The United States and the End of the Cold War: Implications, Reconsiderations, Provocations

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9780195085518: The United States and the End of the Cold War: Implications, Reconsiderations, Provocations
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The Cold War ended with an exhilarating wave of events: the toppling of the Berlin Wall, the rise of the dissident poet Vaclav Havel, the revolution in Romania. Americans rejoiced at the dramatic conclusion of the long struggle. "But victories in wars--hot or cold--tend to unfocus the mind," writes John Gaddis. "It can be a dangerous thing to have achieved one's objectives, because one then has to decide what to do next." In The United States and the End of the Cold War, Gaddis provides a sharp focus on the long history of the Cold War, shedding new light on its sudden ending, as well as on what might come next.
In this provocative, insightful book, Gaddis offers a number of thoughtful essays on the history of international relations during the last half century. His reassessments of important figures and themes from the Cold War are sometimes surprising. For example, he portrays John Foster Dulles and Ronald Reagan as far more flexible and perceptive statesmen than the missile-toting caricatures depicted in editorial cartoons. And he takes a second look at the importance of espionage and intelligence in Cold War history, a field often left to buffs and spy novelists. Most important, he focuses on the central elements in superpower relations. In an eloquent account of the American style of foreign policy in the twentieth century, for instance, he explores how Americans (having learned the lesson of Adolf Hitler) consistently equated the forms of foreign governments with their external behavior, assuming that authoritarian states would be aggressive states. He also analyzes the "tectonics" of Cold War history, demonstrating how long term changes in international affairs and Soviet bloc countries built up pressures that led to the sudden earthquakes of 1989. And along the way, Gaddis illuminates such topics as the role of morality in American foreign policy, the relevance of nuclear weapons to the balance of power, and the objectives of containment. He even includes (and criticizes) an essay entitled, "How the Cold War Might End," written before the dramatic events of recent years, to demonstrate how quickly the tide of history can overwhelm contemporary analysis. Gaddis concludes with a thoughtful consideration of the problems and forces at work in the post-Cold War world.
Author of such works as The Long Peace and Strategies of Containment, John Lewis Gaddis is one of the leading authorities on postwar American foreign policy. In these perceptive, highly readable essays, he provides a fresh assessment of the evolution of the Cold War, and insight into the shape of things to come.

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The book contains significant new interpretations of the American style in foreign policy, the objectives of containment, the role of morality, nuclear weapons, and intelligence and espionage in Washington's conduct of the Cold War. It reassesses, in ways sure to be controversial, the leadership of two distinctive cold warriors, John Foster Dulles and Ronald Reagan.

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John Lewis Gaddis is Professor of History and director of the Contemporary History Institute at Ohio University. He is the author of The Long Peace and Strategies of Containment.

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 1994. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. This collection of eleven essays provides one of the first explanations of how and why the United States forty year struggle with the former Soviet Union has finally ended. The book contains significant new interpretations of the American style in foreign policy, the objectives of containment, and the role of morality, nuclear weapons, and intelligence and espionage in Washington s conduct of the Cold War. It controversially reassesses the leadership of two distinctive cold war warriors, John Foster Dulles and Ronald Reagan, and employs new methodological techniques to account for the sudden and surprising events of 1989. Chapters One through Seven are reconsiderations of Cold War history in the light of the fact that we can now view that history as a whole, from its beginnings to its end. Chapters Eight through Eleven (and to some extent Chapters Six and Seven) represent preliminary attempts, from several different analytical perspectives, to deal with how the end of the Cold War came about and what the implications of that development might be for the future. Each chapter is meant to question conventional wisdom with regard to the topics they address. Moreover, Gaddis questions our inability to foresee very clearly the future during these past few years. He contends that we understood much less about this conflict than we realized, and may, in turn, face even greater surprises - not all of them pleasant - in the Cold War s aftermath. He points to the fact that we are, on the whole, greatly unmoved by this victory and possibly unprepared to deal with the inevitable challenges ahead, both national and international. Seller Inventory # AAV9780195085518

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 1994. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.This collection of eleven essays provides one of the first explanations of how and why the United States forty year struggle with the former Soviet Union has finally ended. The book contains significant new interpretations of the American style in foreign policy, the objectives of containment, and the role of morality, nuclear weapons, and intelligence and espionage in Washington s conduct of the Cold War. It controversially reassesses the leadership of two distinctive cold war warriors, John Foster Dulles and Ronald Reagan, and employs new methodological techniques to account for the sudden and surprising events of 1989. Chapters One through Seven are reconsiderations of Cold War history in the light of the fact that we can now view that history as a whole, from its beginnings to its end. Chapters Eight through Eleven (and to some extent Chapters Six and Seven) represent preliminary attempts, from several different analytical perspectives, to deal with how the end of the Cold War came about and what the implications of that development might be for the future. Each chapter is meant to question conventional wisdom with regard to the topics they address. Moreover, Gaddis questions our inability to foresee very clearly the future during these past few years. He contends that we understood much less about this conflict than we realized, and may, in turn, face even greater surprises - not all of them pleasant - in the Cold War s aftermath. He points to the fact that we are, on the whole, greatly unmoved by this victory and possibly unprepared to deal with the inevitable challenges ahead, both national and international. Seller Inventory # AAV9780195085518

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