The Triumph of Improvisation

Author: James Graham Wilson
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801470218
Format: PDF, 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 Triumph of Improvisation

Author: James Wilson
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801470226
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
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 Triumph of Improvisation

Author: James Graham Wilson
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801456831
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
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.

Gorbachev s Gamble

Author: Andrei Grachev
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 074567383X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The sudden ending of the Cold War, surely the dominant feature of the second half of the 20th century, continues to be one of the most unexpected and perplexing events of our time. Explanations provided by the winners and losers in the Cold War differ considerably and often contradict each other. Even taken together they do not provide a compelling answer to the key question: why did it happen? Gorbachev's Gamble offers a new and more convincing answer to this question by providing the missing link between the internal and external aspects of Gorbachev's perestroika. Andrei Grachev shows that the radically transformed Soviet foreign policy during the Gorbachev years was an integral part of an ambitious project of internal democratic reform and of the historic opening of Soviet society to the outside world. Grachev explains the motives and the intentions of the initiators of this project and describes their hopes and their illusions. He recounts the story of the internal debates and struggles in the Kremlin and behind-the-scene decisions that led to the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the break-up of the Warsaw Pact and eventually the demise of the Soviet Union itself. The book is based on exclusive interviews with the leaders of the Soviet Union including Gorbachev, personal notes and diaries of their assistants and advisers and transcripts of the discussions inside the Politburo and Secretariat of the Central Committee. Together they constitute a multi-voice political confession of a whole generation of decision-makers and opinion leaders of the Soviet Union that enables us better to understand the origin and the breathtaking trajectory of the events that led to the end of the Cold War and the unprecedented transformation of world politics in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Russia s Cold War

Author: Jonathan Haslam
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300168535
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The phrase ";Cold War"; was coined by George Orwell in 1945 to describe the impact of the atomic bomb on world politics: ";We may be heading not for a general breakdown but for an epoch as horribly stable as the slave empires of antiquity."; The Soviet Union, he wrote, was ";at once unconquerable and in a permanent state of cold war'; with its neighbors."; But as a leading historian of Soviet foreign policy, Jonathan Haslam, makes clear in this groundbreaking book, the epoch was anything but stable, with constant wars, near-wars, and political upheavals on both sides.Whereas the Western perspective on the Cold War has been well documented by journalists and historians, the Soviet side has remained for the most part shrouded in secrecy-;until now. Drawing on a vast range of recently released archives in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and Eastern Europe, Russia's Cold War offers a thorough and fascinating analysis of East-West relations from 1917 to 1989.Far more than merely a straightforward history of the Cold War, this book presents the first account of politics and decision making at the highest levels of Soviet power: how Soviet leaders saw political and military events, what they were trying to accomplish, their miscalculations, and the ways they took advantage of Western ignorance. Russia';s Cold War fills a significant gap in our understanding of the most important geopolitical rivalry of the twentieth century.

Strategies of Containment

Author: John Lewis Gaddis
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199883998
Format: PDF, Mobi
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When Strategies of Containment was first published, the Soviet Union was still a superpower, Ronald Reagan was president of the United States, and the Berlin Wall was still standing. This updated edition of Gaddis' classic carries the history of containment through the end of the Cold War. Beginning with Franklin D. Roosevelt's postwar plans, Gaddis provides a thorough critical analysis of George F. Kennan's original strategy of containment, NSC-68, The Eisenhower-Dulles "New Look," the Kennedy-Johnson "flexible response" strategy, the Nixon-Kissinger strategy of detente, and now a comprehensive assessment of how Reagan - and Gorbechev - completed the process of containment, thereby bringing the Cold War to an end. He concludes, provocatively, that Reagan more effectively than any other Cold War president drew upon the strengths of both approaches while avoiding their weaknesses. A must-read for anyone interested in Cold War history, grand strategy, and the origins of the post-Cold War world.

A Cold War Turning Point

Author: Chris Tudda
Publisher: LSU Press
ISBN: 0807142913
Format: PDF
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In February 1972, President Nixon arrived in Beijing for what Chairman Mao Zedong called the "week that changed the world." Using recently declassified sources from American, Chinese, European, and Soviet archives, Chris Tudda's A Cold War Turning Point reveals new details about the relationship forged by the Nixon administration and the Chinese government that dramatically altered the trajectory of the Cold War. Between the years 1969 and 1972, Nixon's national security team actively fostered the U.S. rapprochement with China. Tudda argues that Nixon, in bold opposition to the stance of his predecessors, recognized the mutual benefits of repairing the Sino-U.S. relationship and was determined to establish a partnership with China. Nixon believed that America's relative economic decline, its overextension abroad, and its desire to create a more realistic international framework aligned with China's fear of Soviet military advancement and its eagerness to join the international marketplace. In a contested but calculated move, Nixon gradually eased trade and travel restrictions to China. Mao responded in kind, albeit slowly, by releasing prisoners, inviting the U.S. ping-pong team to Beijing, and secretly hosting Secretary of State Henry Kissinger prior to Nixon's momentous visit. Set in the larger framework of international relations at the peak of the Vietnam War, A Cold War Turning Point is the first book to use the Nixon tapes and Kissinger telephone conversations to illustrate the complexity of early Sino-U.S. relations. Tudda's thorough and illuminating research provides a multi-archival examination of this critical moment in twentieth-century international relations.

Reagan And Gorbachev

Author: Jack F. Matlock, Jr.
Publisher: Random House Incorporated
ISBN: 0812974891
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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A former diplomat and scholar of Russian history and culture offers an insider's look at the end of the Cold War, the relationship between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, and the complicated diplomatic campaign aimed at changing history. Reprint. 20,000 first printing.

Nixon in the World

Author: Fredrik Logevall
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199717972
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In the 1970s, the United States faced challenges on a number of fronts. By nearly every measure, American power was no longer unrivalled. The task of managing America's relative decline fell to President Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, and Gerald Ford. From 1969 to 1977, Nixon, Kissinger, and Ford reoriented U.S. foreign policy from its traditional poles of liberal interventionism and conservative isolationism into a policy of active but conservative engagement. In Nixon in the World, seventeen leading historians of the Cold War and U.S. foreign policy show how they did it, where they succeeded, and where they took their new strategy too far. Drawing on newly declassified materials, they provide authoritative and compelling analyses of issues such as Vietnam, d?tente, arms control, and the U.S.-China rapprochement, creating the first comprehensive volume on American foreign policy in this pivotal era.

A Constructed Peace

Author: Marc Trachtenberg
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691002736
Format: PDF, ePub
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People still think of the Cold War as a simple two-sided conflict, a kind of gigantic arm wrestle on a global scale," writes Marc Trachtenberg, "but this view fails to grasp the essence of what was really going on." America and Russia were both willing to live with the status quo in Europe. What then could have generated the kind of conflict that might have led to a nuclear holocaust? This is the great puzzle of the Cold War, and in this book, the product of nearly twenty years of work, Trachtenberg tries to solve it. The answer, he says, has to do with the German question, especially with the German nuclear question. These issues lay at the heart of the Cold War, and a relatively stable peace took shape only when they were resolved. The book develops this argument by telling a story--a complex story involving many issues of detail, but focusing always on the central question of how a stable international system came into being during the Cold War period. A Constructed Peace will be of interest not just to students of the Cold War, but to people concerned with the problem of war and peace, and in particular with the question of how a stable international order can be constructed, even in our own day.