The Cold War was a crucial conflict in American history. At stake was whether the world would be dominated by the forces of totalitarianism led by the Soviet Union, or inspired by the principles of economic and political freedom embodied in the United States. The Cold War established America as the leader of the free world and a global superpower. It shaped U.S. military strategy, economic policy, and domestic politics for nearly 50 years.
In A Brief History of the Cold War, distinguished scholars Lee Edwards and Elizabeth Edwards Spalding recount the pivotal events of this protracted struggle and explain the strategies that eventually led to victory for freedom. They analyze the development and implementation of containment, détente, and finally President Reagan's philosophy: "they lose, we win." The Cold War teaches important lessons about statecraft and America's indispensable role in the world.
LEE EDWARDS is a historian who has written extensively about the Cold War and U.S. foreign policy. He is the author of biographies of Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater, and William F. Buckley Jr. and editor of The Collapse of Communism, among many other books. He is the distinguished fellow in conservative thought at The Heritage Foundation, chairman of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, and adjunct professor of politics at the Catholic University of America.
ELIZABETH EDWARDS SPALDING is Associate Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College, where she teaches U.S. foreign policy and American government and directs CMC’s Washington, D.C., program. The author of The First Cold Warrior: Harry Truman, Containment, and the Remaking of Liberal Internationalism, she has also contributed to several volumes on the presidency and American foreign policy and written for the Wilson Quarterly, the Journal of American History, Comparative Political Studies, and Presidential Studies Quarterly.
The Cold War is rapidly receding in the rear-view mirror of history, and for Millennials might as well be the Crusades of the Middle Ages. Edwards and Spalding tell the story superbly, reminding us in their not-to-be-missed conclusion of the vital lessons that endure from that great clash of ideas at the heart of the Cold Wara clash that persists in different forms today. One way to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past is to learn them correctly, as readers of this book will do.”
STEVEN F. HAYWARD, Ronald Reagan Professor of Public Policy, Pepperdine University, and author of The Age of Reagan
This invaluable historical sketch makes clear: the Cold War was, at its heart, a dramatic contest between competing visions of the human person that turned on principles of individual freedom and dignity. For those of us who grew up during that worldwide struggle against a toxic ideology that thought history was on its side, and for a new generation facing new foes, A Brief History of the Cold War is a reminder of the critical importance of that human perspective.”
NINA SHEA, director, the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom
In an eminently readable Brief History,’ Edwards and Spalding lay out the real conflicts when one side makes the state supreme, with the person a mere cog, and the other sidea coalition of the freegives the person all the dignity and integrity with which God created them.”
VERY REVEREND PAUL B. R. HARTMANN, judicial vicar, Archdiocese of Milwaukee, and president, Catholic Memorial High School
A Brief History of the Cold War is a remarkable accomplishment. Lee Edwards and Elizabeth Spalding capture the essence of the longest and one of the most complicated conflicts of the twentieth century, and manage to do so in a concise and beautifully written manner. This book is a must read for all students of politics, history, and American foreign policy, and for anyone interested in understanding the conflict that set the stage for the twenty-first century. This is a truly masterful and accessible accounta gem of a book.”
STEPHEN F. KNOTT, professor, Department of National Security Affairs, United States Naval War College, and author of Rush to Judgment: George W. Bush, the War on Terror, and His Critics