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International Relations The Cold War
by
David Atkinson

Introduction

The term “Cold War” refers to the period of Soviet-American antagonism that dominated the international system from approximately 1945 to 1991. While different scholars emphasize different facets of this competition, the Cold War was at once an ideological, political, economic, cultural, military, and strategic contest between the United States and its allies on one hand, and the Soviet Union and its allies on the other. Recent studies have done much to complicate the once dominant bipolar understanding of this struggle. Scholars increasingly, and quite rightly, highlight the many ways in which Asian, African, and Latin American states in particular attempted to transcend the apparent strictures imposed by Soviet-American hostility. Indeed, our understanding of the Cold War is constantly subject to reinterpretation, revision, and modification, as new evidence, new methodologies, and new actors emerge from obscurity. There is a vast and continually expanding literature on the Cold War, offering much of value to international-relations scholars. The studies and resources included in this bibliography are designed to guide the new and experienced international-relations researcher through a selection of resources that reveal the myriad complexities, nuances, and contingencies of this seminal and contentious period. A great deal of this literature analyzes the evolution of the international system in the decades after World War II, while providing insights into policy formulation and diplomacy. Scholars have also been particularly interested in questions of responsibility and blame, especially regarding the origins and end of the Cold War. Many questions remain unresolved, and the boundaries of scholarly inquiry are continually expanding, making it an especially rich field of research for new and experienced researchers alike.

General Overviews

New students and researchers seeking introductory overviews of the Cold War are extremely well served. A number of studies are particularly well suited to new international-relations students and scholars seeking context and references for their research on the period. Gaddis 2005b and LaFeber 2008 are excellent starting points for those seeking relatively brief and straightforward narrative accounts of the US-Soviet conflict. Gaddis emphasizes Soviet culpability in his largely orthodox treatment, while LaFeber stresses a greater degree of American responsibility in his revisionist account. These two studies can be profitably read together and represent two of the best examples of these conflicting interpretations of the Cold War. Keylor 2008 takes a more balanced postrevisionist approach, which sees both sides as bearing some measure of responsibility at different times and in different places. It also ranges widely beyond the simple binary of Cold War conflict. Leffler and Westad 2010 is one of the newest contributions to the field, and certainly one of the best. Over the course of three volumes, some of the Cold War’s most esteemed scholars explore every aspect of the Cold War in every region of the globe. This collection is highly recommended to all scholars, both new and experienced. Westad 2000 brings together a collection of essays from international-relations scholars and historians that explore a variety of methodological questions, which is especially useful for those interested in theoretical approaches. Gaddis 2005a is an excellent starting point for students and scholars interested in the evolution of American national-security strategy during this period, while Zubok 2007 performs a similar service with regard to the Soviet Union. Finally, Westad 2007 broadens the analytical lens considerably in his path-breaking study of the third world’s impact on the Cold War, and vice versa.

  • Gaddis, John Lewis. Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of American National Security Policy during the Cold War. Rev. ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005a.

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    Classic study of United States’ evolving Cold War strategy, first published in 1982. Identifies and assesses changes in US approaches, including Kennan’s original exposition on containment, NSC-68, the “New Look,” “Flexible Response,” détente, and the Reagan-Gorbachev rapprochement. Remains the best strategic-level analysis of American Cold War policies for all researchers.

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  • Gaddis, John Lewis. The Cold War: A New History. New York: Penguin, 2005b.

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    Extremely well-written Cold War introductory text by one of its most celebrated and respected scholars. This contribution tends toward a more traditional interpretation of the conflict’s origins and Soviet guilt, but brings a breadth of knowledge and understanding of events and their significance. Read in conjunction with LaFeber 2008 for alternative analysis.

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  • Keylor, William R. A World of Nations: The International Order since 1945. 2d ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

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    Well-written, comprehensive, and balanced history of international relations in the Cold War and post–Cold War period. Combines a theoretical, chronological, thematic, and regional approach that will orient new researchers in this often complicated era. Ideal introduction for international-relations scholars.

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  • LaFeber, Walter. America, Russia, and the Cold War, 1945–2006. 10th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2008.

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    Latest iteration of a long-standing revisionist introduction to Cold War. Tends to place responsibility on the United States and its policies. Especially useful for beginning undergraduates and novice researchers. Read in conjunction with Gaddis 2005b for alternative analysis.

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  • Leffler, Melvyn P., and Odd Arne Westad, eds. The Cambridge History of the Cold War. 3 vols. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

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    Exceptional three-volume history of Cold War with contributions from extremely well-respected international-relations scholars and historians. First volume traces global origins of the Cold War. Second volume addresses the 1960s and 1970s. Third volume traces the intensification and end of the Cold War from 1975 to 1991. Highly recommended to all.

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  • Westad, Odd Arne, ed. Reviewing the Cold War: Approaches, Interpretations, Theory. London: Frank Cass, 2000.

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    Rewarding collection of theoretical essays from historians, international-relations scholars, and political scientists. Emphasizes the need for interdisciplinary approaches and theories. Directed primarily toward undergraduate students, but all scholars will benefit from the insights and ideas expressed in this volume.

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  • Westad, Odd Arne. The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

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    Superb study of third world’s role in Cold War, which illuminates the present as much as the past. Focuses on American and Soviet Cold War strategies in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, including Vietnam, China, Indonesia, Angola, Ethiopia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Iran, and Afghanistan. Extremely important work that reframes our understanding of Cold War diplomacy and its effects.

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  • Zubok, Vladislav M. A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007.

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    Indispensible study of the Soviet Union and its international relations during the Cold War, as well as Soviet domestic policies. Makes excellent use of recently declassified Russian sources. Future works will invariably complicate its findings, but highly recommended to all Cold War scholars.

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Reference Works

Navigating the continually expanding plethora of primary and secondary sources on the Cold War can be a daunting process, especially for undergraduate students. Nevertheless, a number of reference works make the process somewhat easier, enabling all researchers to access the most recent scholarly and documentary sources. Dijk, et al. 2008 is an excellent two-volume encyclopedia that is truly global in scope. It is an enormously useful reference for new and experienced scholars alike. Hanhimäki and Westad 2003 is a rich and wide-ranging collection of primary source documents that is especially notable for its inclusion of “unofficial” voices. Those seeking a detailed roadmap through the abundance of primary and secondary literature should consult Beisner 2003. The second volume of this remarkable bibliography is entirely devoted to the Cold War and provides an unparalleled guide. Students and researchers in search of primary-source documents for this period are also extremely well served. The Cold War International History Project is an invaluable source of documents from the former Soviet Union and its clients. Its collection of translated and freely available sources is indispensable to all Cold War scholars. Similarly, a free online collection of previously classified American sources, as well as an increasing number of translated and untranslated Soviet sources, is available at the National Security Archive . Scholars and students seeking access to American government documents outside the archives are especially well served. The Declassified Documents Reference System (DDRS) is an online subscription-only repository that contains a vast amount of documents from all relevant American agencies. Similarly, the State Department’s Foreign Relations of the United States series is available both in print and online. A fully searchable collection of these volumes from 1945 to 1960 is maintained by the University of Michigan, while the State Department’s Office of the Historian provides access to the volumes from 1961 to 1976 and continues to update its site as new volumes become available.

  • Beisner, Robert L., ed. American Foreign Relations since 1600: A Guide to the Literature. 2d ed. 2 vols. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2003.

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    Indispensable annotated bibliography on American foreign relations. Second volume devoted to the post-1945 period. Includes primary and secondary sources, as well as biographies and notable journal articles. Will inevitably become increasingly outdated, but it remains the best single guide to the voluminous literature on the Cold War for both new and experienced researchers.

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  • Cold War International History Project.

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    Fascinating and frequently updated online repository of Cold War documents from around the world. Includes English translations of documents from all sides of the Cold War, with particular emphasis on the former Soviet Union, its Eastern European satellites, China, and Cuba. Unparalleled source of primary sources for this period.

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    • Declassified Documents Reference System (DDRS).

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      Useful online resource operated and maintained by Gale Cengage Learning. Contains over 450,000 pages of government documents (State Department, CIA, National Security Council, etc.), much of it pertaining to the Cold War. Fully searchable interface that can sometimes overwhelm, but worth the effort, especially if researchers target their searches.

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      • Dijk, Ruud van, William Glenn Gray, Svetlana Savranskaya, and Jeremi Suri, eds. Encyclopedia of the Cold War. 2 vols. New York: Routledge, 2008.

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        Outstanding two-volume encyclopedia that draws heavily on non-American archives and research. Wide-ranging emphasis, from military and strategy to economics and culture. Essential reference for all scholars of the Cold War.

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      • Foreign Relations of the United States. 1861–1960.

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        Invaluable source of primary materials for students of US diplomacy. Fully searchable online collection of the Department of State’s printed volumes covering the period from 1861 to 1960. Contains memorandums, meeting minutes, cables, and major presidential addresses from sources including the Department of State, the National Security Agency (after 1947), the Defense Department (after 1947), embassies, and consulates.

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        • Foreign Relations of the United States. 1961–1976.

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          Website of the Department of State’s Office of the Historian, where contemporary volumes of the Foreign Relations of the United States series may be located. Features online access to volumes covering US diplomacy and foreign policy from 1961 to 1976. Frequently updated once new volumes become available. Invaluable source of primary materials for researchers of modern US diplomacy.

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          • Hanhimäki, Jussi, and Odd Arne Westad, eds. The Cold War: A History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

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            Best published document reader on Cold War. Especially notable for its inclusion of both official and unofficial documents, including literary sources, oral histories, and reminiscences from ordinary people from around the world. Includes recommendations for further reading and a full index. Especially recommended to undergraduate students and as a teaching resource.

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          • National Security Archive.

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            Independent and highly recommended archive focused on US diplomacy and foreign policy during and after the Cold War. Also contains a growing number of documents from the Soviet side. Unrelenting commitment to obtaining previously classified documents through Freedom of Information Act requests. Often publishes dramatic findings, especially vis-à-vis US policy toward Latin America.

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            Journals

            Some of the best new research on the Cold War has been published in the many academic journals that frequently include articles on the subject. Experienced and novice scholars alike will find the following publications particularly fruitful sources for their research. The Journal of Cold War Studies and Cold War History are two especially useful peer-reviewed periodicals, that exclusively focus on the Cold War. The former places a premium on theory and the dissemination of research based on newly declassified primary sources, while the latter focuses primarily, but not exclusively, on the role of Europe and the third world. International-relations scholars will find these two journals particularly useful, with their emphasis on interdisciplinary research and theoretical approaches. Likewise, the International History Review and Diplomacy and Statecraft are excellent sources of articles, and both adopt an interdisciplinary approach that will appeal to international-relations students and scholars. Some of the most innovative and exciting research on modern American foreign relations cans be found in Diplomatic History. This journal has published some of the most important articles on the Cold War since its inception in 1977, and it is an instructive and compelling read for all students of American foreign policy. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists remains an excellent resource for those interested in nuclear weapons policy and management during (and after) the Cold War.

            • Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

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              Has monitored, analyzed, and disseminated information on nuclear, biological, and chemical arms races since 1945. Oriented toward nontechnical analysis for the general public. Indispensable source of essays, opinion, and criticism throughout the Cold War and beyond. Online-only publication since 2009.

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            • Cold War History.

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              Indispensable interdisciplinary and international peer-reviewed journal based at the London School of Economics’ Cold War Studies Programme. Emphasizes Europe and Asia, but also includes articles on the Soviet Union and the United States. Published four times per year. Excellent source of articles for international-relations scholars and historians of all levels.

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            • Diplomacy and Statecraft.

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              Essential regular reading for students of Cold War diplomacy. Emphasis on historical developments in diplomatic practice, especially in the 20th century. Heavy, but not exclusive, transatlantic and western European focus. Wide-ranging peer-reviewed articles. Esteemed editorial board. Useful book and archive reviews. Published three times a year since 1990 and quarterly since 2001.

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            • Diplomatic History.

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              Journal of record for US diplomatic history. Published on behalf of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. Peer-reviewed articles reflect various methodological approaches. Early volumes privilege political, economic, and strategic perspectives. Later volumes increasingly consider gender, culture, ethnicity, and ideology. Especially innovative in recent years. Published quarterly since 1977.

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            • International History Review.

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              Prestigious journal. Oriented toward connecting history, political-science, and international-relations scholars. Publishes on a broad range of topics, from international conflict to international thought. Important source of books reviews and review essays. Published quarterly since 1979.

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            • Journal of Cold War Studies.

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              Excellent peer-reviewed journal that particularly recommends itself to international-relations scholars interested in Cold War. Emphasis on theory and newly declassified sources. Includes articles in a range of languages. Published four times per year. Especially useful book reviews and review essays.

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            Foundations, 1945–1953

            Debates over the origins of, and responsibility for, the Cold War remain as vibrant as ever. While early American interpretations uniformly blamed Stalin and the Soviet Union (the orthodox interpretation), the 1960s and 1970s saw the emergence of a revisionist literature that placed blame largely on US economic motives and policies. In recent decades, scholars have begun to reach a postrevisionist consensus that largely places responsibility on the Soviet Union, while also criticizing US actions at certain times and in certain places. Moreover, recent scholarship has benefited from the slow declassification of secret documents from the former Soviet bloc that continue to broaden our perspective on this long confrontation. Leffler and Painter 2005 is an excellent place for international-relations scholars and students to begin their study of this sometimes contentious and constantly evolving literature. Gaddis 2000 is a revised edition of an earlier classic that established the postrevisionist interpretation in the historical literature (although the author has recently reverted to a more orthodox position). Mastny 1996 and Zubok and Pleshakov 1996 focus on Soviet motivations and policies, based on some of the earlier releases from former Soviet archives. For those interested in the construction of the national security state in the United States, Leffler 1992 is an excellent study of the Truman administration’s policies. Ulam 1974 is a once-standard interpretation of Soviet foreign policy that has since been superseded by new research. Stueck 2002 provides an accessible and engaging overview of the Korean War’s international origins and consequences that will interest scholars seeking insights into that “forgotten war.” Finally, May 1993 offers a fascinating journey through the formulation and implementation of NSC-68, the seminal document that arguably guided US national security policy for much of the Cold War after 1950.

            • Gaddis, John Lewis. The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1941–1947. Rev. ed. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.

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              Originally published in 1972. Classic prize-winning exposition of postrevisionism, originally written in response to overly deterministic economic accounts of the Cold War’s origins. Focuses on competing wartime visions during World War II and events during Truman’s first term. Strongly recommended to those international-relations scholars seeking grounding in the early Cold War years.

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            • Leffler, Melvyn P. A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration, and the Cold War. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1992.

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              Exceptional narrative and analysis of the Truman administration’s policies by a highly respected scholar. Often emphasizes American economic interests over Soviet expansion, which may irk some readers, and the lack of Soviet sources render it subject to revision. The level of detail may also deter new undergraduates, but it remains an indispensable reference.

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            • Leffler, Melvyn P., and David S. Painter, eds. Origins of the Cold War: An International History. 2d ed. New York: Routledge, 2005.

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              Exceptional essay collection devoted to the first few years of the Cold War. Takes a global approach, with emphasis on the international system, as well as geopolitics, trade, strategy, technology, culture, nationalism, and race. Noted international scholars contribute nineteen incisive essays on every conceivable flashpoint during the Truman administration. Highly recommended to all.

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            • Mastny, Vojtech. The Cold War and Soviet Insecurity: The Stalin Years. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

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              Older but nevertheless useful account of Stalin’s foreign policy during the early Cold War. While its interpretations are and will continue to be challenged as new primary sources become available, it remains an accessible and detailed overview of Soviet motives, perceptions, and mistakes.

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            • May, Ernest R., ed. American Cold War Strategy: Interpreting NSC 68. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 1993.

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              Excellent introduction to this cornerstone document of American Cold War strategy. Provides NSC-68’s full text, plus reflections by government officials involved in its formulation and implementation. Also includes essays by prominent American and international scholars on its origins and significance. Highly recommended to undergraduates and new graduate students.

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            • Stueck, William. Rethinking the Korean War: A New Diplomatic and Strategic History. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002.

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              Good introductory text on the origins, prosecution, and aftermath of the Korean War with commendable international focus. Well-written, well-argued, and balanced account of the war that will suit international-relations scholars seeking an overview. Especially useful for new undergraduates.

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            • Ulam, Adam B. Expansion and Coexistence: Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917–73. 2d ed. New York: Praeger, 1974.

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              Classic study of Soviet foreign policy before and during the Cold War. Obviously suffers from lack of archival access, but remains an impressive, hugely detailed, and informative work. Undergraduates may want to begin with something lighter, but all scholars of Soviet foreign policy should eventually digest Ulam’s contribution.

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            • Zubok, Vladislav, and Constantine Pleshakov. Inside the Kremlin’s Cold War: From Stalin to Khrushchev. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996.

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              Valuable text for those seeking insights into Soviet policy during the early Cold War by two well-respected Russian scholars. Based on declassified Russian sources, although later releases may complicate its interpretations. International-relations scholars of all levels seeking the Soviet perspective will find it especially useful.

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            Conflict and Coexistence, 1953–1961

            The 1950s were marked by broadening conflict in Asia and the Middle East. But it was also a decade in which Stalin’s death and Khrushchev’s call for peaceful coexistence appeared to make compromise a possibility. Scholars and students of the Cold War during the 1950s will find a wealth of with which material to work in what is for the most part an accessible and comprehensive literature. Trachtenberg 1999 makes the case for Germany’s continued centrality in the bipolar struggle for supremacy, focusing in particular on conflicting positions on German rearmament (and nuclear weapons in particular). Bowie and Immerman 1998 presents an incisive and important analysis of Eisenhower’s national security policy, which emphasizes its divergences from the Truman administration. Zubok and Pleshakov 1996 focuses on Stalin and Khrushchev’s different approaches to Soviet foreign policy during the period. Of course, the Cold War’s scope was never simply confined to Europe and Russo-American competition, and this was abundantly clear by the 1950s (if not before). Mao Zedong’s emergence as a formidable Cold War rival to both the United States and the Soviet Union is charted by Jian 2001, while Tan and Acharya 2008 presents an intriguing collection of essays on the so-called third world’s response to the Cold War at the 1955 Bandung Conference in Indonesia. Gray 2003 explores West Germany’s campaign to isolate and undermine East Germany diplomatically during the 1950s and 1960s. Scholars and students interested in US (and to a lesser extent Soviet) policies toward the Middle East during the 1950s will find Yaqub 2004 an excellent introduction, while the complexities of French foreign policy during the Cold War’s early years are the subject of Hitchcock 1998.

            • Bowie, Robert R., and Richard H. Immerman. Waging Peace: How Eisenhower Shaped an Enduring Cold War Strategy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

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              Penetrating and provocative study of Eisenhower’s development of a Cold War strategy, especially the so-called New Look. Draws a careful distinction between the latter’s policies and those of the Truman administration. Written by a former Eisenhower-administration official and prominent diplomatic historian. Emphasis on policy-making process that will especially appeal to political scientists and international-relations scholars.

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            • Gray, William Glenn. Germany’s Cold War: The Global Campaign to Isolate East Germany, 1949–1969. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003.

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              Useful account of West Germany’s role in the early years of the Cold War. Focuses on Bonn’s attempts to delegitimize East Germany and overcome Germany’s division. Shows how changing political calculations led to Ostpolitik. Thematic chapters on Yugoslavia, Africa, development, and détente. Suitable for all scholars.

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            • Hitchcock, William I. France Restored: Cold War Diplomacy and the Quest for Leadership in Europe, 1944–1954. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998.

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              Good account of French Fourth Republic’s diplomacy in the early Cold War. Includes chapters on Franco-German rapprochement, French responses to German rearmament, and the European Defense Community. Especially strong on France’s role in European economic recovery and reconstruction. Undergraduates should find it accessible, and graduate students and experts will also find it useful.

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            • Jian, Chen. Mao’s China and the Cold War. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001.

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              Excellent study of Mao’s diplomacy and strategy during the Cold War, particularly 1945–1972. Based on Chinese archival material not previously seen in Western scholarship. Focuses on Mao’s twin strategies of “perpetual revolution” and exploitation of a Chinese sense of victimhood. All students of the Cold War in Asia and Chinese diplomacy will profit.

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            • Tan, See Seng, and Amitav Acharya, eds. Bandung Revisited: The Legacy of the 1955 Asian-African Conference for International Order. Singapore: National University of Singapore Press, 2008.

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              Nine essays on various aspects of the 1955 Bandung Conference in Indonesia and its consequences. Emphasizes the continued resonance of Bandung for Asian diplomacy. Includes chapters on Southeast Asia, Afro-Asian relations, China, and India. Students of nonalignment and diplomacy during the Cold War will find it especially useful.

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            • Trachtenberg, Marc. A Constructed Peace: The Making of the European Settlement, 1945–1963. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999.

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              Important work for its emphasis on events in Europe and the centrality of the German question. Makes use of American, French, and British archives, although lacking in German and Soviet sources. Nevertheless, scholars seeking a detailed and well-written account of European international politics during the first two decades of the Cold War will find it extremely useful.

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            • Yaqub, Salim. Containing Arab Nationalism: The Eisenhower Doctrine and the Middle East. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

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              Enduringly relevant study of the Eisenhower administration’s policy in the Middle East. Sees the crux of policy as directed toward containing the influence of Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser. Based on US, British, and Egyptian sources. International-relations scholars interested in the origins of US policy in the Middle East will greatly benefit from this study.

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            • Zubok, Vladislav, and Constantine Pleshakov. Inside the Kremlin’s Cold War: From Stalin to Khrushchev. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996.

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              Extremely useful introduction to the Soviet Union’s early Cold War policies and strategies. Especially good on Stalin’s postwar policies, Khrushchev’s response to the Sino-Soviet split, and Khrushchev’s approach to foreign policy during the Eisenhower years. Makes good use of archival documents from the former Soviet Union and its allies.

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            Confrontation, 1961–1963

            The Cold War entered a period of intense confrontation during John F. Kennedy’s short-lived administration. Khrushchev’s call for “wars of national liberation” and Kennedy’s determination to affirm his anti-Communist credentials by containing Communism around the globe exacerbated the Cold War conflict in Berlin, Cuba, and Southeast Asia. Students and scholars interested in this fascinating and dangerous period in international-relations history have access to a number of studies that take advantage of recent declassifications on both sides of the Iron Curtain, although debates continue regarding Khrushchev’s often rash and contradictory behavior and Kennedy’s desire to appear tough on Communism in Asia, Latin America, and Europe. Those seeking a measured overview of Kennedy’s foreign-policy initiatives around the globe are still well served by Patterson 1989, an older and largely critical assessment of the young president’s short tenure. Rabe 1999 is an excellent study of Kennedy’s policy toward Latin America, which transcends the usual focus on Cuba. Kennedy’s Cold War rival and antagonist, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev, has been the subject of a number of excellent recent studies. Fursenko and Naftali 2006 and Taubman 2003 provide students and new scholars with some of the best and most up-to-date analysis of this mercurial and sometimes tempestuous Soviet leader. Not surprisingly, the Cuban Missile Crisis continues to captivate researchers and students, and two especially important studies recommend themselves to scholars of international relations and the Cold War. Allison and Zelikow 1999 is an updated version of the 1971 classic on governmental decision making that still inspires debate in classrooms and academic journals. Fursenko and Naftali 1997 is a more straightforward historical account of the crisis that is notable for its attention to Soviet-Cuban relations and its use of declassified Soviet materials. Those interested in the geopolitical and ideological dynamics of Sino-Soviet relations will find much of interest in Lüthi 2008. Finally, Nuenlist, et al. 2010 is an impressive collection of essays focused on French foreign policy during Charles de Gaulle’s presidency.

            • Allison, Graham, and Philip Zelikow. Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis. 2d ed. New York: Longman, 1999.

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              Thorough revision of a classic text on government decision making, based on previous criticisms and new evidence. Uses the Cuban Missile Crisis to assess rational-actor, organizational-process, and governmental/bureaucratic models. Still inspires critiques, and flaws remain, but students of the Cuban Missile Crisis and Kennedy’s foreign policy should still tackle its arguments.

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            • Fursenko, Aleksandr, and Timothy Naftali. One Hell of a Gamble: Khrushchev, Castro, and Kennedy, 1958–1964. New York: Norton, 1997.

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              Fascinating account of the Cuban Missile Crisis, which brings new Soviet sources to light. Brings much-needed balance and new information on Soviet-Cuban relations. Occasionally suffers from a lack of analysis and interpretation, but it remains a stimulating account. Both new students and experienced scholars will find much to consider here.

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            • Fursenko, Aleksandr, and Timothy Naftali. Khrushchev’s Cold War: The Inside Story of an American Adversary. New York: Norton, 2006.

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              Perhaps the best study in print of Khrushchev’s policies from 1955 to 1964. Especially notable for its use of newly available Soviet politburo records. Provides an excellent rendering of the Soviet leader’s often contradictory pursuance of peaceful coexistence and global competition. New undergraduates may need more background, but it is an essential study.

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            • Lüthi, Lorenz M. The Sino-Soviet Split: Cold War in the Communist World. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008.

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              Incredibly well-researched study of Sino-Soviet relations in the 1950s and 1960s. Based on a remarkable range of archival and documentary sources, including from China and the former Soviet Union. Provides new insight into Sino-Soviet diplomacy and its impact on the Cold War, the Vietnam War, and intrasocialist relations. Recommended to all scholars of Cold War diplomacy and geopolitics.

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            • Nuenlist, Christian, Anna Locher, and Garret Martin, eds. Globalizing de Gaulle: International Perspectives on French Foreign Policies, 1958–1969. Lanham, MD: Lexington, 2010.

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              Stimulating collection of essays on various aspects of French foreign policy during de Gaulle’s presidency. Impressive international roster of contributors. Includes essays on Franco-Soviet relations, Franco-German relations, Anglo-French relations, NATO, Vietnam, China, Africa, and Latin America. Strongly recommended to all those seeking a wide-ranging French perspective on the Cold War.

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            • Patterson, Thomas G., ed. Kennedy’s Quest for Victory: American Foreign Policy, 1961–1963. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.

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              Older but still relevant collection of essays focused on Kennedy’s foreign policy. Includes largely critical essays on Cuba, Atlantic relations, the Middle East, China, South Asia, Vietnam, economic policy, Africa, and the Peace Corps. Will appeal to international-relations scholars seeking broader insights into Kennedy’s global policies beyond relations with the Soviet Union.

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            • Rabe, Stephen G. The Most Dangerous Area in the World: John F. Kennedy Confronts Communist Revolution in Latin America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999.

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              The best recent study of Kennedy’s Latin American policy. Notable for its attention to other areas of Latin America beyond Cuba. Includes a fair analysis of Kennedy’s Alliance for Progress. Students and experienced scholars will find much to stimulate their research agendas here.

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            • Taubman, William. Khrushchev: The Man and His Era. New York: Norton, 2003.

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              Extravagantly detailed Pulitzer Prize–winning account of the fascinating Soviet leader’s life. Makes excellent use of former Soviet and Soviet-bloc archives, and represents the best current scholarship on Khrushchev. Despite its length, undergraduates will find its engaging style accessible and enjoyable to read.

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            The Vietnam War and the Changing Cold War Balance, 1963–1969

            The Vietnam War unquestionably dominated the Cold War during the Johnson administration, and there is a vast literature on that conflict, much of which recommends itself to international-relations student and scholars seeking insights into the policy-making process. New scholars and students will find Herring 2001 a good introduction. Its analysis and interpretation are largely balanced, and it offers good insights into the diplomatic and policy-making aspects of the American war. For a more international focus, Lawrence 2008 is a short introduction that tries to broaden the lens beyond the United States, Vietnam, the Soviet Union, and the People’s Republic of China. Two excellent studies shed light on the policy-making process inside the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. Preston 2006 is essential reading for those interested in what, when, and why decisions were taken to escalate the United States’ military role in South Vietnam. Gilbert 2002 is a very useful collection of essays focused on how and why the North Vietnamese won the Vietnam War, rather than why the United States lost. Kolko 1994 also orients the author’s detailed (but often deeply flawed and repetitious) New Left critique of the Vietnam War toward the Vietnamese themselves. Gaiduk 1996 is the best account we have of the Soviet Union’s interest in and policies toward the war in Vietnam, while Zhai 2000 elucidates the role and influence of the People’s Republic of China. Brands 1999 broadens our understanding of Johnson’s foreign policy beyond the Vietnam War.

            • Brands, H. W., ed. The Foreign Policies of Lyndon Johnson: Beyond Vietnam. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1999.

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              One of the few studies of Johnson’s foreign policies beyond Vietnam. Features essays by esteemed historians, ranging from the Middle East to Cuba to the Soviet Union. Recommended to all scholars interested in Johnson’s foreign policy and American foreign policy more broadly.

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            • Gaiduk, Ilya V. The Soviet Union and the Vietnam War. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1996.

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              Interesting account of Soviet diplomacy during the Vietnam War. Based on admittedly incomplete releases from former Soviet archives, reveals the Soviets were motivated by genuine ideological concerns, but also by a desire to contain Chinese influence. It will likely be superseded, but remains necessary reading for students and scholars of the Soviet role in Vietnam.

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            • Gilbert, Marc Jason, ed. Why the North Won the Vietnam War. New York: Palgrave, 2002.

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              Best English-language study of North Vietnam’s political, diplomatic, and military strategies during the Vietnam War. Rightly asks not why the United States lost, but why North Vietnam won. Includes nine essays by distinguished scholars, on topics such as North Vietnam’s foreign policy, military, intelligence, and economics. Recommended to all.

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            • Herring, George C. America’s Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950–1975. 4th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001.

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              Although the title is now anachronistic, this long-standing short history remains an accessible and reasonably comprehensive introduction. Good attention to policy making and diplomacy. Highly recommended as an introductory text. Will especially suit beginning undergraduates in international relations.

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            • Kolko, Gabriel. Anatomy of a War: Vietnam, the United States, and the Modern Historical Experience. New York: New Press, 1994.

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              Classic radical/New Left critique of America’s war in Vietnam. Focuses on social, political, and economic dimensions of the war in the United States and North and South Vietnam. Extremely critical of South Vietnam and the United States, and largely admiring toward North Vietnam. Undergraduates should be aware of its flaws.

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            • Lawrence, Mark Atwood. The Vietnam War: A Concise International History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

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              Engaging and pithy international history of the Vietnam War that will especially appeal to undergraduates seeking historical context. Makes connections to America’s current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which may or may not appeal to readers. Experienced scholars will want something more detailed.

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            • Preston, Andrew. The War Council: McGeorge Bundy, the NSC, and Vietnam. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006.

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              Excellent study of McGeorge Bundy’s role in the Vietnam War as national security advisor to Kennedy and Johnson. Even more, it will appeal to those interested in the role of bureaucracy and presidential policy making. Very well-researched and accessible study that will suit all researchers.

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            • Zhai, Qiang. China and the Vietnam Wars, 1950–1975. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000.

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              Important account of China’s involvement in Vietnam, which the author interprets as driven by a mix of ideology and realpolitik. Uses previously unpublished Chinese sources. Includes a very useful bibliography. Required reading for those interested in early developments in the People’s Republic of China’s foreign policy and its role in the international system under Mao.

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            Détente, 1969–1974

            The 1970s were characterized by a relaxation of tensions—or détente—in the Cold War conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union. In the United States, President Richard Nixon and his national security advisor (and later secretary of state), Henry Kissinger, devised increasingly sophisticated foreign-policy initiatives to reshape and deal with the new realities of the international system during this period. Similarly, the literature on international relations and the Cold War during the 1970s grows increasingly sophisticated as new archival material comes to light on both sides of the former Iron Curtain. The best and most detailed study of détente and its eventual disintegration remains Garthoff 1994, and all researchers will benefit from this work’s erudite and incisive narrative and analysis. On the other hand, Pipes 1981 is an extremely critical collection of essays from the period, which sees Soviet adherence to détente as nothing more than a ruse. Its primary value is as a relic of contemporary hard-line opinion. For a more recent, and more multifaceted, analysis of the 1970s as a distinct period in international-relations history, see Ferguson, et al. 2010. This fascinating collection of essays by a cast of notable scholars contains much to spur new research and thinking on the period. Logevall and Preston 2008 is another edited collection that explores the full scope and occasional folly of Nixon’s and Kissinger’s foreign policies. For an in-depth—and often critical—treatment of Kissinger and his many contributions to international relations and diplomacy during his tenure in the Nixon and Ford administrations, see Hanhimäki 2004. Ouimet 2003 provides insights into Soviet policy toward its Eastern European satellites during the 1970s and into the 1980s. Fink and Schaefer 2009s offer a wide range of analysis concerning West Germany’s attempt to transcend the boundaries of bipolar stalemate in Europe. Thomas 2001 is a well-argued and stimulating work for those interested in the impact of the 1975 Helsinki Final Act and the West’s increasing emphasis on human rights.

            • Ferguson, Niall, Charles S. Maier, Erez Manela, and Daniel J. Sargent, eds. The Shock of the Global: The 1970s in Perspective. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010.

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              Impressive collection of essays that see the origins of modern globalization and interdependence in the 1970s. Includes essays on China, global economics, Vietnam, nuclear weapons, global environmentalism, social and cultural developments, and religion. Highly recommended to all scholars interested in international relations during the 1970s.

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            • Fink, Carole, and Bernd Schaefer. Ostpolitik, 1969–1974: European and Global Responses eds. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

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              Wide-ranging essay collection that traces the influence of West Germany’s Ostpolitik across the world. Includes essays on Poland, Czechoslovakia, the United States, the Soviet Union, China, Korea, India, Israel, Yugoslavia, and South Africa. Impressive international cast of contributors. Any scholar interested in deviations from bipolar Cold War diplomacy will find it interesting and stimulating.

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            • Garthoff, Raymond L. Détente and Confrontation: American-Soviet Relations from Nixon to Reagan Rev. ed. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 1994.

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              Substantial and highly regarded study of détente’s rise and fall. Written by a former Foreign Service officer and Soviet expert. Tends to blame the United States for détente’s failure. Nevertheless, an incomparable level of detail combined with confident and rigorous analysis make it a must-read for this period’s scholars. Advanced undergraduates will also benefit.

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            • Hanhimäki, Jussi M. The Flawed Architect: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.

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              One of best critical studies of Kissinger and his approach to diplomacy and statecraft through the Nixon and Ford administrations. Praises Kissinger’s tactics but criticizes his overall strategic thinking. Based on a wide range of archival materials. Recommended for both undergraduates and experts.

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            • Logevall, Fredrik, and Andrew Preston, eds. Nixon in the World: American Foreign Relations, 1969–1977. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

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              Excellent collection of articles on Nixon and Kissinger’s foreign policies throughout the world. Includes essays on their approaches and characters, China, nuclear weapons, Vietnam, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Latin America, Japan, and Canada. Crucial reading for students and scholars of diplomacy and statecraft during this period.

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            • Ouimet, Matthew J. The Rise and Fall of the Brezhnev Doctrine in Soviet Foreign Policy. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003.

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              Study of Soviet policy toward Eastern Europe during the 1970s and 1980s. Sees internal and external pressures on the Soviet Union as early evidence of its impending demise. Experienced scholars will reserve judgment on the conclusions pending new Soviet archival releases, but it remains an intriguing overview of Soviet foreign policy and its relationship to domestic issues.

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            • Pipes, Richard. U.S.-Soviet Relations in the Era of Détente. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1981.

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              Critique of détente by a prominent, hard-line anti-Soviet historian. Consists of critical essays and lectures delivered during the period. Generally sees Soviet observance of détente as an excuse to rearm and prepare for war. Mostly valuable as an example of early neoconservative opposition to détente, and undergraduates should read it with that in mind.

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            • Thomas, Daniel C. The Helsinki Effect: International Norms, Human Rights, and the Demise of Communism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001.

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              Provocative and well-written study. Constructivist interpretation of the Cold War’s end. Claims human right norms, as established by 1975 Helsinki Final Act, slowly but fatally undermined Communist one-party rule across Eastern Europe. Suitable for all scholars and students of international relations and the Cold War.

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            A New Imbalance, 1974–1981

            The literature on the Cold War during the latter half of the 1970s is far less robust than that on earlier and later periods. Nevertheless, there are a number of useful studies that provide insight and analysis into this often overlooked period in international-relations history. Garthoff 1994 is an excellent introduction to the diplomacy of this period, and the author’s detailed account of détente’s decline in the mid- to late 1970s is still one of the best. Glad 2009 is one of the most reliable and useful studies of Carter’s foreign policy, which details the internal struggles between Carter’s secretary of state, Cyrus Vance, and his national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski. Ouimet 2003 will guide the researcher through the vagaries of Soviet foreign policy during Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev’s waning years. In the absence of sufficient scholarly treatments, researchers can profitably turn to the rich memoir literature from this period. Kissinger 1999 is an extremely detailed and often self-serving account of the author’s time as Ford’s national security advisor and secretary of state. Vance 1983 and Brzezinski 1983 similarly recount their experiences as Carter’s secretary of state and national security adviser, respectively. As with all memoirs, students should maintain a healthy dose of skepticism when assessing these works, but with care these resources can yield good insights and details. Podhoretz 1980 is an excellent example of contemporary neoconservative angst, in which the author predicts the United States’ decline vis-à-vis the Soviet Union.

            • Brzezinski, Zbigniew. Power and Principle: Memoirs of the National Security Advisor, 1977–1981. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1983.

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              Memoir of Brzezinski’s tenure as Carter’s national security advisor. Emphasizes the author’s attempts to focus attention on aggressive Soviet actions and tends toward privileging power over principle. Useful insights into Carter’s foreign policy and its formulations. Best read in conjunction with Vance 1983.

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            • Garthoff, Raymond L. Détente and Confrontation: American-Soviet Relations from Nixon to Reagan. Rev. ed. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 1994.

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              Exceptional insider account of détente’s rise under Nixon in the 1970s and its subsequent decline under Reagan in the 1980s. Enormous level of detail makes it particularly valuable for scholars of this period. Places a large degree of responsibility for détente’s failure on Reagan and the United States.

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            • Glad, Betty. An Outsider in the White House: Jimmy Carter, His Advisors, and the Making of American Foreign Policy. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2009.

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              Solid, reliable, and balanced study of Carter’s foreign policy. Focuses on the contentious relationship between Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski. Very useful insights into the nature of policy formulation during Carter’s presidency. Recommended to all researchers.

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            • Kissinger, Henry. Years of Renewal. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999.

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              Extremely long, often self-serving, but always informative memoir of Kissinger’s service in President Ford’s one-term administration. Researchers should cross-check his reminiscences with other sources, but those interested in Kissinger’s tenure, Ford’s foreign policy, and bureaucratic processes will find much to aid their research.

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            • Ouimet, Matthew J. The Rise and Fall of the Brezhnev Doctrine in Soviet Foreign Policy. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003.

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              Reasonably reliable account of Soviet relations with its Eastern European satellites during the Brezhnev era. Places Soviet foreign policy in the context of its decline. Some of its conclusions may be superseded as scholars unearth more archival material from the former Soviet Union and its erstwhile allies. Nevertheless, it is an intriguing study of this period.

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            • Podhoretz, Norman. The Present Danger: Do We Have the Will to Reverse the Decline of American Power? New York: Simon & Schuster, 1980.

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              Highly critical neoconservative account that captures post-détente/post-Carter fears of American weakness and decline. Primarily interesting as an example of a mood that foreshadowed Reagan’s robust first-term rhetoric, although the author would later also castigate Reagan for his weakness.

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            • Vance, Cyrus. Hard Choices: Critical Years in America’s Foreign Policy. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1983.

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              Memoir of Vance’s tenure as Carter’s secretary of state. Useful overview of Carter’s diplomacy and tensions within the administration. As with all memoirs, it can obscure as much as it reveals, but a careful and judicious reading will reward researchers of Carter’s foreign policy. Best read in conjunction with Brzezinski 1983.

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            The Final Years, 1981–1989

            The 1980s saw both the reintensification of the Cold War and its sudden and dramatic conclusion, culminating in the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. There is a large and continuously expanding literature on this period, even though the documentary record from both sides remains incomplete. Like the considerable literature on the Cold War’s origins, much of this work tries to ascertain who was responsible for finally bringing the Cold War to an end, be it President Reagan, Premier Gorbachev, or some combination of internal and external factors. Garthoff 1994 is an excellent place to begin researching this hectic and often unpredictable period in international-relations history, and both new and experienced scholars will benefit from the author’s experience, erudition, and clarity. Skinner 2007 is a newer study that brings together the perspectives of participants and academics from both sides of the erstwhile Iron Curtain. FitzGerald 2000 is a well-written and well-researched journalistic account of the last decade of the Cold War, although it is often critical of Reagan and explores the period through the lens of the American president’s oft-maligned Strategic Defense Initiative. Matlock 2004 offers a more generous assessment of Reagan’s role in bringing the conflict to an end and complicates the conventional wisdom regarding the Soviet premier’s skills and agenda. There are a number of good studies that consider Gorbachev’s role in some detail, and Grachev 2008 and Brown 2007 are two of the best. Scholars were quick to try and make sense of the Cold War’s sudden end, once it was finally declared dead with the Soviet Union’s dissolution in 1991. Two of the best studies are Hogan 1992 and Bowker and Brown 1992. The former brings together noted scholars to reflect on the conflict’s meaning and significance, as well as attempting to interpret its surprisingly peaceful and sudden conclusion. The latter considers the implications of the Cold War’s end for international-relations theories, many of which failed to predict the struggle’s dramatic conclusion.

            • Bowker, Mike, and Robin Brown, eds. From Cold War to Collapse: Theory and World Politics in the 1980s. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1992.

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              Interesting collection of essays written in the immediate aftermath of the Cold War. Reflections on the implications of the conflict’s sudden end for international-relations theory. Includes useful reviews and assessments of international-relations theory as it pertained to the Cold War. Especially recommended to scholars and students interested in theory.

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            • Brown, Archie. Seven Years That Changed the World: Perestroika in Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.

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              Excellent study of Gorbachev’s efforts to liberalize Soviet society and politics, with many insights into Soviet diplomacy during the second half of the 1980s. Especially interesting since a number of chapters were written contemporaneously with those events. Experienced scholars will find it incisive and rewarding, and new researchers should begin their study of Gorbachev’s role here.

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            • FitzGerald, Frances. Way Out There In the Blue: Reagan, Star Wars and the End of the Cold War. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000.

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              Interesting and sometimes unflattering study of Reagan’s administration and his role in ending the Cold War, with emphasis on his Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI/Star Wars). Written by a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist. Students will find it an especially accessible narrative, although experts may want more depth and analysis.

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            • Garthoff, Raymond L. The Great Transition: American-Soviet Relations and the End of the Cold War. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 1994.

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              Comprehensive sequel to Garthoff 1994 (cited under Détente, 1969–1974). Recounts the last decade of the Cold War. Perhaps gives too much credit to Gorbachev for ending the Cold War, and his musings on possibilities for the post–Cold War period are somewhat dated. Nevertheless solid account of 1980s diplomacy and statecraft.

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            • Grachev, Andrei. Gorbachev’s Gamble: Soviet Foreign Policy and the End of the Cold War. Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2008.

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              Useful account of Gorbachev’s policies from the perspective of one of his former advisers. Provides good insight into the Soviet side of the Cold War’s end and is especially useful for that reason. Includes a good overview of Gorbachev’s “new thinking.” Recommended for all scholars and students interested in the Cold War’s end.

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            • Hogan, Michael J., ed. The End of the Cold War: Its Meaning and Implications. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1992.

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              Old but still useful essay collection written in the Cold War’s immediate aftermath. Includes twenty-two essays by a well-balanced group of esteemed political scientists, international-relations scholars, and historians. Also includes reflections on the conflict’s origins and meaning. Despite its age, all researchers will find this stimulating and interesting.

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            • Matlock, Jack F., Jr. Reagan and Gorbachev: How the Cold War Ended. New York: Random House, 2004.

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              Well-written and well-researched account of the Cold War’s end by a former American ambassador to the Soviet Union. Credits Reagan with greater insight and sophistication than most accounts and portrays Gorbachev as less elastic. Read in conjunction with other scholarly accounts, but a good memoir for an overview of diplomatic efforts to end the conflict.

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            • Skinner, Kiron K. Turning Points in Ending the Cold War. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 2007.

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              Well-conceived collection that pairs essays by Soviet and American policy makers with complementary commentaries from American and Russian academics. Also features helpful forewords from Reagan’s secretary of state and Gorbachev’s interpreter. Especially useful for its juxtaposition of policy-making perspectives and academic interpretations; all researchers should find it stimulating.

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            Legacies of the Cold War, 1989–1993

            The Berlin Wall’s fall and Soviet relinquishment of its Eastern European satellites largely brought the Cold War to a peaceful conclusion in 1989. Two years later, this process had culminated in German reunification and the Soviet Union’s dissolution. Scholars still debate the dynamics that caused the sudden termination of the decades-long Cold War, but the basic contours of this process are now well understood. Undergraduates and new scholars seeking a basic narrative account of the Cold War’s end should begin with Graebner, et al. 2008. Maynard 2008 is another brief narrative that focuses on George H. W. Bush’s efforts to manage the transition from Soviet-American antagonism to a new post–Cold War international system; it will also appeal to undergraduates and new researchers. Scholars seeking more depth and detail will find Beschloss and Talbott 1993 an often riveting read, although it is not without flaws, and its reliance on still-secret interviews will frustrate scholars seeking footnotes for further research. Zelikow and Rice 1995 is an in-depth and absorbing study of German reunification, based on prodigious research, interviews, and the personal experience of its authors. The end of the Cold War raised many questions for international-relations theorists and other scholars of the international system, and Herrmann and Lebow 2004 explores some of the methodological and theoretical implications of this seminal event. Many students and observers of the Cold War interpreted the conflict’s end as a vindication of the United States’ values, political and economic system, and overall strategy, and Fukuyama 2006 is perhaps the most well-known and debated articulation of the triumphalist narrative. Lebow and Stein 1994 offers a stimulating challenge to that interpretation and argues that American strategy was, in fact, often counterproductive and unnecessarily antagonistic. Perhaps the most enduring legacy of the Cold War persists in the form of the former superpowers’ nuclear arsenals, and Schultz, et al. 2008 is a thoughtful collection of essays that explores the continued resonance of the most dangerous relics of the Soviet-American competition.

            • Beschloss, Michael R., and Strobe Talbott. At the Highest Levels: The Inside Story of the End of the Cold War. Boston: Little, Brown, 1993.

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              Engrossing account of the Cold War’s end. Collaboration between a well-regarded historian (Beschloss) and a journalist, diplomat, and political scientist (Talbott). Relies heavily on secret sources, so footnotes are scarce, although the authors’ notes are archived for future release. Recommended to all researchers, though should be read in conjunction with later scholarly accounts.

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            • Fukuyama, Francis. The End of History and the Last Man. New York: Free Press, 2006.

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              Classic expression of Western triumphalism first published in 1992. Sees history as characterized by a clash of ideologies, from which liberal democracy has emerged triumphant. Continues to be widely read and debated, especially in college classrooms, although this book-length study can at times overwhelm undergraduates.

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            • Graebner, Norman A., Richard Dean Burns, and Joseph M. Siracusa. Reagan, Bush, Gorbachev: Revisiting the End of the Cold War. Westport, CT: Praeger Security International, 2008.

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              Short and accessible narrative account of the Cold War’s final decade and ultimate conclusion. Undergraduates will find it clear and succinct, and it recommends itself for college lecture courses and seminars. Experienced scholars may find it a useful reference but will want to look elsewhere for greater depth and analysis.

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            • Herrmann, Richard K., and Richard Ned Lebow. Ending the Cold War: Interpretations, Causation, and the Study of International Relations. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.

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              Highly recommended study by prominent international-relations scholars that has important insights for both theoretically and empirically oriented researchers and students. Includes a section on various explanations and interpretations of the Cold War’s end and a section on its implications for international-relations theory.

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            • Lebow, Richard Ned, and Janice Gross Stein. We All Lost the Cold War. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994.

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              Well-regarded study that questions the effectiveness of nuclear deterrence in discouraging Soviet aggression. Sees US nuclear policy, rhetoric, and diplomacy as ultimately provocative. Questions the triumphalist notion that the West “won” the Cold War. Provocative study of Cold War crisis management that not all scholars and students will find compelling, but nevertheless worth engaging with.

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            • Maynard, Christopher. Out of the Shadow: George H.W. Bush and the End of the Cold War. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2008.

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              Brief narrative account of George H. W. Bush’s role in the Cold War’s end. Includes chapters on the Malta Summit, German reunification, and Bush’s legacy. Strongly recommended for undergraduates, and experienced researchers will find it a convenient reference. Nonetheless, future accounts will likely become more nuanced based on further archival releases.

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            • Schultz, George P., Steven P. Andreasen, Sidney D. Drell, and James E. Goodby, eds. Reykjavik Revisited: Steps Toward a World Free of Nuclear Weapons. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 2008.

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              Collection of essays by prominent practitioners and scholars, based on a 2007 Hoover Institution conference on removing the threat of nuclear weapons. Includes essays on short-ranged nuclear weapons, verification, securing stockpiles, nonproliferation, nuclear energy, regional issues, and deterrence. Interesting and thoughtful reading for all those interested in the Cold War’s most challenging legacy.

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            • Zelikow, Philip, and Condoleeza Rice. Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995.

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              Highly regarded study of German reunification by two former members of George H. W. Bush’s National Security Council who participated in the events. Well-written, well-researched, and well-argued study that is accessible enough for undergraduates and detailed enough for experienced researchers.

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            LAST MODIFIED: 03/02/2011

            DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780199743292-0068

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