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The Cold War (Questions and Analysis in History)

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Designed to aid undergraduate and advanced study, this invaluable reference work provides an up-to-date summary of the latest research on the origins, escalation, and end of the Cold War. The major phases of the war are clearly organized and presented in eight chapters--each consisting of a factual overview of events, a detailed analysis of key issues, and a presentation of relevant documents for discussion, including previously unavailable Soviet sources. Addressing frequently-asked questions in class discussions and exams, this book is an excellent introduction to the subject and an accessible guide to the wealth of information about the Cold War.

On 12th September 1990 the foreign secretaries of the four Allied powers who had occupied and divided Nazi Germany in 1945 met in Moscow and agreed to the reunification of Germany. The signatories were: Eduard Shevardnadze representing USSR; Roland Dumas representing France; Richard Cheney representing USA; and Douglas Hurd representing Great Britain. The foreign secretaries of divided Germany also signed their agreement: Hans-Dietrich Genscher representing the Federal Republic of Germany (West); Lothar de Maiziere representing the German Democratic Republic (East).

This agreement signalled the end of forty-five years of enmity that had divided the world and placed humanity under the shadow of the three-minute warning of nuclear destruction. The nuclear button was never depressed but millions did die in conventional wars around the world fought by proxy on behalf of the two superpowers.

The collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1991 finally ended the Cold War but it is more difficult to agree a starting point and this goes to the heart of the Cold War debate. To the West, the Cold War began on 5th March 1946, when Winston Churchill made his famous 'Iron Curtain' speech in Fulton, Missouri, and expressed in public British and American concerns about Soviet expansionism. To the East, the Cold War began in January 1918, when a hostile West intervened in the Russian Civil War and supported the White forces against the Bolshevik Red Army.

The disagreement as to whether communism or capitalism represented the main threat to world peace resulted in a rapidly escalating confrontation that divided the world into two armed camps and precipitated a series of welldocumented flash points.
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