The Triumph of Improvisation

Author: James Graham Wilson
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801470218
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In The Triumph of Improvisation, James Graham Wilson takes a long view of the end of the Cold War, from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979 to Operation Desert Storm in January 1991. Drawing on deep archival research and recently declassified papers, Wilson argues that adaptation, improvisation, and engagement by individuals in positions of power ended the specter of a nuclear holocaust. Amid ambivalence and uncertainty, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan, George Shultz, George H. W. Bush, and a host of other actors engaged with adversaries and adapted to a rapidly changing international environment and information age in which global capitalism recovered as command economies failed. Eschewing the notion of a coherent grand strategy to end the Cold War, Wilson paints a vivid portrait of how leaders made choices; some made poor choices while others reacted prudently, imaginatively, and courageously to events they did not foresee. A book about the burdens of responsibility, the obstacles of domestic politics, and the human qualities of leadership, The Triumph of Improvisation concludes with a chapter describing how George H. W. Bush oversaw the construction of a new configuration of power after the fall of the Berlin Wall, one that resolved the fundamental components of the Cold War on Washington's terms.

THE LAST SUPERPOWER SUMMITS

Author: Svetlana Savranskaya
Publisher: Central European University Press
ISBN: 9633861691
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This book publishes for the first time in print every word the American and Soviet leaders ? Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev, and George H.W. Bush ? said to each other in their superpower summits from 1985 to 1991. Obtained by the authors through the Freedom of Information Act in the U.S., from the Gorbachev Foundation and the State Archive of the Russian Federation in Moscow, and from the personal donation of Anatoly Chernyaev, these previously Top Secret verbatim transcripts combine with key declassified preparatory and after-action documents from both sides to create a unique interactive documentary record of these historic highest-level talks ? the conversations that ended the Cold War. The summits fueled a process of learning on both sides, as the authors argue in contextual essays on each summit and detailed headnotes on each document. Geneva 1985 and Reykjavik 1986 reduced Moscow?s sense of threat and unleashed Reagan?s inner abolitionist. Malta 1989 and Washington 1990 helped dampen any superpower sparks that might have flown in a time of revolutionary change in Eastern Europe, set off by Gorbachev and by Eastern Europeans (Solidarity, dissidents, reform Communists). The high level and scope of the dialogue between these world leaders was unprecedented, and is likely never to be repeated. ÿ

The End of the Cold War

Author: Robert Service
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 1447287282
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The Cold War had seemed like a permanent fixture in global politics, and until its denouement, no Western or Soviet politician foresaw that the stand-off between the two superpowers - after decades of struggle over every aspect of security, politics, economics and ideas - would end in their lifetimes. Even after March 1985 when Mikhail Gorbachëv became the leader of the Soviet Union it was not preordained that global nuclear Armageddon could or would be averted peaceably. But just four years later, the Berlin Wall was dismantled and perestroika spread throughout the former Soviet bloc. It was a sea change in world history, which resulted in the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Drawing on pioneering archival research, Robert Service's gripping new investigation of the final years of the Cold War pinpoints the astonishing relationships among President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachëv, Secretary of State George Shultz and the USSR's last Foreign Affairs Minister, Eduard Shevardnadze, who found a way to cooperate during times of extraordinary change around the world. The story is of American pressure and Soviet long-term decline and over-stretch. The End of the Cold War shows how that small, skillful group of statesmen were determined to end the Cold War on their watch. In the process, they irreversibly transformed the global geopolitical landscape. Authoritative, compelling and meticulously researched, this is political history at its best.

Historical Dictionary of the Cold War

Author: Joseph Smith
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 1442281863
Format: PDF, ePub
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“Cold war” was a term coined in 1945 by left-leaning British writer George Orwell to predict how powers made unconquerable by having nuclear weapons would conduct future relations. It was popularized in 1947 by American journalist Walter Lippmann amid mounting tensions between the erstwhile World War II Allies - the capitalist democracies - the United States of America and Britain - versus the Soviet Union, a communist dictatorship. As the grand alliance of the “Big Three” they had defeated Nazi Germany, its satellites and Japan in World War II but became rivals who split the world into an American-led Western “bloc” and Soviet-led Eastern “bloc.” Both were secured from direct attack by arraying ever-greater nuclear and conventional forces against the other while seeking global supremacy by other means. The 45-year Cold War lasted until the Soviet Union collapsed between 1989 and 1991. This second edition of Historical Dictionary of the Cold War contains a chronology, an introduction, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 400 cross-referenced entries on important personalities, crucial countries and peripheral conflicts, the increasingly lethal weapons systems, and the various political and military strategies. This book is an excellent resource for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about this crucial period in history.

Transcending the Cold War

Author: Kristina Spohr
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0191040959
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In 1989 and 1990 the map of Europe was redrawn without a war, unlike other great ruptures of the international order such as 1815, 1870, 1918, and 1945. How did this happen? This major multinational study, based on archives from both sides of the 'Iron Curtain', highlights the contribution of international statecraft to the peaceful dissolution of Europe's bipolar order by examining pivotal summit meetings from 1970 to 1990. These are organized into three periods: 'Thawing', 'Living with', and 'Transcending' the Cold War. The volume offers fascinating insights into key statesmen such as Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, Leonid Brezhnev and Mikhail Gorbachev, Willy Brandt and Helmut Kohl, Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping. It explores the central issues of the superpowers and arms control, their triangular relationship with China, and the seemingly intractable German question. Particular attention is devoted to the cultural dimensions of summitry, as performative acts for the media and as encounters with 'the Other' across ideological divides. All these threads are drawn together in a sweeping analytical conclusion. Written in lively prose, Transcending the Cold War is essential reading for anyone interested not just in modern history but also current international affairs.