The Fifty-Year War: Conflict and Strategy in the Cold War

Paperback (Print)
Rent from
(Save 59%)
Est. Return Date: 07/24/2015
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 41%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 92%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (14) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $18.52   
  • Used (9) from $1.99   

More About This Textbook


For fifty years the Cold War shaped our lives and divided our world and its influence will continue for decades to come. While other authors have portrayed the period as an uneasy "peace" enforced by the mutually assured destruction of atomic and nuclear weapons, Norman Friedman has synthesized a vast array of information from a diverse spectrum of sources on both sides of the Iron Curtain and come up with some foundation-shattering new conclusions. His book is already being considered a landmark study by those privileged to see the work in progress. The renowned defense analyst has fired a devastating shot over the bow of conventional thinking and set a very high mark for those who follow him in attempting to make sense of one of the most complex and fascinating epochs of world history.

With a depth and scope of analysis unseen in other literature on the subject, Friedman dashes the prevailing notion that the Cold War was but a loose succession of related events and shows instead that it was World War III conducted at a much slower pace than a hot war, allowing for the enduring technological, cultural, and social effects of the past five decades. He is the first to amalgamate geopolitics with the technical and military developments of the last fifty years. Avoiding the trap of blaming it all on ideology, Friedman connects each side's politico-military strategy and central defining character. Among the many questions he discusses are: Was it communism versus capitalism or just old-fashioned Russian imperialism cloaked in a largely irrelevant ideology? Did the West win or did inherent flaws doom the Soviet system from the start?

A recognized authority on twentieth-century warfare and defense strategy, Friedman is uniquely qualified to interpret the importance of geopolitical events and their influence on the future. His ability to convey matters of great complexity with ease and interest is nearly without parallel, and his profound insights will prove useful to specialists and general readers alike. Even his footnotes are entertaining.

From the Soviets' first advances in the Spanish Civil War to the official end of the Soviet state on Christmas Day 1991, Friedman provides the reader with a comprehensive, incisive, and thought-provoking history. We cannot afford to ignore his Cold War analysis and lessons for the future.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591142874
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Pages: 597
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction xi
Part 1 Setting the Stage 1
1 War and Communism 3
2 Stalin's Soviet Union 16
3 The West in 1945 25
4 The Nuclear Revolution in Warfare 33
Part 2 Outbreak 41
5 Initial Probes 43
6 Open War 57
7 The Marshall Plan and NATO 70
8 Tito and Mao 91
9 Rising Nationalism 102
10 Stalin's Military Buildup 115
11 Countering Stalin's Hordes 123
Part 3 Crises in a Nuclear World 133
12 Living with Stalin's Bomb: NSC 68 135
13 The "Super" 144
14 Crisis in the East 149
15 Defending Europe 171
16 Crisis: Indochina 180
17 Enter Khrushchev 186
18 The "New Look" 193
19 Khrushchev's "New Look" 211
20 Disaster via the Middle East 217
Part 4 Stalemate 229
21 The Missile Race 231
22 Crisis Time 241
23 Kennedy and "Wars of National Liberation" 252
24 Crises in Europe and Cuba 271
25 The McNamara Broom 283
26 De Gaulle vs. NATO 295
Part 5 The West on the Defensive 299
27 The Brezhnev Coup 301
28 Vietnam 308
29 Disaster 332
30 Repression 344
31 Peace without Victory 354
32 Brezhnev's Buildups 373
33 Detente and Discontent 382
34 The West at Bay 394
35 Nadir 421
Part 6 Counterattack and Victory 443
36 The Computer Bomb 445
37 Counterattack: The West Rearms 452
38 Unexpected Victory 467
Notes 491
Bibliography 561
Index 577
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)