The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War. BY STEPHEN KINZER. Times Books, 2013, 402 pp. $30.00.
The Color of Truth: McGeorge Bundy and William Bundy: Brothers in Arms. BY KAI BIRD. Simon and Schuster, 1998, 496 pp. $27.50.
Who caused the Cold War? In War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy downplayed the role of human agency in shaping events, writing that “a king is history’s slave,” and ever since Thucydides chronicled the Peloponnesian War, historians have recognized how the international system constrains choices in a bipolar world. But just because world-historical forces made some type of cold war highly likely does not mean that one was inevitable. Nor does it mean that individual decision-makers bear no responsibility for the depth or nature of the conflict that did occur.
Indeed, some choices that U.S. presidents made during the Cold War had huge impacts on history. Had President Dwight Eisenhower accepted the
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