The Cold War

The Cold War

A Military History

Book - 2005
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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 Warsucceeds at an impossible task: illuminating and explaining the history of an undeclared shadow war that threatened the very existence of humankind.
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2005.
ISBN: 9780375509100
0375509100
Characteristics: xvi, 478 p. :,ill., maps ;,25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Cowley, Robert

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This is a great read - the thing that really impressed me was the way the editor synthesized contributions from many authors into a coherent narrative of the Cold War. Each chapter picks up a specific incident, covering a total span of almost 40 years, but they weave together and build on one another. Fascinating book.

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loyats
Nov 29, 2013

A great book to either feed a passing interest in the cold War, or to be a stepping off point for further curiosity and research.

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loyats
Nov 29, 2013

loyats thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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l
loyats
Nov 29, 2013

A collection of articles and reports based around the Cold War between the Soviet Union and United States.

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