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The Cold War: A New History

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The Cold War: A New History Cover

ISBN13: 9781594200625
ISBN10: 1594200629
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In 1950, when Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh and Kim Il-Sung met in Moscow to discuss the future, they had reason to feel optimistic. International communism seemed everywhere on the offensive: Stalin was at the height of his power; all of Eastern Europe was securely in the Soviet camp; America's monopoly on nuclear weapons was a thing of the past; and Mao's forces had assumed control over the world's most populous country. Everywhere on the globe, colonialism left the West morally compromised. The story of the previous five decades, which saw severe economic depression, two world wars, a nearly successful attempt to wipe out the Jews, and the invention of weapons capable of wiping out everyone, was one of worst fears confirmed, and there seemed as of 1950 little sign, at least to the West, that the next fifty years would be any less dark.

In fact, of course, the century's end brought the widespread triumph of political and economic freedom over its ideological enemies. How did this happen? How did fear become hope? In The Cold War, John Lewis Gaddis makes a major contribution to our understanding of this epochal story. Beginning with World War II and ending with the collapse of the Soviet Union, he provides a thrilling account of the strategic dynamics that drove the age, rich with illuminating portraits of its major personalities and much fresh insight into its most crucial events. The first significant distillation of cold war scholarship for a general readership, The Cold War contains much new and often startling information drawn from newly opened Soviet, East European, and Chinese archives. Now, as America once again finds itself in a global confrontation with an implacable ideological enemy, The Cold War tells a story whose lessons it is vitally necessary to understand.

Review:

"If it's difficult to imagine a history of the Cold War that can be described as thrilling, that should add more luster to Yale historian Gaddis's crown. Gaddis, who's written some half-dozen studies of the Cold War, delivers an utterly engrossing account of Soviet-U.S. relations from WWII to the collapse of the U.S.S.R. The ideological clash between democratic capitalism and communism predated the war, of course, but the emergence of nuclear weapons created a new political situation. Suddenly, it was easy to imagine total war that might destroy not only the enemy but also the victor. Gaddis assesses what he sees as the positive contributions Thatcher, Reagan and Pope John Paul II made to furthering the disintegration of the U.S.S.R. and concludes with a sympathetic portrait of Gorbachev; his refusal to use force ultimately cost him both communism and his country, but, says Gaddis, it also made him 'the most deserving recipient ever of the Nobel Peace Prize.' The interpretations on offer are not startlingly original — we've read this before, mostly in other books by Gaddis himself — but a new, concise narration was Gaddis's aim here, and he succeeds royally. His synthesis is sure to reign with general history readers and in undergraduate classrooms. 8 maps not seen by PW." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"[A] comprehensive but highly accessible look at the dominant force in world history from 1945 until 1991....Aimed at a new generation, this book is nonetheless enlightening for all generations." Booklist

Review:

"Gaddis has a sure understanding of the topic that has consumed his scholarly life and we all benefit from his learned insights..." Library Journal

Review:

"Gaddis' book is straightforward, easy to read, well researched and free from technical components that might have confused some readers." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"Gaddis's latest book boils down the history of the entire Cold War to a sometimes brilliant 266 pages of text, in trenchant, lucid prose intended not for historians and specialists but for ordinary readers..." Washington Post

Review:

"[A] readable, authoritative and humane book." Wall Street Journal

Review:

"Gaddis has written the best one-volume treatment of the East-West struggle....[A]n altogether stimulating work." Christian Science Monitor

Review:

"Energetically written and lucid, it makes an ideal introduction to the subject." William Grimes, New York Times

Synopsis:

The and#147;dean of Cold War historiansand#148; (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 whyand#151;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.

Synopsis:

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.

About the Author

John Lewis Gaddis is the Robert A. Lovett Professor of History of Yale University. He is the author of numerous books, including The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1941-1947 (1972); Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of Postwar American National Security (1982); The Long Peace: Inquiries into the History of the Cold War (1987); We Now Know: Rethinking Cold War History (1997); The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past (2002); and Surprise, Security, and the American Experience (2004).

Table of Contents

The Cold War Preface

List of Maps

Prologue: The View Forward

I. The Return Of Fear

II. Deathboats And Lifeboats

III. Command Versus Spontaneity

IV. The Emergence Of Autonomy

V. The Recovery Of Equity

VI. Actors

VII. The Triumph Of Hope

Epilogue: The View Back

Notes

Bibliography

Index

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Chris, September 11, 2006 (view all comments by Chris)
This is an excellent, comprehensive, and quite readable account of an era that is still very relevant. Gaddis treats the conflict fairly, and for those looking for an introduction to post World War II history, it is a necessary read.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(11 of 19 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781594200625
Subtitle:
A New History
Author:
Gaddis, John Lewis
Publisher:
Penguin Press HC, The
Subject:
Modern - 20th Century
Subject:
World politics
Subject:
Cold war
Subject:
Modern - 20th Century/Nuclear Age
Subject:
Europe - Russia & the Former Soviet Union
Subject:
United States - 20th Century (1945 to 2000)
Subject:
Russia (pre & post Soviet Union)
Subject:
Historical
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20051229
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
16-page b/w photo insert; b/w maps throu
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9.5 x 6.4 x 1.25 in 1.35 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » Peace and War
History and Social Science » Russia » General Russian History
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » 20th Century
History and Social Science » World History » 1650 to Present

The Cold War: A New History Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Penguin Press - English 9781594200625 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "If it's difficult to imagine a history of the Cold War that can be described as thrilling, that should add more luster to Yale historian Gaddis's crown. Gaddis, who's written some half-dozen studies of the Cold War, delivers an utterly engrossing account of Soviet-U.S. relations from WWII to the collapse of the U.S.S.R. The ideological clash between democratic capitalism and communism predated the war, of course, but the emergence of nuclear weapons created a new political situation. Suddenly, it was easy to imagine total war that might destroy not only the enemy but also the victor. Gaddis assesses what he sees as the positive contributions Thatcher, Reagan and Pope John Paul II made to furthering the disintegration of the U.S.S.R. and concludes with a sympathetic portrait of Gorbachev; his refusal to use force ultimately cost him both communism and his country, but, says Gaddis, it also made him 'the most deserving recipient ever of the Nobel Peace Prize.' The interpretations on offer are not startlingly original — we've read this before, mostly in other books by Gaddis himself — but a new, concise narration was Gaddis's aim here, and he succeeds royally. His synthesis is sure to reign with general history readers and in undergraduate classrooms. 8 maps not seen by PW." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[A] comprehensive but highly accessible look at the dominant force in world history from 1945 until 1991....Aimed at a new generation, this book is nonetheless enlightening for all generations."
"Review" by , "Gaddis has a sure understanding of the topic that has consumed his scholarly life and we all benefit from his learned insights..."
"Review" by , "Gaddis' book is straightforward, easy to read, well researched and free from technical components that might have confused some readers."
"Review" by , "Gaddis's latest book boils down the history of the entire Cold War to a sometimes brilliant 266 pages of text, in trenchant, lucid prose intended not for historians and specialists but for ordinary readers..."
"Review" by , "[A] readable, authoritative and humane book."
"Review" by , "Gaddis has written the best one-volume treatment of the East-West struggle....[A]n altogether stimulating work."
"Review" by , "Energetically written and lucid, it makes an ideal introduction to the subject."
"Synopsis" by ,
The and#147;dean of Cold War historiansand#148; (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 whyand#151;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.

"Synopsis" by ,
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.

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