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The Cold War: A Post-Cold War History, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-0-88295-233-8
212 pages
January 2005, ©2005, Wiley-Blackwell
The Cold War: A Post-Cold War History, 2nd Edition (0882952331) cover image


This latest edition of our classic text draws on analysis of new material released from archives in Moscow, Beijing, Hanoi, and other capitals of communist-bloc nations—helping to develop a truly international history of the Cold War, a complex and dynamic conflict that lasted more than forty years and continues to shape the foreign policy of the United States and other nations. Another important recent trend considered is the intensive study of the role of ideology in influencing policy on both sides of the conflict. Dr. Levering holds that the liberal internationalism espoused by leading Democrats and Republicans during World War II, plus most Americans’ profound dislike of communism and communists, contributed greatly to America’s decision to oppose postwar Soviet foreign policy.

Many recent studies of the Cold War emphasize the role of Marxist-Leninist ideology in postwar Soviet and Chinese foreign policy. Although these new directions in scholarship are important, the basic emphases of the original edition remains the same—U.S. actions and public opinion and relations between the two leading actors in the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union. Enhanced as well is coverage of the two large-scale but limited wars that grew out of the conflict, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, and of the most dangerous confrontation of the nuclear age thus far, the Cuban missile crisis.

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Table of Contents

Foreword / VII

Preface / XI

Prologue: Uneasy Allies, 1941-1945 / 1

Chapter One: Downward Spiral During the Truman-Stalin Years, 1945-1953 / 14

The Cold War Begins, 1945-1946 / 14

Containment and Countercontainment, 1947-1949 / 25

The Most Dangerous Phase, 1950-1952 / 33

Conclusion / 45

Chapter Two: The Institutionalized Cold War, 1953-1962 / 47

The Cold War at Home / 50

A Modest Improvement in East-West Relations, 1953-1955 / 57

The Second Dangerous Phase, 1956-1962 / 65

Conclusion / 88

Chapter Three: The Shift Toward Relative Détente, 1963-1972 / 91

An Improved Atmosphere in 1963 / 93

Vietnam at Center Stage, 1964-1968 / 98

Toward a New Balance of Power, 1969-1972 / 109

Conclusion / 124

Chapter Four: The Roller-Coaster Years, 1973-1984 / 126

Détente Bogs Down, 1973-1976 / 128

Carter Rides the Roller Coaster, 1977-1979 / 144

The Third Dangerous Phase, 1980-1984 / 153

Conclusion / 170

Epilogue: The Cold War Ends, 1985-1991 / 172

Bibliographical Essay / 181

Index / 199

Photo Essay: The Cold War at Midpassage, 1957-1973 / follows page 90

Maps / 41, 69, 101, 148, 167

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Author Information

Ralph B. Levering is professor of history at Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina. He also taught at George Mason University, Western Maryland College, and Earlham College. He received his advanced degrees from Princeton University. He is the author or co-author of eight books, including American Opinion and the Russian Alliance, 1939-1945 (1976); The Public and American Foreign Policy, 1918-1978 (1978); The Kennedy Crisis: The Press, the Presidency, and Foreign Policy (1983); Citizen Action for Global Change: The Neptune Group and Law of the Sea (1999); and Debating the Origins of The Cold War (2002). He also has been elected to the governing councils of the Peace History Society and the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and has served as a teaching consultant for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg public schools. A teacher first and foremost, he has taught twenty different courses covering U.S. history from colonial times to present, with emphasis on U.S. foreign policy and twentieth-century America. Because of his love for teaching, he is most proud of being voted “best teacher” by members of the senior class at Western Maryland College.

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