The Cold War: A World History

The Cold War: A World History

by Odd Arne Westad


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The definitive history of the Cold War and its impact around the world

We tend to think of the Cold War as a bounded conflict: a clash of two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, born out of the ashes of World War II and coming to a dramatic end with the collapse of the Soviet Union. But in this major new work, Bancroft Prize-winning scholar Odd Arne Westad argues that the Cold War must be understood as a global ideological confrontation, with early roots in the Industrial Revolution and ongoing repercussions around the world.

In The Cold War, Westad offers a new perspective on a century when great power rivalry and ideological battle transformed every corner of our globe. From Soweto to Hollywood, Hanoi, and Hamburg, young men and women felt they were fighting for the future of the world. The Cold War may have begun on the perimeters of Europe, but it had its deepest reverberations in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, where nearly every community had to choose sides. And these choices continue to define economies and regimes across the world.

Today, many regions are plagued with environmental threats, social divides, and ethnic conflicts that stem from this era. Its ideologies influence China, Russia, and the United States; Iraq and Afghanistan have been destroyed by the faith in purely military solutions that emerged from the Cold War.

Stunning in its breadth and revelatory in its perspective, this book expands our understanding of the Cold War both geographically and chronologically, and offers an engaging new history of how today's world was created.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781541674097
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 10/15/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 720
Sales rank: 218,951
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 2.00(d)

About the Author

Odd Arne Westad is the S. T. Lee professor of US-Asia relations at Harvard University and author and editor of eleven books, including The Global Cold War, recipient of the Bancroft Prize, and Restless Empire, recipient of the Asia Society book award. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

World Making 1

1 Starting Points 19

2 Tests of War 43

3 Europe's Asymmetries 71

4 Reconstructions 99

5 New Asia 129

6 Korean Tragedy 159

7 Eastern Spheres 183

8 The Making of the West 209

9 China's Scourge 233

10 Breaking Empires 261

11 Kennedy's Contingencies 287

12 Encountering Vietnam 313

13 The Cold War and Latin America 339

14 The Age of Brezhnev 365

15 Nixon in Beijing 395

16 The Cold War and India 423

17 Middle East Maelstroms 449

18 Defeating Détente 475

19 European Portents 501

20 Gorbachev 527

21 Global Transformations 553

22 European Realities 579

The World the Cold War Made 617

Approaches and Acknowledgments 631

Notes 637

Index 677

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