- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (December 26, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0143038273
- ISBN-13: 978-0143038276
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 165 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Cold War: A New History Paperback – December 26, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Gregory and Sklar, reading Yale history professor Gaddis's study of the American-Soviet standoff, give voice to their inner television announcer, their twin brands of masculine sonorousness verging on virile parody before settling comfortably on the side of familiar voice-over solidity. Gaddis's work unravels the tangled threads of the Cold War, from the tense Allied conferences at the end of WWII to the Korean War and onward, and his book's readers give it the sensation of every word being carefully cultivated and primped before being spoken. If this leads to some of the immediacy, the heart-in-throat sensation, of the events described being diluted, so be it, for Gregory and Sklar give Gaddis's book the grandeur its subject matter so richly deserves. Sounding more professorial, in the I-play-an-Ivy-League-professor-on-television sort of way, than the good professor himself, Gregory and Sklar do an admirable job of making Gaddis's learned words their own.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Gaddis, professor of history at Yale and the Cold Wars preeminent historian, delivers a concise, readable introduction to an era about which Americans have increasingly little recollection. The author has had the somewhat unusual opportunity to examine his period of expertise both from withinin his books Strategies of Containment (1982) and The Long Peace: Inquiries into the History of the Cold War (1987), for instanceand now, with the benefit of new archival documents and hindsight, as a series of historical events. Although the relative brevity of the volume might suggest that Gaddis values concision over detail, the study gives new focus and meaning to one of the United States watershed periods.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.
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Top customer reviews
Gaddis follows a chronological order while analyzing the important issues of the Cold War. Due to the shortness of the book (only 270 pages not including the footnotes), important events such as: the Suez Crisis, Watergate, Cuban Missile Crisis and the Bay of Pigs receive a few mere pages. Having said that, Gaddis did a great job of providing the reader with a basic understanding of the events that shaped the Cold War and the mindset of the world leaders who were running the show.
All in all, this is a fine book for people who are looking for a quick and enjoyable read on the Cold War. Highly recommended.
What I find especially valuable is Gaddis's ability to describe and analyze the rationale behind the often failed policies of the protagonists. He highlights the ignorance, misunderstandings, and complexities on both sides. Just as Ulbricht and the East Germans held the Soviets 'captive' with their parochial needs, so too did the Koreans and others confound American policymakers. Vietnam is an example where both the Soviets and the Americans were hoisted on their own petards.
De Gaulle was a 'cross of Lorraine' borne by the West, while Mao, especially after Khrushchev's anti-Stalin speech, continually shafted the less ideological Soviets.
Tony Judt was highly critical of Gaddis's casual treatment of the Third World, which Judt considered critical to the Cold War struggle in the 1960s-1970s. As a career diplomat who served in various Third World countries during this period, I heartily support Gaddis's view that the Third World sorties were peripheral to the key elements of the Cold War contest. Indeed, both the Soviets and the Americans behaved badly in these Third World encounters. Top Soviets reflected that they were held 'hostage' by some peripheral situations as Angola and Ethiopia.
Gaddis focuses on the basic fallacies of the communist ideology: economically, Marxist (or central planning) economics were doomed to fail, and denying people liberty and a decent standard of living was ultimately a losing hand.
Over the coming years, scholars will, with further archival materials, will be able to dot some of Gaddis's historical "i"s and cross some of his "t"s. I doubt that all but the most determined revisionists will significantly alter the basic thrust of Gaddis's seminal assessment.
Most recent customer reviews
events the author could give only a few paragraphs or pages to.Read more