Cold War recommendation?
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- Munich 1938 (Chamberlain & Hitler)
- Vienna 1961 (Kennedy & Khrushchev)
- Geneva 1985 (Gorbachev & Reagan)
The last two were selected because of their importance to the beginning and the ending of the main period of the Cold War.
Watching these got me thinking about how shockingly little I know about the details of the Cold War, even though it was an ever-present situation for most of my life. I feel rather ashamed of my ignorance. So, I figure, I should do something about it.
Can anybody recommend a good overview book about this episode in world history?
Il a de très bonnes critiques en France / Very good appréciations from the french critics...
Now, on that score, let me climb on the soap-box for a moment. I may well throw something pungent and odious at the next clown -- almost always a White man from the Western world -- who lectures us that "things can never be the same since Nine-Eleven". The latter-day version is "Things can never be the same after the Boston Marathon". Fact is -- and many of us have lived through this -- that the threat of massive destruction by seemingly uncontrollable forces -- has been a fact of life at-least since the late days of World War Two. Mills is particularly good at pulling back far enough to see that modern war is an immense racket, whose practitioners (and beneficiaries) are a lot more like each other than they are like the people they supposedly represent (and "defend").
Not-so-incidentally, I note the omission of any work by John Lukacs. Despite his apparent conservatism, he is very sound, and pre-dates most, if not all the works listed above. It is noteworthy that he showed great understanding without benefit of all the archival material which became avaiable in the last thirty years. Happy hunting! -- Goddard
Speaking of far less apocalyptic matters, is anybody else having the Devil's own time with the Touchstone option here?
General overview text: America, Russia, and the Cold War, 1945-2006 by Walter LaFeber
Somewhat more focused: A Constructed Peace: The Making of the European Settlement, 1945-1963 by Marc Trachtenberg, The Making of the Second Cold War by Fred Halliday, The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times by Odd Arne Westad
Soviet foreign policy: Expansion and Coexistence by Adam Bruno Ulam, Inside the Kremlin's Cold War: From Stalin to Khrushchev by Vladislav Zubok
US foreign policy: America's Half-Century: United States Foreign Policy in the Cold War and After by Thomas J. McCormick