In one of the first comprehensive retellings of the cold war, Norman Friedman offers a broad survey of events from the end of the Second World War to the unexpected collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. He discusses the Korean War, the Cuban missile crisis, Vietnam War, and so on, not as discrete incidents--as many other books have done--but as interconnected confrontations in a long struggle that had to be fought. The Fifty-Year War
is mostly a chronological history, with a special emphasis on cold-war weapons and technology. The bulk of the book focuses on the 1950s and 1960s; the 1980s receive only cursory attention, but they are in some sense the most dramatic, the moments when the cold war would turn suddenly hot. Still, Friedman credits Ronald Reagan with being the right man at the right time to ensure the Soviet Union's defeat. Indeed, the author believes the Communists were plainly beaten: "The West won the cold war. The Soviets did not merely lose interest in the competition. They lost the war, and they paid the usual price of defeat." This is a sound overview of a titanic struggle, especially its early period. --John J. Miller
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"'To read a comprehensive history of the technical, military and political aspects of the Cold War, based on documents from the two super powers, written by a scholar who is free of bias, is something I never thought I would be able to do. But in The Fifty-Year War I can... For the men and women who are going to lead the world in the first generation of the twenty-first century, this account of how the Cold War was fought and won is indispensable. For those of us who lived through it... Friedman's account is enthralling. Having spent much of my life reading about, studying, worrying about, participating in the Cold War, I thought there was nothing new for me to learn about it. Boy was I wrong. Read The Fifty-Year War and see why. - Stephen Ambrose"