, because the story she has to tell is fascinating and important.Maybe Ehrman missed the point because he couldn't wade through her turgid style.

4-0 out of 5 stars An unmined field
As a reading experience,the narrative is oddly fascinating; as a source of obscure information, the materialis richly rewarding; but as a history of the culture wars of the early cold war period, the book is mediocre at best. The narrative succeeds because the author keeps it moving nicely, providing biographical information when needed, but never as a drag. (Turns out that key shapers of early CIA were pedigeed establishment figures, lending weight to view of the Agency as an establishment - and not a populist - response to post-war world.) The intrigues lack the usual blood and guts of CIA operations, but are fascinating nonetheless, as intellectuals battle one another on both sides of the iron curtain. Saunders has done a service by providing information from research on this little known corner of the cold war. (Who among the general readership would otherwiseknow of the political intrigues that surrounded the promotion of non-representational art!) As a history of the culture war, the book doesn't work nearly as well, mainly because the events unfold without much historical context to illuminate them.For example, we learn very little of why various conferences were scheduled by the CIA's front organization, The Congress fo Cultural Freedom. Were they part of a larger propaganda offensive, perhaps in response to an aggressive Soviet move, or maybe to provide a paid holiday for penniless academics. etc. By and large, the adversarial Soviet Union, a key player in the drama,remains a very shadowy and unanalyzed presense throughout.

It's always tricky in a book about the Cold War to adopt a correct distance from the material. In this case, I believe Saunders succeeds admirably given the politically charged subject matter. She's largely non-judgemental toward the leading players, most of whom are none to sympathetic. Just as importantly, she is alert to the ironies of a Congress that preaches artistic freedom, yet whose publications refuse to include material critical of U.S. policy or objectives. In the final analysis, as she indicates on the last page, this was not a contest between virtue and evil, but between competing empires, one of which still stands with all its powers of deception still intact. The author has done a nice job of documenting one of those deceptive operations in action.

2-0 out of 5 stars A Revisionist History of One 20th Century "Kulturkampf"
This is a highly nuanced work- a decouverture and denouement of the scams and schemes of one particular compartment of cultural intelligence work orchestrated by one organisation- by the compilers of a new generation. Itsoft stilted prose and loaded language are quite similar to that employed byNicholas Davidow in his character assassination portrayal of major leaguebaseball player and OSS operator Moe Berg.

Anyone who has read Simone deBeauvoir's roman-a-clef "The New Mandarins", published nearlyhalf a century ago can match the players who hang out in her novel'sfictive "Bar Rouge" (The Ritz Hotel Bar in Paris) with the namesFrances Stonor Saunders chooses to name in her work. Nothing really newhere.

Stonor's process of contacting and interviewing family members ofthose who played some role in the "Congress for Cultural Freedom"deserves praise and projects the sense of an open society that, today, isfar more open than those whose machinations created the CCF could have everimagined, or, wanted, for that matter.

Although the Soviet Union, GreatBritain, France, the "two Germanys" and the Vatican all conductedtheir own cultural operations, based on their own interests andrequirements, Stonor focuses on the United States, where freedom ofinformation laws are light years ahead of the other majorplayers.

There's a much bigger picture to be painted here.Questionsthat could have been raised, that were not.For example, why did ConorCruise O'Brien, someone with known links to the CCF argue that Albert Camuswas a "grade B" writer and that he received the 1960 Nobel Prizefor Literature only to counterpoise the "Communist"existentialist and acadamician Jean-Paul Sartre?

Then too, Stonor'sfocus on the CCF leaves out another key element of the U.S."kulturkampf" strategy, namely, the issue of "journalisticcover."This is an area where an individual with Stonor's keeninvestigative talents could unearth a goldmine of information that wouldhave relevance and demand accountability today.

With the velocity ofinformation moving today exponentially faster than it did during the periodbeing examined by Stonor, one wonders whether it is best to expend suchoutstanding investigative energy turning the old stones of the past, or toexamine the new stones that are gathering no moss. As our global economymigrates toward the civic religion of democratic corporativism, this is theissue that Stonor and others should be examining. ... Read more

18. Conflict After Cold War: Arguments On Causes Of War And Peace- (Value Pack w/MySearchLab)
by Richard K. Betts
Paperback: Pages (2008-12-26)
list price: US$71.60 -- used & new: US$71.60
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Asin: 0205700519
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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MySearchLab provides students with a complete understanding of the research process so they can complete research projects confidently and efficiently. Students and instructors with an internet connection can visit www.MySearchLab.com and receive immediate access to thousands of full articles from the EBSCO ContentSelect database. In addition, MySearchLab offers extensive content on the research process itself—including tips on how to navigate and maximize time in the campus library, a step-by-step guide on writing a research paper, and instructions on how to finish an academic assignment with endnotes and bibliography.­


Edited by one of the most renowned scholars in the field, Richard Betts’ Conflict After the Cold War assembles classic and contemporary readings that argue about the shape of international conflict in this post-Cold War and post-9/11 era. Contextualized within a broader philosophical and historical context, the carefully chosen and excerpted selections in this popular reader introduce students to the core debates about the causes and the future of war and peace. Through the precision of its approach and attention to new issues, this reader challenges conventional wisdom and encourages more critical examination of the political, economic, social, and military factors that underlie political violence.

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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Just Perfect Book
Wonderful and densed written book, suitable for those who are able to devote some time to go deeper to understand -through theories and philosophical quests on human nature- what are the causes and the effects of our international environment politically speaking and the eternal struggle between war and peace.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding selections by a superb author/editor!! Highly recommend...
This edited volume is one of the best in this genre. Betts makes well-considered decisions regarding inclusions, and as an instructor for an upcoming upper-level undergrad course on War, Peace & Politics, I find these entirely appropriate, thought-provoking/intriguing, and suitably challenging.

1. They span time periods, address the dominant theoretical approaches to war and peace, and offer the chance to read "classics" as well as newer literature;
2. The essays/selections/articles are cross-disciplinary (political science, philosophy, theology/religion, history, sociology, etc.) - enriching the approach to these critical, complex topics;
3. He has chosen articles that are both intellectually challenging and yet accessible;
4. The book is the right length for a 16 week course - no mean feat.

If the book has weak spots, one is regarding more completely addressing "peace", including conflict management and resolution. There are other lesser flaws: Huntington's later "Civilization" article is more than a decade old (1996), for example, and the volume already includes his initial "Clash of Civilizations" piece from 1993. Societal security concepts are not well-covered. Articles addressing geopolitical and regional considerations should be included in the selections - the Middle East and oil are notably absent, for example, although there is an essay on China. The near-absence of the role of women in peace efforts in particular, and coverage of the "soft" vs. "hard" power concepts are two other weaker spots.

Then again, no book, especially a "reader", is perfect, and instructors will supplement this rich volume with other materials, at any rate.

Bottom line: this book is excellent. Bravo to Dr. Betts for this well-executed and valuable 3rd edition. ... Read more

19. The New Cold War: Putin's Russia and the Threat to the West
by Edward Lucas
Paperback: 288 Pages (2009-03-17)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$5.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0230614345
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

The first edition of The New Cold War was published to great critical acclaim and Edward Lucas has established himself as a top expert in the field, appearing on numerous programs, including Lou Dobbs, MSNBC, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and NPR.

In this new revised and updated edition, Lucas reveals: 
-The truth about the corrupt elections that made Dmitri Medvedev President of Russia
-How, as prime minister, Vladimir Putin remains the de facto leader of Russia
-The Kremlin's real goals in waging war in Georgia;
-How the conflict might soon spill into other former Soviet republics.

Hard-hitting and powerful, The New Cold War is a sobering look at Russia's current aggression and what it means for the world.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (26)

4-0 out of 5 stars Troubling Evidence
The author is obviously well informed on the subject.He expresses serious concerns about the politics of the Kremlin and the manner in which internal dissent is addressed.This is not a balanced perspective of pros and cons but rather a compelling agruement for us to be concerned.Having said this, the author doesn't appear to overstate the case (e.g., he clearly acknolwledges that military power is limited).An overall excellent book.

5-0 out of 5 stars May 17, 2010
Has Russia really changed from the Soviet Union in the Old Cold War?Looking at the situation economically, politically, Militarily not much has changed.Many of the Soviet Union's old habits continue to be used in contemporary Russia.Many of these habits have greater implications today than during the Old Cold War.Adapting to this reality will be increasingly difficult within the new global situation.The author begins to discuss the current situation and how the West can adept to the situation.The situation might even be more dangerous today in the new world and everyone needs to adapt the new reality.

1-0 out of 5 stars Russophobic Garbage
This book isso full of contradictions and the biased opinion of a russophobe that I can't understand how anyone takes it seriously.I will give you some examples.On the one hand ,Russia's nuclear arsenal is the only thing it posseses that gives it any claim to be a military superpower.A few sentences down,we learn that its ability to launch a devastating nuclear attack on NATO is history.On the one hand russia is a "giant ,nuclear-armed Saudi Arabia so rich and powerful.. with a weight not seen since the 1950s" but on the other it is doomed to collapse.Mr Lucas mentions how Russia is no longer a global adversary but the title of the book does not give you that impression.
Mr.Lucas also shows a personal apathy to Mr.Putin.Yeltsin ,the man who bombed his own parliament defying his Constitutional court in the process ,introduced rigged and manipulated elections (acording to his own memoir ,at one point even considering postponing it indefinitely,dissolving parliament and banning the Communist PArty),started a brutal war ,created a parasitic oligarchy ,made a deal with Putin so that he did not get prosecuted for corruption ,saw a number of journalists and parliamentarians killed ,was hated by most of his subjects and was drunk for most of his reign is lauded as a flawed but democratic hero.Putin who is popular with his countrymen,pursued sensible economic policies (although lucky to have high oil and gas prices),reined in the oligarchs and regional governors ,crushed the chechen separatists , restored Russia's prestige and obeyed the Constitution is labelled as a tyrant.Never mind that China,Saudi Arabia andKazakhstan have far worse human right records (Mr.Lucas even supports doing business with some of these countries to exclude Russia),yet Mr.Lucas is silent about these countries.Mr.Lucas does not even bother to disguise his feelings on the matter,he admits that the day Russian soldiers left the Baltic states was the happiest in his life.My opinion ,only russophobic people will like such a book.

1-0 out of 5 stars A rushed collection of blogs
The arguments in the book are actually not arguments: they are a collection of name calling, branding, and bumper-sticker slogans. Lucas successfully revives the worst of the Cold War journalism and applies it in a hurry to Russia. It is apparent from this collection of assertions, assumptions, and plain bias, that Lucas doesn't like Russia or the Russians. One suspects a possible case of the "small nation syndrome", made more acute by Russian recovery under Putin. Yet, though Russia is dangerous, Lucas will not conclude that Russia is strong - this would mean that the country is recovering and is becoming successful under Putin. Hence Lucas sprinkles his haphazard but instinctive attacks on the country and its leaders with assurances for himself and his unfortunate readers that Russia somehow will fail, has failed. Utterly left out is an analysis of past conduct of other powers and neighbors of Russia - or at least a short discussion of American moves since 1992, as it should be clear that states do not act in a vacuum, but have to react to threats. Before publishing this paranoid and alarmist tabloid, Lucas would have been well advised to submit a few drafts to reputed scholars for comments and criticism, like undergrads and graduate students do.

3-0 out of 5 stars Informative, but rather dull
Lots of good information about life and internal Russian political interests. Author makes many good points, provided
of course that you can get through the dull narrative text. ... Read more

20. The United States and the End of the Cold War: Implications, Reconsiderations, Provocations
by John Lewis Gaddis
Paperback: 320 Pages (1994-04-28)
list price: US$34.99 -- used & new: US$6.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195085515
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Editorial Review

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The Cold War ended with an exhilarating wave of events: the toppling of the Berlin Wall, the rise of the dissident poet Vaclav Havel, the revolution in Romania.Americans rejoiced at the dramatic conclusion of the long struggle."But victories in wars--hot or cold--tend to unfocus the mind," writes John Gaddis."It can be a dangerous thing to have achieved one's objectives, because one then has to decide what to do next."In The United States and the End of the Cold War, Gaddis provides a sharp focus on the long history of the Cold War, shedding new light on its sudden ending, as well as on what might come next.

In this provocative, insightful book, Gaddis offers a number of thoughtful essays on the history of international relations during the last half century.His reassessments of important figures and themes from the Cold War are sometimes surprising.For example, he portrays John Foster Dulles and Ronald Reagan as far more flexible and perceptive statesmen than the missile-toting caricatures depicted in editorial cartoons.And he takes a second look at the importance of espionage and intelligence in Cold War history, a field often left to buffs and spy novelists.Most important, he focuses on the central elements in superpower relations.In an eloquent account of the American style of foreign policy in the twentieth century, for instance, he explores how Americans (having learned the lesson of Adolf Hitler) consistently equated the forms of foreign governments with their external behavior, assuming that authoritarian states would be aggressive states.He also analyzes the "tectonics" of Cold War history, demonstrating how long term changes in international affairs and Soviet bloc countries built up pressures that led to the sudden earthquakes of 1989.And along the way, Gaddis illuminates such topics as the role of morality in American foreign policy, the relevance of nuclear weapons to the balance of power, and the objectives of containment.He even includes (and criticizes) an essay entitled, "How the Cold War Might End," written before the dramatic events of recent years, to demonstrate how quickly the tide of history can overwhelm contemporary analysis.Gaddis concludes with a thoughtful consideration of the problems and forces at work in the post-Cold War world.

Author of such works as The Long Peace and Strategies of Containment, John Lewis Gaddis is one of the leading authorities on postwar American foreign policy.In these perceptive, highly readable essays, he provides a fresh assessment of the evolution of the Cold War, and insight into the shape of things to come. ... Read more

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