Almost as soon as the Second World War ended in 1945, the Soviet Union and the Western powers became embroiled in conflict. The cold war, as that conflict soon came to be called, ended up dominating international politics for nearly half a century.
The format of this volume reflects the nature of its subject. A hotly debated topic may best be presented through a series of disciplined and focused debates. One important purpose is to use comparative analysis as a tool to examine the validity of scholarly and historical arguments. With the greater availability of information, the field of cold-war studies has become even more dynamic, with almost every issue becoming the subject of a charged and energetic debate continually fueled by the discovery of new documents, the release of new memoirs, the reevaluation of older materials, and their synthesis into new works of scholarship.
The essays collected in this volume thus do not represent the historical “truth,” but rather approaches to such truth. The more we discuss these issues; the more we debate them and argue about them; the more we bring new materials to bear on such discussion, the closer we get to this elusive goal. By examining the competing arguments (not all of which have only two sides) directly and evaluating their relative merits, we thus hope to reveal the path to truth.
Topics covered include
September 13, 2010