In This Review

Origins of Containment: A Psychological Explanation
Origins of Containment: A Psychological Explanation
By Deborah Welch Larson
Princeton University Press, 1985, 380 pp.

This study is refutation of the idea that nothing remains to be said about the origins of the cold war. The author offers cogent criticisms of the limitations of revisionist and "confirmationist" interpretations and then subtly applies a range of theories about the way people think to the behavior of American leaders in the years 1945-1947. While stressing that there were many causes of the cold war-internal and external-she uses old sources in new ways and unearths fresh material. The analysis of the power of metaphor and analogy over perception and decision is outstanding.