Download The Cold War A World History Book Í 710 pages

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Download The Cold War A World History Book Í 710 pages º From a Bancroft Prize winning scholar a new global history of the Cold War and its ongoing impact around the worldWe tend to think of the Cold War as a bounded conflict a clash of two superpowers the United States and the Soviet Union born out of the ashes of World WarFrom a Bancroft Prize winning scholar a new global history of the Cold War and its ongoing impact around the worldWe tend to think of the Cold War as a bounded conflict a clash of two superpowers the United States and the Soviet Union born out of the ashes of World War II and coming to a dramatic end with the collapse of the Soviet Union But in this major new work Bancroft Prize winning scholar Odd Arne Westad argues that the Cold War must be understood as a global ideological confrontation with early roots in the Industrial Revol First off this is pretty much an establishment history that looks at the cold war from the commanding heights This is not a bad thing If one wants to understand the cold war one should look from a bird's eye view on the chess board and not stray too far from the consensus when entering the subject When one digs deeper and develops alternative interpretations of this period one will at least have familiar landmarks as a reference as a jumping off point This history and very detailed and covers in a traditional way the three major periods the early phase of the forties and fifties the detente period of the sixties and seventies and the Reagan period from the late seventies with increasing tensions and the historical unlikely ending of a peaceful collapse of the Soviet Union under Gorbachev nobody in the early 1980s could possibly have guessed that end of cold war would play out that way instead of nuclear apocalypse Very solid detailed global history good entry point to explore this critical period

Mobi Ù The Cold War A World History ↠ Odd Arne Westad

Nd regimes across the worldToday many regions are plagued with environmental threats social divides and ethnic conflicts that stem from this era Its ideologies influence China Russia and the United States; Ira and Afghanistan have been destroyed by the faith in purely military solutions that emerged from the Cold WarStunning in its breadth and revelatory in its perspective this book expands our understanding of the Cold War both geographically and chronologically and offers an engaging new history of how today’s world was create In Odd Arne Westad's The Cold War A World History the Norwegian Harvard professor presents the confrontation between capitalism and communism in a hundred year perspective beginning in the 1890s Westad states that it started with the first global capitalist crisis the radicalization of the European labor movement and the expansion of the United States and Russia as transcontinental empires p 4 His single volume is ambitious uncompromising and superbly crafted; easily making it a book of choice for understanding the grand geopolitical chess of the Cold War and it's far reaching implications to date

Odd Arne Westad ↠ The Cold War A World History Text

The Cold War A World HistoryUtion and ongoing repercussions around the worldIn The Cold War Westad offers a new perspective on a century when great power rivalry and ideological battle transformed every corner of our globe From Soweto to Hollywood Hanoi and Hamburg young men and women felt they were fighting for the future of the world The Cold War may have begun on the perimeters of Europe but it had its deepest reverberations in Asia Africa and the Middle East where nearly every community had to choose sides And these choices continue to define economies a This book covers a broad range of topics while still managing to narrate the entire Cold War but falls short for me due to the uality of writing I've been looking for a balanced in depth single volume overview of the Cold War that has some academic rigor First I read John Lewis Gaddis' The Cold War A New History but found it actually too short a bit myopic in scope and a bit too biased toward the West On first glance this book by Westad looked like it might fit the bill and after reading it I found it did fill in many key details and provide a broader perspective on the conflict However I ultimately thought this Westad book rather disappointing as well in part because the academic rigor is watered down by too many explanatory passages with unsupported vague general statements rather than concise convincing arguments and especially because much of the organization and writing style is simply poorAmong this book's stronger parts are its beginning and concluding chapters It helpfully starts out by summarizing the development and spread of Marxist ideology in the century before the Cold War and also the rise of the US as a world and imperial power The book concludes with a critical appraisal of key trends that developed out of the Cold War such as how US support for Afghan mujahideen fighting the Soviet invasion eventually contributed to the creation of al aeda and then of course the terrorist attacks of 911 and the post Soviet slide of Russia from impoverished new democracy to today's autocracy under Putin So the book looks at about a century and a half of history around 4 times longer than the actual Cold War which is invaluable for explaining both how the conflict arose and what effect it still has on current eventsThe vast bulk of the book over 500 pages is narrative and analysis of the Cold War itself I found the level of detail about ideal for an undergrad introductory overview The choice of what’s covered and what’s left out seems reasonable as I didn’t notice any serious omissions I do think the author could have skipped a few of the nostalgic personal stories about his home country of Norway simply because not much of great Cold War importance happened there The narrative of what happened is a good bit stronger than the analysis of why however Major decisions by top leadership are explained fairly briefly These explanations would benefit from expansion perhaps by looking at why alternatives were rejected and they especially need better supporting documentation uotes from speeches and documents and pointers to key related scholarship There is somewhat better coverage of political and socio economic trends such as the widening gap in living standards between West and East later in the conflict and weaker coverage of military aspects the nuclear arms race the numerous small and large “hot wars” that flared diplomatic matters such as how the major treaties were negotiated and the espionage war between spy servicesThe book’s overall balance seems fair when evaluating the moral and human conseuences of each sides' policy decisions It depicts but doesn’t dwell on Communist cruelty such as Stalin's purges and deliberate famine in the Ukraine Mao's disastrous Great Leap Forward and the lack of political freedom and eventual economic stagnation in the Eastern bloc Meanwhile it criticizes US support for right wing dictatorships but also highlights the popular appeal of the freedom and greater prosperity of the West Toward the end thankfully it does not lionize Reagan as the Gaddis book does; as a result right wing anti Communist hawks will likely disapprove Meanwhile left leaning readers may be dismayed to note that the book touches only lightly on anti imperialist and neo colonialist critiues of the Western powersThe strongest aspect of the book overall is its depiction and analysis of the global impact of the Cold War This is to be expected since the author is an expert in this area The Non Aligned Movement especially major players Nehru of India and Nasser of Egypt are discussed at considerable length Regions that were peripheral to the conflict compared to Europe and Asia such as Africa also receive plenty of attention Frustratingly like the Gaddis book coverage of the main events of the Vietnam War is brief and muddled it gets a chapter of its own but a third of that is taken up with matters elsewhere and the conclusion of the war waits in a later chapter Therefore it’s hard to see the progression of how the US blundered into the uagmire and eventually retreated out On the other hand the chapters that cover how the Eastern bloc and shortly after the USSR itself unravelled are done well Gorbachev gets his due as the key figure in all this and is depicted partly tragically as he loses control of his reforms and ultimately even the Soviet stateMost of what I’ve said up to now is positive but the book still has serious problems it’s poorly organized and stylistically weak enough to knock its rating down at least a full star Chapters cover mostly a single subject often a narrative of a broad trend or the Cold War history of a major country or region or the leadership of a major figure such as JFK The chapters are ordered roughly chronologically by when that trend or country was most significant This high level organization usually works although there is typically a jarring jump backward in time when advancing from one chapter to the next The big problem is that there is no lower level organization there is a near complete lack of chapter subdivisions with many abrupt transitions between topics such as the jump from Indochina to Africa in the middle of the chapter on Vietnam not marked with a subheading or in any other way It’s not even easy to find a suitable place to take a break from reading Along with this the index is sparse so it’s sometimes hard to find where certain topics are covered and there are very few maps and no picturesWorst of all a lot of the writing is simply weak Here is just one brief glaring example the last paragraph of the chapter on JFK “Kennedy’s Contingencies” starts out “Were the Berlin and Cuban crises Cold War watersheds? Some say they were” Who says so? Why no footnotes to related scholarship? Why is the rest of the paragraph so vague and again without footnotes? The last sentence asserts “During Kennedy’s time in office the Cold War was becoming truly global and the burdens it put on the material and mental resources of its main protagonists increased relentlessly” after little supporting argument for these points during the preceding chapter It’s not that the assertion is wrong it’s just made in a way that doesn’t convince There are also innumerable awkward turns of phrase such as “mental resources” here a sign the book needed much tighter proofreading and editing The overall effect of this vague and awkward style does not completely cloud the overall meaning but it does greatly reduce the reader’s enjoyment turning a long historical journey into a slogA final major omission is the complete absence of an annotated biblipgraphy although there are full biblipgraphic citations in individual footnotes One pedagogical use of a thick overview book like this is to provide pointers to other sources for deeper dives on specific topics preferably with some notes from the author about those sources’ strengths and weaknesses This book almost completely falls down in this regard so you’ll have to consult another volume if you want to figure out what to read nextIn summary this book covers reasonably well the key events trends and context of the Cold War that I think should be in a single volume overview but I wish a skilled writer had created it