The Cold War: An International History

By David S. Painter | Go to book overview

foreign policy. Although domestic dynamics were very important, I have chosen to focus on the international dimensions of the Cold War.

I have tried to be balanced and fair, but I have given my own views on important issues. Due to the brevity of this book, I have not always found it possible to alert readers to alternative interpretations. I also regret that the format of this series does not allow me to provide detailed references to the many fine studies I have relied on in crafting this account of the Cold War. This is a work of synthesis, and while I alone am responsible for what I have written, I want to acknowledge my debt to others. In addition to the works cited in the Notes, I have tried to list the main works I found useful for this study in the Suggested Further Reading. I am also especially grateful to William Burr, Eric Evans, Benjamin Fordham, Robert McMahon, John McNeill, Aviel Roshwald, Richard Stites, Nancy Bernkopf Tucker, John Voll, and J. Samuel Walker, who took time from their own work to read and comment on a draft of this study. An early version of the approach utilized in this study appeared in my essay “Cold War” in the Encyclopedia of U.S. Foreign Relations. I want to thank Oxford University Press for permission to utilize portions of that essay, and Thomas G. Paterson for his help and advice on that project. I also want to express my appreciation to my editors at Routledge, especially Heather McCallum, for their assistance and patience.

I have endeavored to write a non-nationalist history. Although the relative emphasis on the United States and its actions is, in part, due to my personal background and professional training, it is also due to the dominant role the United States played in the Cold War.

This study is not the last word on the Cold War. Rather its purpose is to provide a reliable starting point from which interested readers can explore for themselves the conflict that dominated international relations in the second half of the twentieth century.

-3-

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The Cold War: An International History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Abbreviations vi
  • Maps vii
  • Acknowledgements x
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - The Cold War Begins, 1945-50 4
  • 3 - Competition and Coexistence, 1950-62 31
  • 4 - From Cold War to Détente, 1963-73 56
  • 5 - From Détente to Confrontation, 1973-80 77
  • 6 - The Rise and Fall of the Second Cold War, 1981-91 95
  • 7 - Understanding the Cold War 112
  • Notes 119
  • Suggested Further Reading 124
  • Index 126
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