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From the fall of Nazi Germany to the fall of the Berlin Wall, a cold war raged between the US and the Soviet Union. Though not a shot was fired, the hostility between the two superpowers threatened the globe with nuclear annihilation. Axelrod reveals the intriguing, suspenseful true story behind this globe-spanning battle of ...
From the fall of Nazi Germany to the fall of the Berlin Wall, a cold war raged between the US and the Soviet Union. Though not a shot was fired, the hostility between the two superpowers threatened the globe with nuclear annihilation. Axelrod reveals the intriguing, suspenseful true story behind this globe-spanning battle of wills, and as always, he’s created a study that’s authoritative, comprehensive, and a pleasure to read. Judiciously, incisively, he probes the pivotal events of the era: the Marshall Plan; the iron curtain; the Berlin airlift; the Cuban missile crisis; the rise and fall of Joesph McCarthy; the Korean War; the Vietnam War; the arms race. Rarely seen illustrations, detail-packed sidebars, maps, stats, quotes, alternate takes, and “reality checks” to popular myths make this a work general readers will turn to and enjoy.
Posted February 23, 2010
Alan Axelrod's "History of the Cold War" is a story told that every Baby Boomer should find interesting. After all it (Cold War) dominated the majority of the lives of those of us who were born shortly after WW II. It may not have been on our collective minds 24 hours a day but it was the background landscape on which we played as children, grew to adolescence, became educated, developed philosophies, raised our own families, and so on. The Cold War was just sort of accepted as a fact of life and an inevitable "Sword of Damocles" in the form of a mushroom cloud hanging over our heads at all times. No doubt it influenced us in ways we are yet to understand.
Axelrod's book is a good primer in laying out the important events and consequences of those events. It is very readible and he makes good use of interesting sidebars and illustrations throughout the book. It is pretty much an intersting dissertation of facts up until chapter 13 when the author chooses to pass judgement about the character and personal motivations of people involved in the "Red Scare" era. His sympathy for Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs, and disdain for those who pursued them and others belie the atmosphere of the period and places the author in that all too familiar classification of Monday morning quarterbackers. Ridiculing "McCarthyism" without a balanced evaluation of those he accused smells more of politics than historical writing.
Aside from that and a bit of poor proofreading (typos) the book is worth the read.
Posted February 6, 2010
Posted January 23, 2010
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