In This Review

We All Lost the Cold War
We All Lost the Cold War
By Richard Ned Lebow and Janice Gross Stein
Princeton University Press, 1994, 521 pp

This book is built around two detailed case studies of classic Cold War crises, the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis and the 1973 Middle East war. The case studies incorporate new primary materials, mostly in the form of extensive interviews with the Soviet and American participants, and will be of considerable use to historians. For all of the detail, however, certain specific interpretations are questionable, e.g., the treatment of the Soviet intervention threat in October 1973 as a case of failed compellance rather than a bluff coming after the crisis had peaked. The books central theme is that nuclear weapons are clumsy and dangerous as instruments of coercive diplomacy. This conclusion, hardly a startling one, falls somewhat short of justifying the book's title.