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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 31965 comments Mod
This thread is dedicated to the discussion of the Cold War:

message 3: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Here's a few more books that I have in my library but have not had the chance to read yet that may sit in this field covering the Cold War:

Twelve Days by Victor Sebestyen by Victor Sebestyen
Publishers blurb:
"The Hungarian Revolution in 1956 is a story of extraordinary bravery in a fight for freedom, and of ruthless cruelty in suppressing a popular dream. A small nation, its people armed with a few rifles and petrol bombs, had the will and courage to rise up against one of the world's superpowers. The determination of the Hungarians to resist the Russians astonished the West. People of all kinds, throughout the free world, became involved in the cause. For 12 days it looked, miraculously, as though the Soviets might be humbled. Then reality hit back. The Hungarians were brutally crushed. Their capital was devastated, thousands of people were killed and their country was occupied for a further three decades. The uprising was the defining moment of the Cold War: the USSR showed that it was determined to hold on to its European empire, but it would never do so without resistence. From the Prague Spring to Lech Walesa's Solidarity and the fall of the Berlin Wall, the tighter the grip of the communist bloc, the more irresistible the popular demand for freedom. In this new account Victor Sebestyen, who was brought out of Hungary as an infant, draws on fresh evidence from Moscow, Washington and Budapest, as well as interviews with participants, that brings new light on a story that will always be an inspiration to those who hate tyranny."

Suez 1956 by Barry Turner by Barry Turner
Publishers blurb:
"In October 1956, Britain, France and Israel launched an attack on Egypt. For each of the contenders there was much more at stake than the future of the Canal. None of the combatants in the Suez campaign emerged in glory which may be why, in recent years, it has been largely relegated to academic studies. But the events surrounding the invasion, while combining the high drama with elements of political farce that make for a compelling story, had a greater impact on world affairs than many more famous conflicts."

message 4: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) A new release covering the start of the Cold War that may interest people:

[image error] by Richard Reeves

Publishers blurb:
"In the early hours of June 26, 1948, phones began ringing across America, waking up the airmen of World War II -- pilots, navigators, and mechanics -- who were finally beginning normal lives with new houses, new jobs, new wives, and new babies. Some were given just forty-eight hours to report to local military bases. The president, Harry S. Truman, was recalling them to active duty to try to save the desperate people of the western sectors of Berlin, the enemy capital many of them had bombed to rubble only three years before.
Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin had ordered a blockade of the city, isolating the people of West Berlin, using hundreds of thousands of Red Army soldiers to close off all land and water access to the city. He was gambling that he could drive out the small detachments of American, British, and French occupation troops, because their only option was to stay and watch Berliners starve -- or retaliate by starting World War III. The situation was impossible, Truman was told by his national security advisers, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His answer: "We stay in Berlin. Period." That was when the phones started ringing and local police began banging on doors to deliver telegrams to the vets.

Drawing on service records and hundreds of interviews in the United States, Germany, and Great Britain, Reeves tells the stories of these civilian airmen, the successors to Stephen Ambrose's "Citizen Soldiers," ordinary Americans again called to extraordinary tasks. They did the impossible, living in barns and muddy tents, flying over Soviet-occupied territory day and night, trying to stay awake, making it up as they went along and ignoring Russian fighters and occasional anti-aircraft fire trying to drive them to hostile ground.

The Berlin Airlift changed the world. It ended when Stalin backed down and lifted the blockade, but only after the bravery and sense of duty of those young heroes had bought the Allies enough time to create a new West Germany and sign the mutual defense agreement that created NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

And then they went home again. Some of them forgot where they had parked their cars after they got the call."

message 5: by Nicole (new)

Nicole This new release about the beginning of the Cold War looks very interesting.

Americans in Prague, 1945-1953: Diplomats and Spies

Americans in Prague, 1945-1953 Diplomats and Spies by Igor LukesbyIgor Lukes(no photo)

y 1945, both the US State Department and US Intelligence saw Czechoslovakia as the master key to the balance of power in Europe and a chessboard for the power-game between East and West. In this book, Igor Lukes illuminates the early stages of the Cold War in postwar Prague. He paints a critical portrait of Ambassador Laurence Steinhardt and shows that although Washington understood that the outcome of the crisis in Prague might shape the political trends elsewhere in Europe, it ignored signs that democracy in Czechoslovakia was in trouble.

A large section of the book deals with US Intelligence in postwar Prague. The American intelligence officials who served in Czechoslovakia from 1945 to 1948 were committed to the mission of gathering information and protecting democracy. Yet they were defeated by the Czech and Soviet clandestine services that proved to be more shrewd and better informed. Indeed, Lukes reveals that a key American officer may have been turned by the Russians. Consequently, as the Communists moved to impose their dictatorship, the American Embassy was unprepared and helpless.

message 6: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11651 comments Mod
Here is a line-up for October:


The Cold War Museum in conjunction with the Department of History & Art History at George Mason University (GMU) will convene a distinguished panel of historians, authors, and first hand participants to discuss and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis. This FREE half day program will be held Saturday October 27, 2012 in the Harris Theater on the main campus of GMU, 4400 University Drive in Fairfax, Virginia. Seating is limited. Pre registration required. Program starts at 10:00 a.m. Immediately following the conference there will be a book signing reception.

Sergei Khrushchev, son of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and author of "Nikita Khrushchev and the creation of a superpower" will provide the keynote address. Martin J. Sherwin, Pulitzer Prize winning author on Robert J. Oppenheimer and GMU History Professor, Michael Dobbs, Washington Post Reporter and author of “One Minute to Midnight,” and Svetlana Savranskaya, editor of “The Soviet Cuban Missile Crisis” and National Security Archive's Director for Russian Archives and Institutes will conduct a roundtable discussion following Khrushchev’s remarks.

U-2 pilot Colonel Buddy Brown (USAF, Ret) and F8U-1P Crusaders pilot Lt. Commander Tad Riley (USN, Ret) who overflew Cuban SA-2 missile sites during the crisis will discuss their mission objectives and recollections. Photographic interpreter, Dino Brugioni, author of “Eyeball to Eyeball”, who briefed President Kennedy on the photos taken over Cuba, will provide a dramatic first hand account of the behind the scene activities of the Kennedy administration during those tense thirteen days in October 1962.

Immediately following the conference, there will be a book signing and sale with Sergei Khrushchev (“Nikita Khrushchev and the Creation of a Superpower”), Dino Brugioni (“Eyeball to Eyeball”), Michael Dobbs (“One Minute to Midnight”), Ken Jack (co-author "Blue Moon over Cuba: Aerial Reconnaissance during the Cuban Missile Crisis"), Norman Polmar and John D. Gresham (“DEFCON 2: Standing on the Brink of Nuclear War During the Cuban Missile Crisis”), Svetlana Savranskaya (editor “The Soviet Cuban Missile Crisis”), Harvey Simon (“The Madman Theory”), and David Stokes ("Camelot’s Cousin").

Sponsors include David Stokes, Syneca Research Group, Inc., and Whit Williams. For more info on sponsorship opportunities, breakfast with the panelists, or to register to attend:

message 7: by Jerome (new)

Jerome | 3540 comments I'm looking forward to reading this:

For the Soul of Mankind The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War by Melvyn P. Leffler by Melvyn P. LefflerMelvyn P. Leffler

This one was awful, avoid it all costs:

The Atlantic and Its Enemies A History of the Cold War by Norman Stone by Norman Stone

message 8: by Craig (new)

Craig (Twinstuff) Jerome wrote: "I'm looking forward to reading this:

For the Soul of Mankind The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War by Melvyn P. Leffler by Melvyn P. LefflerMelvyn P. Leffler

This on..."

I read it about four months ago. It wasn't bad, I think I gave it four stars. I don't know if anything made it stand out (I was reading it in a college course I was taking on the Cold War), but it was certainly more readable than some of the other books in that course.

message 9: by Mark (new)

Mark Mortensen Thanks Jerome and Craig for your great input. It is very much appreciated.

message 10: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11651 comments Mod
I'm pleased to here about Mel's book. I will let him know the next time I see him. It is on my TBR list, so this is good to hear.

For the Soul of Mankind The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War by Melvyn P. Leffler Melvyn P. LefflerMelvyn P. Leffler

message 11: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (last edited Oct 10, 2012 07:44AM) (new)

Bryan Craig | 11651 comments Mod
Constructing the Monolith: The United States, Great Britain, and International Communism, 1945–1950

Constructing the Monolith The United States, Great Britain, and International Communism, 1945-1950 by Marc J. SelverstoneMarc J. Selverstone


As the cold war took shape during the late 1940s, policymakers in the United States and Great Britain displayed a marked tendency to regard international communism as a “monolithic” conspiratorial movement. The image of a “communist monolith” distilled the messy realities of international relations into a neat, comprehensible formula. Its lesson was that all communists, regardless of their native land or political program, were essentially tools of the Kremlin.

Marc Selverstone recreates the manner in which the “monolith” emerged as a perpetual framework on both sides of the Atlantic. Though more pervasive and millennial in its American guise, this understanding also informed conceptions of international communism in its close ally Great Britain, casting the Kremlin’s challenge as but one more in a long line of threats to freedom.

This illuminating and important book not only explains the cold war mindset that determined global policy for much of the twentieth century, but reveals how the search to define a foreign threat can shape the ways in which that threat is actually met.

message 12: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11651 comments Mod
George F. Kennan: An American Life

George F. Kennan An American Life by John Lewis Gaddis John Lewis GaddisJohn Lewis Gaddis


Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Biography

Widely and enthusiastically acclaimed, this is the authorized, definitive biography of one of the most fascinating but troubled figures of the twentieth century by the nation's leading Cold War historian. In the late 1940s, George F. Kennan—then a bright but, relatively obscure American diplomat—wrote the "long telegram" and the "X" article. These two documents laid out United States' strategy for "containing" the Soviet Union—a strategy which Kennan himself questioned in later years. Based on exclusive access to Kennan and his archives, this landmark history illuminates a life that both mirrored and shaped the century it spanned.

message 13: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11651 comments Mod
The Specter of Communism: The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1917-1953

The Specter of Communism The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1917-1953 by Melvyn P. Leffler Melvyn P. LefflerMelvyn P. Leffler


The Specter of Communism is a concise history of the origins of the Cold War and the evolution of U.S.-Soviet relations, from the Bolshevik revolution to the death of Stalin. Using not only American documents but also those from newly opened archives in Russia, China, and Eastern Europe, Leffler shows how the ideological animosity that existed from Lenin's seizure of power onward turned into dangerous confrontation. By focusing on American political culture and American anxieties about the Soviet political and economic threat, Leffler suggests new ways of understanding the global struggle staged by the two great powers of the postwar era.

message 14: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (last edited Oct 10, 2012 08:18AM) (new)

Bryan Craig | 11651 comments Mod
A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration and the Cold War

A Preponderance of Power National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War by Melvyn P. Leffler Melvyn P. LefflerMelvyn P. Leffler


Massive, brilliant post-glasnost analysis of early cold-war realities by Leffler (History/Univ. of Virginia). This study of how Truman dealt with a world sealed off to him by FDR is a book and a half. It deals with the inception of the cold war in terms that make the Korean War a logical extension of existing policy rather than an atypical crystallizing event. It penetrates the strident rhetoric that gripped American thinking for 40 years down to the eternal verities of economic advantage and the pursuit of power, carefully articulating their linkage and diplomacy. At stake, Leffler explains, was domination of European and Asian resources: The US had its incomparable economy, a highly visible standard of living, and a State Department not yet hobbled by willful chief executives; the Soviet Union had an ideology that could ``capitalize on social dislocation and take advantage of nascent nationalism in the third world.'' The feisty Truman emerges here as unprepared to formulate serious foreign policy, with his subordinates often at odds; and despite jingoistic political fulminations and the progressive eroding of security, Leffler says, there really wasn't much fear at the top of a hot war between the US and the Soviets. Rather, the heart of the matter was the US- financed revival of free European and Asian economies. Khrushchev's famous ``We will bury you'' was a whistling in the dark, Leffler says: the US had already forged its ``configuration of power in the core of Eurasia.'' Indispensable for anyone interested in what really happened during this period, although Leffler's conclusions may be too optimistic. ``Capitalizing on past successes'' seems difficult for a nation that today probably could not capitalize a Marshall Plan, and stability via ``curtailing arms sales that fuel local rivalries'' seems a fond dream for the world's largest exporter of arms.

message 15: by Jill, Assisting Moderator - Military Hist L/Global NF/Eur/Brit/Music (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 11987 comments Mod
The physical symbol of the Cold War, the Berlin Wall, is examined in this thoughtful and fact filled history.

The Berlin Wall: A World Divided

The Berlin Wall A World Divided, 1961-1989 by Frederick Taylor by Frederick Taylor

On the morning of August 13, 1961, the residents of East Berlin found themselves cut off from family, friends and jobs in the West by a tangle of barbed wire that ruthlessly cut a city of four million in two. Within days the barbed-wire entanglement would undergo an extraordinary metamorphosis: it became an imposing 103-mile-long wall guarded by three hundred watchtowers. A physical manifestation of the struggle between Soviet Communism and American capitalism--totalitarianism and freedom--that would stand for nearly thirty years, the Berlin Wall was the high-risk fault line between East and West on which rested the fate of all humanity. Many brave people risked their lives to overcome this lethal barrier, and some paid the ultimate price.

In this captivating work, sure to be the definitive history on the subject, Frederick Taylor weaves together official history, archival materials and personal accounts to tell the complete story of the Wall's rise and fall, from the postwar political tensions that created a divided Berlin to the internal and external pressures that led to the Wall's demise. In addition, he explores the geopolitical ramifications as well as the impact the wall had on ordinary lives that is still felt today. For the first time the entire world faced the threat of imminent nuclear apocalypse, a fear that would be eased only when the very people the Wall had been built to imprison breached it on the historic night of November 9, 1989.

message 16: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11651 comments Mod
The Soviet Cuban Missile Crisis: Castro, Mikoyan, Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Missiles of November

The Soviet Cuban Missile Crisis Castro, Mikoyan, Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Missiles of November by Sergo MikoyanSergo Mikoyan


Based on secret transcripts of top-level diplomacy undertaken by the number-two Soviet leader, Anastas Mikoyan, to settle the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, this book rewrites conventional history. The "missiles of October" and "13 days" were only half the story: the nuclear crisis actually stretched well into November 1962 as the Soviets secretly planned to leave behind in Cuba over 100 tactical nuclear weapons, then reversed themselves because of obstreperous behavior by Fidel Castro. The highly-charged negotiations with the Cuban leadership, who bitterly felt sold out by Soviet concessions to the United States, were led by Mikoyan.

Adding personal crisis, Mikoyan's wife of more than 40 years died the day he arrived in Havana, yet he stayed to resolve the crisis through direct talks in Havana, New York, and Washington, amid constant communications with Moscow.

The author, Sergo Mikoyan, who served as his father's personal secretary during these travels, vividly recalls how the Soviet relationship with revolutionary Cuba began and how it was shaped by the crisis.

message 17: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11651 comments Mod
Roosevelt's Lost Alliances: How Personal Politics Helped Start the Cold War

Roosevelt's Lost Alliances How Personal Politics Helped Start the Cold War by Frank CostigliolaFrank Costigliola


In the spring of 1945, as the Allied victory in Europe was approaching, the shape of the postwar world hinged on the personal politics and flawed personalities of Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin. Roosevelt's Lost Alliances captures this moment and shows how FDR crafted a winning coalition by overcoming the different habits, upbringings, sympathies, and past experiences of the three leaders. In particular, Roosevelt trained his famous charm on Stalin, lavishing respect on him, salving his insecurities, and rendering him more amenable to compromise on some matters.

Yet, even as he pursued a lasting peace, FDR was alienating his own intimate circle of advisers and becoming dangerously isolated. After his death, postwar cooperation depended on Harry Truman, who, with very different sensibilities, heeded the embittered "Soviet experts" his predecessor had kept distant. A Grand Alliance was painstakingly built and carelessly lost. The Cold War was by no means inevitable.

This landmark study brings to light key overlooked documents, such as the Yalta diary of Roosevelt's daughter Anna; the intimate letters of Roosevelt's de facto chief of staff, Missy LeHand; and the wiretap transcripts of estranged adviser Harry Hopkins. With a gripping narrative and subtle analysis, Roosevelt's Lost Alliances lays out a new approach to foreign relations history. Frank Costigliola highlights the interplay between national political interests and more contingent factors, such as the personalities of leaders and the culturally conditioned emotions forming their perceptions and driving their actions. Foreign relations flowed from personal politics--a lesson pertinent to historians, diplomats, and citizens alike.

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Jerome | 3540 comments The Hawk and the Dove: Paul Nitze, George Kennan, and the History of the Cold War

The Hawk and the Dove Paul Nitze, George Kennan, and the History of the Cold War by Nicholas Thompson by Nicholas Thompson


A brilliant and revealing biography of the two most important Americans during the Cold War era—written by the grandson of one of them

Only two Americans held positions of great influence throughout the Cold War; ironically, they were the chief advocates for the opposing strategies for winning—and surviving—that harrowing conflict. Both men came to power during World War II, reached their professional peaks during the Cold War’s most frightening moments, and fought epic political battles that spanned decades. Yet despite their very different views, Paul Nitze and George Kennan dined together, attended the weddings of each other’s children, and remained good friends all their lives.

In this masterly double biography, Nicholas Thompson brings Nitze and Kennan to vivid life. Nitze—the hawk—was a consummate insider who believed that the best way to avoid a nuclear clash was to prepare to win one. More than any other American, he was responsible for the arms race. Kennan—the dove—was a diplomat turned academic whose famous “X article” persuasively argued that we should contain the Soviet Union while waiting for it to collapse from within. For forty years, he exercised more influence on foreign affairs than any other private citizen.

As he weaves a fascinating narrative that follows these two rivals and friends from the beginning of the Cold War to its end, Thompson accomplishes something remarkable: he tells the story of our nation during the most dangerous half century in history.

message 19: by Mark (new)

Mark Mortensen Thanks Jerome for the latest post. Yet one more good book.

message 20: by Jerome (new)

Jerome | 3540 comments Another Such Victory: President Truman and the Cold War, 1945-1953

Another Such Victory President Truman and the Cold War, 1945-1953 by Arnold offner by Arnold offner


This book is a provocative, forcefully argued, and thoroughly documented reassessment of President Truman’s profound influence on U.S. foreign policy and the Cold War. The author contends that throughout his presidency, Truman remained a parochial nationalist who lacked the vision and leadership to move the United States away from conflict and toward détente. Instead, he promoted an ideology and politics of Cold War confrontation that set the pattern for successor administrations.

This study sharply challenges the prevailing view of historians who have uncritically praised Truman for repulsing the Soviet Union. Based on exhaustive research and including many documents that have come to light since the end of the Cold War, the book demonstrates how Truman’s simplistic analogies, exaggerated beliefs in U.S. supremacy, and limited grasp of world affairs exacerbated conflicts with the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China. For example, Truman’s decision at the Potsdam Conference to engage in atomic poker” and outmaneuver the Soviets in Europe and Asia led him to brush aside all proposals to forgo the use of atomic bombs on Japan.

Truman’s insecurity also reinforced his penchant to view conflict in black-and-white terms, to categorize all nations as either free or totalitarian, to demonize his opponents, and to ignore the complexities of historic national conflicts. Truman was unable to view China’s civil war apart from the U.S.-Soviet Cold War. Belittling critics of his support for the corrupt Guomindang government, he refused to negotiate with the emergent PRC. Though he did preserve South Korea’s independence after North Korea’s attack, he blamed the conflict solely on Soviet-inspired aggression, instead of a bitter dispute between two rival regimes. Truman’s decision to send troops across the 38th parallel to destroy the North Korean regime, combined with his disdain for PRC security concerns, brought about a tragic wider war.

In sum, despite Truman’s claim to have knocked the socks off the communists,” he left the White House with his presidency in tatters, military spending at a record high, McCarthyism rampant, and the United States on Cold War footing at home and abroad.

message 21: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11651 comments Mod
A Military History of the Cold War

A Military History of the Cold War, 1944-1962 by Jonathan M. HouseJonathan M. House


The Cold War did not culminate in World War III as so many in the 1950s and 1960s feared, yet it spawned a host of military engagements that affected millions of lives. This book is the first comprehensive, multinational overview of military affairs during the early Cold War, beginning with conflicts during World War II in Warsaw, Athens, and Saigon and ending with the Cuban Missile Crisis.

A major theme of this account is the relationship between government policy and military preparedness and strategy. Author Jonathan M. House tells of generals engaging in policy confrontations with their governments’ political leaders—among them Anthony Eden, Nikita Khrushchev, and John F. Kennedy—many of whom made military decisions that hamstrung their own political goals. In the pressure-cooker atmosphere of atomic preparedness, politicians as well as soldiers seemed instinctively to prefer military solutions to political problems. And national security policies had military implications that took on a life of their own. The invasion of South Korea convinced European policy makers that effective deterrence and containment required building up and maintaining credible forces. Desire to strengthen the North Atlantic alliance militarily accelerated the rearmament of West Germany and the drive for its sovereignty.

In addition to examining the major confrontations, nuclear and conventional, between Washington, Moscow, and Beijing—including the crises over Berlin and Formosa—House traces often overlooked military operations against the insurgencies of the era, such as French efforts in Indochina and Algeria and British struggles in Malaya, Kenya, Cyprus, and Aden. Now, more than fifty years after the events House describes, understanding the origins and trajectory of the Cold War is as important as ever. By the late 1950s, the United States had sent forces to Vietnam and the Middle East, setting the stage for future conflicts in both regions. House’s account of the complex relationship between diplomacy and military action directly relates to the insurgencies, counterinsurgencies, and confrontations that now occupy our attention across the globe.

message 22: by Jill, Assisting Moderator - Military Hist L/Global NF/Eur/Brit/Music (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 11987 comments Mod
A Fiery Peace in a Cold War

A Fiery Peace in a Cold War Bernard Schriever and the Ultimate Weapon by Neil Sheehan by Neil Sheehan


Here is the never-before-told story of the nuclear arms race that changed history–and of the visionary American Air Force officer Bernard Schriever, who led the high-stakes effort. A Fiery Peace in a Cold War is a masterly work about Schriever’s quests to prevent the Soviet Union from acquiring nuclear superiority, to penetrate and exploit space for America, and to build the first weapons meant to deter an atomic holocaust rather than to be fired in anger.

Sheehan melds biography and history, politics and science, to create a sweeping narrative that transports the reader back and forth from individual drama to world stage. The narrative takes us from Schriever’s boyhood in Texas as a six-year-old immigrant from Germany in 1917 through his apprenticeship in the open-cockpit biplanes of the Army Air Corps in the 1930s and his participation in battles against the Japanese in the South Pacific during the Second World War. On his return, he finds a new postwar bipolar universe dominated by the antagonism between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Inspired by his technological vision, Schriever sets out in 1954 to create the one class of weapons that can enforce peace with the Russians–intercontinental ballistic missiles that are unstoppable and can destroy the Soviet Union in thirty minutes. In the course of his crusade, he encounters allies and enemies among some of the most intriguing figures of the century: John von Neumann, the Hungarian-born mathematician and mathematical physicist, who was second in genius only to Einstein; Colonel Edward Hall, who created the ultimate ICBM in the Minuteman missile, and his brother, Theodore Hall, who spied for the Russians at Los Alamos and hastened their acquisition of the atomic bomb; Curtis LeMay, the bomber general who tried to exile Schriever and who lost his grip on reality, amassing enough nuclear weapons in his Strategic Air Command to destroy the entire Northern Hemisphere; and Hitler’s former rocket maker, Wernher von Braun, who along with a colorful, riding-crop-wielding Army general named John Medaris tried to steal the ICBM program.

The most powerful men on earth are also put into astonishing relief: Joseph Stalin, the cruel, paranoid Soviet dictator who spurred his own scientists to build him the atomic bomb with threats of death; Dwight Eisenhower, who backed the ICBM program just in time to save it from the bureaucrats; Nikita Khrushchev, who brought the world to the edge of nuclear catastrophe during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and John Kennedy, who saved it.

Schriever and his comrades endured the heartbreak of watching missiles explode on the launching pads at Cape Canaveral and savored the triumph of seeing them soar into space. In the end, they accomplished more than achieving a fiery peace in a cold war. Their missiles became the vehicles that opened space for America.

message 23: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 31965 comments Mod
Great adds.

message 24: by Christopher (new)

Christopher The Last Hot Battle of the Cold War: South Africa vs. Cuba in the Angolan Civil War

The Last Hot Battle of the Cold War South Africa vs. Cuba in the Angolan Civil War by Peter Polack by Peter Polack (no photo)

As the Soviet Union teetered on the edge of collapse during the late 1980s, and America prepared to claim its victory, a bloody war still raged in Southern Africa, where proxy forces from both sides vied for control of Angola. The result was the largest battle on the dark continent since Al Alamein, with forces from both sides paying in blood what U.S.-Soviet diplomats were otherwise spending in diplomacy.

The socialist government of Angola and its army, FAPLA, fully stocked with Soviet weapons, had only to wipe out a massive resistance group, UNITA, secretly supplied by the U.S, in order to claim full sovereignty over the country. A giant FAPLA offensive so threatened to succeed in overcoming UNITA that apartheid-era South Africa stepped in to protect its own interests. The white army crossing the border prompted the Angolan government to call on their own foreign reinforcements—the army of Communist Cuba’s.

Thus began the epic battle of Cuito Cuanavale, largely unknown in the U.S., but which raged for three months in the entirely odd match-up of South African Boers vs. Castro’s armed forces, which for the first time in the Cold War proved what it could achieve. And it turned out the Cubans were very good.

The South Africans were no slouches at warfare themselves, but had suffered under a boycott of weapons since 1977. The Cubans and Angolan troops, instead, had the latest Soviet weapons, easily delivered. But UNITA had its secret U.S. supply line and the South Africans knew how to fight, mainly at a disadvantage in air power for lack of spare parts. Meantime the Cubans overcame their logistic difficulties with an impressive airlift of troops over the Atlantic, while the Boers simply needed to drive next door.

As a case study of ferocious fighting between East and West—albeit proxies for the great powers on all sides—this book unveils a remarkable episode of the end-game of the Cold War largely unknown to the public. The Angolans on both sides suffered heavily, but it was the apartheid South Africans versus Castro’s armed forces that provides utter fascination in one of history’s rare match-ups.
(Source: Goodreads)

message 25: by Jerome (new)

Jerome | 3540 comments The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and its Dangerous Legacy

The Dead Hand The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and its Dangerous Legacy by David E. Hoffman by David E. HoffmanDavid E. Hoffman


The Dead Hand is the suspense-filled story of the people who sought to brake the speeding locomotive of the arms race, then rushed to secure the nuclear and biological weapons left behind by the collapse of the Soviet Union—a dangerous legacy that haunts us even today.

The Cold War was an epoch of massive overkill. In the last half of the twentieth century the two superpowers had perfected the science of mass destruction and possessed nuclear weapons with the combined power of a million Hiroshimas. What’s more, a Soviet biological warfare machine was ready to produce bacteria and viruses to sicken and kill millions. In The Dead Hand, a thrilling narrative history drawing on new archives and original research and interviews, David E. Hoffman reveals how presidents, scientists, diplomats, soldiers, and spies confronted the danger and changed the course of history.

The Dead Hand captures the inside story in both the United States and the Soviet Union, giving us an urgent and intimate account of the last decade of the arms race. With access to secret Kremlin documents, Hoffman chronicles Soviet internal deliberations that have long been hidden. He reveals that weapons designers in 1985 laid a massive “Star Wars” program on the desk of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to compete with President Reagan, but Gorbachev refused to build it. He unmasks the cover-up of the Soviet biological weapons program. He tells the exclusive story of one Soviet microbiologist’s quest to build a genetically engineered super-germ—it would cause a mild illness, a deceptive recovery, then a second, fatal attack. And he details the frightening history of the Doomsday Machine, known as the Dead Hand, which would launch a retaliatory nuclear strike if the Soviet leaders were wiped out.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, the dangers remained. Soon rickety trains were hauling unsecured nuclear warheads across the Russian steppe; tons of highly-enriched uranium and plutonium lay unguarded in warehouses; and microbiologists and bomb designers were scavenging for food to feed their families.

The Dead Hand offers fresh and startling insights into Reagan and Gorbachev, the two key figures of the end of the Cold War, and draws colorful, unforgettable portraits of many others who struggled, often valiantly, to save the world from the most terrifying weapons known to man.

message 26: by Jerome (new)

Jerome | 3540 comments Wars Of The Cold War: Campaigns And Conflicts 1945-1990

Wars Of The Cold War Campaigns And Conflicts 1945-1990 by David Stone by David Stone (no photo)


The 'Cold War' was a period of specific international tension during which, although no anticipated 'Third World War' took place, saw many wars, conflicts and armed disputes around the world, often but not always sponsored, overtly or covertly, by the rival poles of Communist Russia and capitalist America. This extensive and authoritative volume presents all the major wars of the period: Korea, Vietnam, the Falklands, the Gulf; the uprisings and revolts in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, during the 'retreat from empire'; and even the skirmishes, such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, in a form that is suitable both for reading and for reference. Indeed, it is a book that meets a major need for historians, students and professionals working in the field of international current affairs and modern history.

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Jerome | 3540 comments After Leaning to One Side: China and Its Allies in the Cold War

After Leaning to One Side China and Its Allies in the Cold War by Zhihua Shen by Zhihua Shen (no photo)


After Leaning to One Side traces the rise and fall of the Sino-Soviet alliance between 1949 and 1973, emphasizing tension over the Korean and Vietnam wars. Underscoring the theme of inherent conflict within the communist movement, this book shows that while that movement was an international campaign with an imposing theory and an impressive party structure, it was also a collection of sovereign states with disparate national interests. This book explains how this dissonance was further complicated by the unequal development of the Chinese and Soviet states and their communist parties, and traces some of China's actions to Mao's grasping at leadership of the communist movement after the death of Stalin.

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Jerome | 3540 comments A Hard and Bitter Peace: A Global History of the Cold War

A Hard and Bitter Peace A Global History of the Cold War by Edward H. Judge by Edward H. Judge (no photo)


This unique text provides a balanced, integrated, and comprehensive survey of the main events and developments in the Cold War as viewed from a "global perspective." Coverage traces the Cold War from its roots in East-West tensions before and during World War II through its origins in the immediate postwar era, up to and including the collapse of the Soviet Empire and Soviet State from 1989-1991.

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Jerome | 3540 comments The End of an Alliance: James F. Byrnes, Roosevelt, Truman, and the Origins of the Cold War

The End of an Alliance James F. Byrnes, Roosevelt, Truman, and the Origins of the Cold War by Robert L. Messer by Robert L. Messer (no photo)


Using recently declassified documents, Messer traces Byrnes's performance from the Yalta Conference through the postwar dealings with the Soviet Union. He sees the failure of the Soviet-American collaboration to continue into the postwar years as the result of several unrelated events--the struggle between Byrnes and Truman to become Roosevelt's successor in 1944, Roosevelt's use of Byrnes as his Yalta salesman, and Byrnes's distorted view of the Yalta Conference.

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Jerome | 3540 comments Stalin's Cold War: Soviet Strategies in Europe, 1943 to 1956

Stalin's Cold War Soviet Strategies in Europe, 1943 to 1956 by Caroline Kennedy-Pipe by Caroline Kennedy-Pipe (no photo)


In the first analysis of the start of the Cold War from a Soviet viewpoint, Caroline Kennedy-Pipe draws on Russian source material to reach some startling conclusions. She challenges the prevailing orthodoxy of Western historians to show how Moscow saw the presence of US troops in Europe in the 1940s and early 1950s as advantageous rather than as a check on Soviet ambitions. The author points to a complex web of concerns than fuelled Moscow's actions, and explores how the Soviet leadership, and Stalin in particular, responded to American policy. She shows how the Soviet experience of the United States and Europe, both before, during and after the Second World War, led Moscow to a policy that was not simply fuelled by anti-Americanism. Six chapters cover events from the wartime conferences of 1943 until the death of Stalin. A final chapter places the book in the context of the current debate over the causes of the Cold War.

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Jerome | 3540 comments The Sino-American Alliance: Nationalist China and American Cold War Strategy in Asia

The Sino-American Alliance Nationalist China and American Cold War Strategy in Asia by John W. Garver by John W. Garver (no photo)


This study, based on Chinese and American archival sources, provides the first detailed analysis of the role the alliance with Nationalist China played in U.S. strategy to contain, first the Sino-Soviet alliance, and then China during the 1950s and 1960s.

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Jerome | 3540 comments The Cold War: A History

The Cold War A History by Martin Walker by Martin WalkerMartin Walker


"The history of the Cold War has been the history of the world since 1954." So begins this wide-ranging narrative by an award-winning political commentator, which is the first major study of the Cold War. Now that it is over, it is crucial to our future to understand how the Cold War has shaped us and, especially, to recognize it as the economic and political dynamic that determined the structure of today's global economy.

From the origins of the Marshall Plan, which revived Europe after World War II, and the strategic decision to rebuild a defeated Japan into a bulwark against China to the collapse of the Berlin Wall, this authoritative work reveals how the West was built into an economic alliance that overpowered the Soviet economy while also unleashing global economic forces that today challenge the traditional nation-state.

The Cold War was more of a global conflict than was either of this century's two major wars; far more than a confrontation between states or even empires, it was, as Martin Walker puts it "a total war between economic and social systems, an industrial test to destruction."

Walker reminds us how easy it is to forget that there were many occasions for the late 1940s on when victory seemed far from assured, and that lent a particular urgency to the efforts of postwar Western leaders. The West continued to be alarmed by the prospect of defeat right up to the Soviet empire's last breath. At the end of the 1940s the fear was generated by communist expansion into Eastern Europe and China; in the 1960s by the prospect of defeat in Vietnam. In the 1970s the failure of détente and the West's economic crisis brought a new generation of dedicated anti-Communists to prominence. For more than forty years, as this detailed analysis makes clear, the outcome of the Cold War was in doubt.

We also come to understand how the arms race caused new alignments and shifts in domestic power. As the United States became the national security state, California, which had a population of five million at the start of the Cold War, grew to thirty million and, by the 1980s provided one in every ten members of Congress and two presidents.

Using newly opened Kremlin archives and his own experiences in the field, the author has written a brilliant analysis of the conflict that has shaped the contemporary world.

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Jerome | 3540 comments Cold War: An International History

Cold War An International History by Carole K. Fink by Carole K. Fink (no photo)


More than a bipolar conflict between two Superpowers, the decades-long Cold War had implications for the entire world. In this accessible, comprehensive retelling, Carole K. Fink provides new insights and perspectives on key events with an emphasis on people, power, and ideas, along with cultural coverage from the Beetle to the Beatles. Cold War goes beyond US-USSR relations to explore the Cold War from an international perspective, including key events and developments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Fink also offers a broader time line of the Cold War than any other text, charting the lead-up to the conflict from the Russian Revolution and World War II and discussing the aftermath of the Cold War since 1992. Based on the latest research and scholarship, Cold War is the consummate book on this lengthy and complex conflict for today’s students and history buffs.

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Bryan Craig | 11651 comments Mod
The Triumph of Improvisation: Gorbachev's Adaptability, Reagan's Engagement, and the End of the Cold War

The Triumph of Improvisation Gorbachev's Adaptability, Reagan's Engagement, and the End of the Cold War by James Graham Wilson by James Graham WilsonJames Graham Wilson


In The Triumph of Improvisation, James Graham Wilson takes a long view of the end of the Cold War, from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979 to Operation Desert Storm in January 1991. Drawing on deep archival research and recently declassified papers, Wilson argues that adaptation, improvisation, and engagement by individuals in positions of power ended the specter of a nuclear holocaust. Amid ambivalence and uncertainty, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan, George Shultz, George H. W. Bush, and a host of other actors engaged with adversaries and adapted to a rapidly changing international environment and information age in which global capitalism recovered as command economies failed.

Eschewing the notion of a coherent grand strategy to end the Cold War, Wilson paints a vivid portrait of how leaders made choices; some made poor choices while others reacted prudently, imaginatively, and courageously to events they did not foresee. A book about the burdens of responsibility, the obstacles of domestic politics, and the human qualities of leadership, The Triumph of Improvisation concludes with a chapter describing how George H. W. Bush oversaw the construction of a new configuration of power after the fall of the Berlin Wall, one that resolved the fundamental components of the Cold War on Washington's terms.

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Bryan Craig | 11651 comments Mod
The Kitchen Debate and Cold War Consumer Politics: A Brief History with Documents

The Kitchen Debate and Cold War Consumer Politics A Brief History with Documents by Sarah Phillips by Sarah Phillips (no photo)


This innovative treatment of the Kitchen Debate reveals the event not only as a symbol of U.S. -Soviet military and diplomatic rivalry but as a battle over living standards that profoundly shaped the economic, social, and cultural contours of the Cold War era. The introduction situates the Debate in a survey of the Cold War, and an unprecedented collection of primary-source selections—including Soviet accounts never before translated for an English-speaking audience—connects the Debate to consumer society, gender ideologies, and geopolitics. Document headnotes, a chronology, questions to consider, and a bibliography enhance students’ understanding of this defining moment of the Cold War.

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Bentley | 31965 comments Mod
Jerome and Bryan - great adds.

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Jerome | 3540 comments Red Cloud at Dawn: Truman, Stalin, and the End of the Atomic Monopoly

Red Cloud at Dawn Truman, Stalin, and the End of the Atomic Monopoly by Michael D. Gordin by Michael D. Gordin (no photo)


On August 29, 1949, the first Soviet test bomb, dubbed "First Lightning," exploded in the deserts of Kazakhstan. This surprising international event marked the beginning of an arms race that would ultimately lead to nuclear proliferation beyond the two superpowers of the Soviet Union and the United States.Michael D. Gordin folows a trail of espionage, secrecy, deception, political brinksmanship, and technical innovation to provide a fresh understanding of the nuclear arms race.

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Jerome | 3540 comments Red Acropolis, Black Terror: The Greek Civil War And The Origins Of The Soviet-American Rivalry,1943-1949

Red Acropolis, Black Terror The Greek Civil War And The Origins Of The Soviet-american Rivalry,1943-1949 by Andre Gerolymatos by Andre Gerolymatos (no photo)


From 1944 to 1949, tens of thousands of Greek soldiers and guerrillas fought and slaughtered each other and thousands of innocents in a civil war of unrelenting and shocking savagery. In the wake of the Allied liberation of Greece, the fighting transformed into a civil war, pitting Soviet-backed Communists against U.S.- and British-backed government forces. As the first proxy war between the superpowers, the Greek Civil War became the first hot zone of the Cold War.In Red Acropolis, Black Terror, historian Andre Gerolymatos recounts the full history of this divisive conflict, exposing old wounds that still fester beneath the surface of contemporary Greek society. He tells the stories of ordinary Greek men, women, and children caught up in turbulent times and by powerful foreign forces.In many ways, the Greek Civil War heralded America's future involvement in Vietnam: Not only did it mark the first time the U.S. used napalm, but it convinced U.S. policymakers that counterinsurgency operations were winnable.Red Acropolis, Black Terror unflinchingly presents the personal horrors of this brutal war, while exploring the global issues that make this "little" conflict so significant.

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Jerome | 3540 comments The Sino-Soviet Alliance: An International History

The Sino-Soviet Alliance An International History by Austin Jersild by Austin Jersild (no photo)


In 1950 the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China signed a Treaty of Friendship, Alliance, and Mutual Assistance to foster cultural and technological cooperation between the Soviet bloc and the PRC. While this treaty was intended as a break with the colonial past, Austin Jersild argues that the alliance ultimately failed because the enduring problem of Russian imperialism led to Chinese frustration with the Soviets.

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Jerome | 3540 comments Know Your Enemy: The Rise and Fall of America's Soviet Experts

Know Your Enemy The Rise and Fall of America's Soviet Experts by David C. Engerman by David C. Engerman (no photo)


As World War II ended, few Americans in government or universities knew much about the Soviet Union. As David Engerman shows in this book, a network of scholars, soldiers, spies, and philanthropists created an enterprise known as Soviet Studies to fill in this dangerous gap in American knowledge. This group brought together some of the nation's best minds from the left, right, and center, colorful and controversial individuals ranging from George Kennan to Margaret Mead to Zbigniew Brzezinski, not to mention historians Sheila Fitzpatrick and Richard Pipes. Together they created the knowledge that helped fight the Cold War and define Cold War thought. Soviet Studies became a vibrant intellectual enterprise, studying not just the Soviet threat, but Soviet society and culture at a time when many said that these were contradictions in terms, as well as Russian history and literature. And this broad network, Engerman argues, forever changed the relationship between the government and academe, connecting the Pentagon with the ivory tower in ways that still matter today.

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Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 11987 comments Mod
The world stood on the brink of nuclear war during these days of showdown between Russia and the United States.

Awaiting Armageddon: How America Faced the Cuban Missile Crisis

Awaiting Armageddon How Americans Faced the Cuban Missile Crisis by Alice L. George by Alice L. George(no photo)


For thirteen days in October 1962, America stood at the brink of nuclear war. Nikita Khrushchev's decision to place nuclear missiles in Cuba and John F. Kennedy's defiant response introduced the possibility of unprecedented cataclysm. The immediate threat of destruction entered America's classrooms and its living rooms. "Awaiting Armageddon" provides the first in-depth look at this crisis as it roiled outside of government offices, where ordinary Americans realized their government was unprepared to protect either itself or its citizens from the dangers of nuclear war.
During the seven days between Kennedy's announcement of a naval blockade and Khrushchev's decision to withdraw Soviet nuclear missiles from Cuba, U.S. citizens absorbed the nightmare scenario unfolding on their television sets. An estimated ten million Americans fled their homes; millions more prepared shelters at home, clearing the shelves of supermarkets and gun stores. Alice George captures the irrationality of the moment as Americans coped with dread and resignation, humor and pathos, terror and ignorance.
In her examination of the public response to the missile crisis, the author reveals cracks in the veneer of American confidence in the early years of the space age and demonstrates how the fears generated by Cold War culture blinded many Americans to the dangers of nuclear war until it was almost too late.

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Bentley | 31965 comments Mod
Thank you Jill

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Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 11987 comments Mod
We speak of the "cold war" but what does it really mean?

Cold War

The Cold War was a state of political and military tension after World War II between powers in the Western Bloc (the United States, its NATO allies and others) and powers in the Eastern Bloc (the Soviet Union and its allies in the Warsaw Pact).

Historians have not fully agreed on the dates, but 1947–1991 is common. It was termed as "cold" because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, although there were major regional wars in Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan that the two sides supported. The Cold War split the temporary wartime alliance against Nazi Germany, leaving the USSR and the US as two superpowers with profound economic and political differences: the former being a single-party Marxist–Leninist state, and the latter being a capitalist state with generally free elections. A self-proclaimed neutral bloc arose with the Non-Aligned Movement founded by Egypt, India, Indonesia and Yugoslavia; this faction rejected association with either the US-led West or the Soviet-led East. The two superpowers never engaged directly in full-scale armed combat but they each armed heavily in preparation of a possible all-out nuclear world war. Each side had a nuclear deterrent that deterred an attack by the other side, on the basis that such an attack would lead to total destruction of the attacker: the doctrine of mutually assured destruction or MAD. Aside from the development of the two sides' nuclear arsenals, and deployment of conventional military forces, the struggle for dominance was expressed via proxy wars around the globe, psychological warfare, propaganda and espionage, and technological competitions such as the Space Race.

The first phase of the Cold War began in the first two years after the end of the Second World War in 1945. The USSR consolidated its control over the states of the Eastern Bloc while the United States began a strategy of global containment to challenge Soviet power, extending military and financial aid to the countries of Western Europe (for example, supporting the anti-Communist side in the Greek Civil War) and creating the NATO alliance. The Berlin Blockade (1948–49) was the first major crisis of the Cold War.

With victory of the Communist side in the Chinese Civil War and the outbreak of the Korean War (1950–53), the conflict expanded. The USSR and USA competed for influence in Latin America and decolonizing states of Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Meanwhile the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 was stopped by the Soviets. The expansion and escalation sparked more crises, such as the Suez Crisis (1956), the Berlin Crisis of 1961, the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Following this last crisis a new phase began that saw the Sino-Soviet split complicate relations within the Communist sphere while US allies, particularly France, demonstrated greater independence of action. The USSR crushed the 1968 Prague Spring liberalization program in Czechoslovakia and the Vietnam War (1955–1975) ended with a defeat of the US-backed Republic of South Vietnam, prompting further adjustments.

By the 1970s both sides had become interested in accommodations to create a more stable and predictable international system, inaugurating a period of détente that saw Strategic Arms Limitation Talks and the US opening relations with the People's Republic of China as a strategic counterweight to the Soviet Union. Détente collapsed at the end of the decade with the Soviet war in Afghanistan beginning in 1979.

The early 1980s were another period of elevated tension, with the Soviet downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 (1983), and the "Able Archer" NATO military exercises (1983). The United States increased diplomatic, military, and economic pressures on the Soviet Union, at a time when the communist state was already suffering from economic stagnation. In the mid-1980s, the new Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev introduced the liberalizing reforms of perestroika ("reorganization", 1987) and glasnost ("openness", ca. 1985) and ended Soviet involvement in Afghanistan. Pressures for national independence grew stronger in Eastern Europe, especially Poland. Gorbachev meanwhile refused to use Soviet troops to bolster the faltering Warsaw Pact regimes as had occurred in the past. The result in 1989 was a wave of revolutions that peacefully (with the exception of the Romanian Revolution) overthrew all of the Communist regimes of Central and Eastern Europe. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union itself lost control and was banned following an abortive coup attempt in August 1991. This in turn led to the formal dissolution of the USSR in December 1991 and the collapse of Communist regimes in other countries such as Mongolia, Cambodia and South Yemen. The United States remained as the world's only superpower.

The Cold War and its events have left a significant legacy, and it is often referred to in popular culture, especially in media featuring themes of espionage (such as the internationally successful James Bond film series) and the threat of nuclear warfare.

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Jerome | 3540 comments An upcoming book:
Release date: October 13, 2015

The End of the Cold War: 1980-1991

The End of the Cold War 1980-1991 by Robert Service by Robert ServiceRobert Service


The Cold War had seemed like a permanent fixture in global politics, and until its denouement, no Western or Soviet politician had foreseen that an epoch defined by games of irreconcilable one-upmanship between the world’s most heavily armed superpowers would end in their lifetimes. Under the long, forbidding shadow of the Cold War, even the smallest miscalculation from either side could result in catastrophe.

Everything changed in March 1985 when Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union. Just four years later, the Cold War and the arms competition was over. The USSR and the US had peacefully and abruptly achieved an astonishing political settlement. But it was not preordained that a global crisis of unprecedented scale could and would be averted peaceably.

Drawing on new archival research, Robert Service’s gripping new investigation of the final years of the Cold War—the first to give equal attention to the internal deliberations from both sides of the Iron Curtain—opens a window onto the dramatic years that would irrevocably alter the world’s geopolitical landscape, and the men at their fore. The End of the Cold War captures the astonishing relationship between Reagan and Gorbachev, two exceptional politicians who cooperated against all odds during extraordinary times. Gorbachev made enormous contributions to reconciliation efforts by, for instance, pressing for maintaining support for rapprochement with the US within the Politburo and refusing to sanction military intervention when civil unrest swept the Baltic states in unprecedented numbers. US Secretary of State George Shultz was the first to call for negotiations with the USSR. And Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs Eduard Shevardnedze too pressed for disarmament and other radical policies as the Soviet economy tumbled. Facing stern resistance from all fronts, against all odds, and working outside the public gaze, these men would engineer the nuclear arms treaties that marked the end of the Cold War.

This definitive insider’s account of the 1980s, the final decade of the Cold War, uncovers how closely the world skirted with disaster, and sheds light on the four men who would forever transform the course of modern history and politics.

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Bryan Craig | 11651 comments Mod
Drawing the Line: The American Decision to Divide Germany, 1944-1949

Drawing the Line The American Decision to Divide Germany, 1944-1949 by Carolyn Woods Eisenberg by Carolyn Woods Eisenberg(no photo)


In this fresh and challenging study of the origins of the Cold War, Professor Eisenberg traces the American role in dividing postwar Germany. Drawing upon original documentary sources, she explores how U.S. policy makers chose partition and mobilized reluctant West Europeans behind that approach. The book casts new light on the Berlin blockade, demonstrating that the United States rejected United Nations mediation and relied on its nuclear monopoly as the means of protecting its German agenda.

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Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 11987 comments Mod
An in-depth memoir of the cold war as experienced by a newspaper correspondent.

On the Front Lines of the Cold War

On the Front Lines of the Cold War An American Correspondent's Journal from the Chinese Civil War to the Cuban Missle Crisis and Vietnam by Seymour Topping by Seymour Topping (no photo)

In the years following World War II, the United States suffered its most severe military and diplomatic reverses in Asia while Mao Zedong laid the foundation for the emergence of China as a major economic and military world power. As a correspondent for the International News Service, the Associated Press, and later for the New York Times, Seymour Topping documented on the ground the tumultuous events during the Chinese Civil War, the French Indochina War, and the American retreat from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. In this riveting narrative, Topping chronicles his extraordinary experiences covering the East-West struggle in Asia and Eastern Europe from 1946 into the 1980s, taking us beyond conventional historical accounts to provide a fresh, first-hand perspective on American triumphs and defeats during the Cold War era.

At the close of World War II, Topping -- who had served as an infantry officer in the Pacific -- reported for the International News Service from Beijing and Mao's Yenan stronghold before joining the Associated Press in Nanking, Chiang Kai-shek's capital. He covered the Chinese Civil War for the next three years, often interviewing Nationalist and Communist commanders in combat zones. Crossing Nationalist lines, Topping was captured by Communist guerrillas and tramped for days over battlefields to reach the People's Liberation Army as it advanced on Nanking. The sole correspondent on the battlefield during the decisive Battle of the Huai-Hai, which sealed Mao's victory, Topping later scored a world-wide exclusive as the first journalist to report the fall of the capital.

In 1950, Topping opened the Associated Press bureau in Saigon, becoming the first American correspondent in Vietnam. In 1951, John F. Kennedy, then a young congressman on a fact-finding visit to Saigon, sought out Topping for a briefing. Assignments in London and West Berlin followed, then Moscow and Hong Kong for the New York Times. During those years Topping reported on the Chinese intervention in the Korean conflict, Mao's Cultural Revolution and its preceding internal power struggle, the Chinese leader's monumental ideological split with Nikita Khrushchev, the French Indochina War, America's Vietnam War, and the genocides in Cambodia and Indonesia. He stood in the Kremlin with a vodka-tilting Khrushchev on the night the Cuban missile crisis ended and interviewed Fidel Castro in Havana on its aftermath.

Throughout this captivating chronicle, Topping also relates the story of his marriage to Audrey Ronning, a world-renowned photojournalist and writer and daughter of the Canadian ambassador to China. As the couple traveled from post to post reporting on some of the biggest stories of the century in Asia and Eastern Europe, they raised five daughters. In an epilogue, Topping cites lessons to be learned from the Asia wars which could serve as useful guides for American policymakers in dealing with present-day conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

From China to Indochina, Burma to Korea and beyond, Topping did more than report the news; he became involved in international diplomacy, enabling him to gain extraordinary insights. In On the Front Lines of the Cold War, Topping shares these insights, providing an invaluable eyewitness account of some of the pivotal moments in modern history.

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Jerome | 3540 comments An upcoming book:
Release date: November 19, 2015

The Cold War: A Military History

The Cold War A Military History by Jeremy Black by Jeremy BlackJeremy Black


The term the Cold War has had many meanings and interpretations since it was originally coined and has been used to analyse everything from comics to pro-natalist policies, and science fiction to gender politics. This range has great value, but also poses problems, notably by diluting the focus on war of a certain type, and by exacerbating a lack of precision in definition and analysis. The Cold War: A Military History is the first survey of the period to focus on the diplomatic and military confrontation and conflict.

Jeremy Black begins his overview in 1917 and covers the 'long Cold War', from the 7th November Revolution to the ongoing repercussions and reverberations of the conflict today. The book is forward-looking as well as retrospective, not least in encouraging us to reflect on how much the character of the present world owes to the Cold War. The result is a detailed survey that will be invaluable to students and scholars of military and international history.

message 48: by Jill, Assisting Moderator - Military Hist L/Global NF/Eur/Brit/Music (last edited Jun 08, 2015 11:17AM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 11987 comments Mod
One of the most famous Presidential speeches is that of Ronald Reagan in June, 1987...."Tear down this wall". This basically marked the end of the Cold War. To read the text and listen to the speech, visit this site at the address below.

Source: historyplace

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Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 11987 comments Mod
Kruschev's Shoe Pounding Incident

Visit the link below to read more about the infamous shoe-banging incident by Soviet President Nikita Kruschev. For years, this was accepted as truth but it appears that it may not have actually happened.

The faked photo:

(Source: Wikipedia)

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Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 11987 comments Mod
Britain and America After World War II: Bilateral Relations and the Beginnings of the Cold War

Britain and America After World War II Bilateral Relations and the Beginnings of the Cold War by Richard Wevill by Richard Wevill(no photo)


The period immediately after World War II was a vital one for diplomatic relations and, with the Soviet Union emerging as a new superpower, it was particularly important for Britain's relations with America. This is the first book to focus on the role of the British Embassy in Washington during this period. According to Richard Wevill, the British Embassy was pivotal in the fulfillment of key British foreign, financial and imperial policy objectives. Applying the implications of new archival material to the turning points of the period, including a detailed review of Lord Halifax's ambassadorship under Attlee, a re-evaluation of the part of Roger Makins in the atomic energy discussions, and the Embassy's influence in relation to Palestine, Wevill argues for a more nuanced understanding of the 'special relationship' in its most formative period. He offers a recasting of a crucial period of twentieth century history, providing fascinating new detail on Britain's relations with President Truman as well as with Secretaries of State George Marshall and Dean Acheson. Charting the beginnings of one of modern history's most influential alliances, this book will be a primary reference point for students and scholars of History, the Cold War, Politics and International Relations.

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Books mentioned in this topic

Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire (other topics)
The Cold War: A New History (other topics)
The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times (other topics)
The Cold War: A Very Short Introduction (other topics)
Suez 1956: The Inside Story of the First Oil War (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Odd Arne Westad (other topics)
Robert J. McMahon (other topics)
John Lewis Gaddis (other topics)
David Remnick (other topics)
Victor Sebestyen (other topics)