In This Review
The Cambridge History of the Cold War

The Cambridge History of the Cold War

Edited by Melvyn P. Leffler and Odd Arne Westad

Cambridge University Press, 2010, 1976 pp.

As the years pass, the Cold War increasingly appears as an undifferentiated chunk of history that stretched across time and space, with a vast cast of characters and occasional moments of drama. It is presented as a curious concatenation of summits and negotiations, alliances and clients, spies and border posts, ideological dogmas and underground resistance, and a combination of arcane theories about deterrence and some nasty actual wars.

Because the most important feature of the Cold War was that it stayed cold -- and did not become the third in the twentieth century's series of world wars -- it is

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