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James MannGaddis'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. He has not done much new archival field work to produce this new synthesis, and, at times, he relies heavily on his previous work. Yet to Gaddis's credit, he does not merely rewrite himself or retrace the main events from 1946 to 1991. Instead, he stretches to find new ways … to cover the subject, stepping back and looking at the entire period with distance and perspective.
— The Washington Post