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The Cold War. A New History by John Lewis Gaddis - Book Report/Review Example

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This article presents a review of the book "The Cold War" written by John Lewis Gaddis. According to the author of the text, this book has been celebrated as a short but comprehensive account of the long struggle between two world powers of the time – the U.S. and the U.S.S.R…
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The Cold War. A New History by John Lewis Gaddis
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The Cold War: A New History by John Lewis Gaddis The Cold War: A New History by John Lewis Gaddis has been celebrated as a short but comprehensive account of the long struggle between two world powers of the time – the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. It is, undoubtedly, one of the best books for the students of the Cold War and the author preceded this book by publishing six books on the –near-half-century confrontation between these nations. In this book, the author addresses students as well as the general public regarding the question of the long dispute between two nations, although his special concern has been with reaching to young readers who have not experienced the conflict as it unfolded. Therefore, The Cold War: A New History is an important book on the Cold War in which John Lewis Gaddis maintains that the Cold War is historically significant not only for what happened but also for what did not happen.
In the book The Cold War: A New History, John Lewis Gaddis, who is known as the dean of Cold War historians, offers the authoritative account of the global confrontation between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. which dominated the last half of the twentieth century. It can be best comprehended as a dramatic presentation of the successful summation of the epoch and it draws on newly opened archives and the reminiscences of the major players. “Beyond exploring the conflict’s origins, Gaddis superbly evaluates how nuclear weapons and ideology influenced the struggle. The bomb helped keep the peace between Moscow and Washington because using it first meant a certain, cataclysmic response. Thus, it was not a legitimate option for rational policymakers.” (Rosenberg) Significantly, Gaddis offers a gripping account of the strategic dynamics that drove the age in the book which begins with the World War II and ends with the collapse of the Soviet Union. All through the work, the author provides enlightening portraits of the major personalities of the Cold War. Therefore, this book makes a reflective exploration of not only the events which are closely connected to the conflict, but also various wide-ranging elements of the struggle.
A profound analysis of the author’s major objective, thesis or goal in writing the book confirms that the book mainly presents the definitive account of the global confrontation between the two world powers of the time. Through its celebratory tone, the author has been successful in bringing out the various shades of the Cold War, which would, otherwise, be forgotten. Thus, the author maintains at the opening passages of the book that “the world is a better place” as the Cold War has been “won by the side that won it.” (Gaddis, xi) The author has chosen “to focus each chapter on a particular theme”, allowing the chapters to “overlap in time and over space”, because “any attempt to capture the Cold War “within a simple chronological narrative could only produce mush…” (Gaddis, xi)
The historical significance of subject that the author treats in this book is important to comprehend, because it is one of the most definitive accounts of the Cold War.
Significantly, the Cold War is a perfect summation of the last century as the major events in the world were related to the various aspects of this global confrontation. As this book provides a convincing description of the Cold War, not only with regard to what happened but what did not happen as well, The Cold War: A New History by John Lewis Gaddis is an essential book on the topic.
In conclusion, a reflective exploration of The Cold War: A New History by John Lewis Gaddis suggests that the author has been highly effective in providing a valuable source work to the students of the Cold War as well as general public. It is definitely a fundamental book on the Cold War which is historically significant not only for what happened but also for what did not happen.
Works Cited
Gaddis, John Lewis. The Cold War: A New History. New York: Penguin Books. 2005. P xi.
Rosenberg, Jonathan, “The cold war: how it began, why it ended.” The Christian Science Monitor. 2005 . March 05. 2010. . Read More
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