The Cold War

An International History 1947-1991
Ball, S.J.
Date published: 
October 1997

This new study provides a fresh assessment of the entire course of the Cold War based on insights into the structure of postwar international politics revealed by the collapse of the Soviet Union. Drawing on newly released material and scholarly research from both the West and former communist states, it argues that the Cold War can only be understood by exploring the interplay between ideology, domestic politics, and military security - not only in the United States and the Soviet Union, but in other states and movements with a capacity for significant military and political action. Providing a truly international history, ranging from Europe to Asia to Latin America, it is divided into chapters covering the periods 1947-53, 1954-62, 1963-73, 1974-85, 1986-91. Each chapter examines the Cold War policies of the key powers from their own perspective. A final chapter analyses long-term trends. In particular, it explores the initial dynamism of national communism and the reason for its eventual decay as a force in international politics.