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The Atlantic and Its Enemies: A History of the Cold Warby Norman Stone
Synopses & Reviews
After World War II, the former allies were saddled with a devastated world economy and traumatized populace. Soviet influence spread insidiously from nation to nation, and the Atlantic powers—the Americans, the British, and a small band of allies—were caught flat-footed by the coups, collapsing armies, and civil wars that sprung from all sides. The Cold War had begun in earnest.
In The Atlantic and Its Enemies, prize-winning historian Norman Stone assesses the years between World War II and the collapse of the Iron Curtain. He vividly demonstrates that for every Atlantic success there seemed to be a dozen Communist or Third World triumphs. Then, suddenly and against all odds, the Atlantic won—economically, ideologically, and militarily—with astonishing speed and finality.
An elegant and path-breaking history, The Atlantic and Its Enemies is a monument to the immense suffering and conflict of the twentieth century, and an illuminating exploration of how the Atlantic triumphed over its enemies at last.
"Stone builds on his expertise in the long 19th century in this very successful overview of a cold war whose end, he says, was a complete surprise. Intellectually, Marxism-Leninism in parts of the West was more of a vital belief system than in the East, where it was an orthodoxy Diplomatically, for every Western success there seemed to be multiple triumphs for Communist countries or Third World proxies. Militarily, a thermonuclear stalemate framed a spectrum of defeats in unconventional wars and insurgencies. Europe was moribund; America was uncertain. Then the U.S.S.R. imploded. The Western-generated forces of individualism and creativity might have been overshadowed, says Stone, but for Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, who he says personified their re-emergence. The Atlantic world boomed unexpectedly while the East was gridlocked and the Third World hobbled by ideologically based overextension and overmanagement, too arteriosclerotic to withstand the stress of reform. Stone's consistently vivid text presents history as a contingent process whose results are never ideal — but neither are they permanent. Illus. (June 1)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A masterful history of the second half of the twentieth century by one of the great historians of our age
Brilliant....A forthright, brave history, full of wit and humanity.” —The Times (London)
Pre-eminent historian Norman Stones The Atlantic and Its Enemies is a masterful history of the Cold War. As Soviet influence spread insidiously from nation to nation, the Americans and British were overwhelmed by the coups, collapsing armies, and civil wars that seemed ceaselessly to besiege not just Europe but the Middle East and Asia as well. For every Atlantic success there seemed to be a dozen Communist or Third World triumphs, as the USSR and its proxies crushed dissent and humiliated the United States on both military and cultural grounds. Then, suddenly and against all odds, the Atlantic won economically, ideologically, militarily with astonishing speed and finality. Imbued with deep learning and sparks of pugilistic wit, The Atlantic and Its Enemies is an elegantly told path-breaking work—both a monument to the immense suffering and conflict of the 20th century, and an illuminating exploration of how the Western powers ultimately triumphed over the Second World War.
About the Author
Norman Stone is the author of World War One, The Eastern Front 1914-1917 (winner of the Wolfson Prize), and Europe Transformed. He has taught at the universities of Cambridge, Oxford, and Bilkent, where he is now Director of the Turkish-Russian Center. He lives in Oxford and Istanbul.
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