As people who follow the site will know, our main focus to-date on the site has been on the Cold War. That war’s intrigues made the second half of the 20th century.
From the Berlin Crisis to the Vietnam War, and the Korean War to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, that war defined nearly 50 years of world history and continues to impact our world.
We’ve previously released a few books on the early and middle years of that war, and one more will come later in the year.
That book will focus on a particularly volatile period in the Cold War, the years from 1979 to the end of the Cold War. In our last book, you may have read that relations between the super-powers collapsed as the 1970s came to an end. A more assertive Soviet Union led to many in the US fearing that the Soviet Union planned to seriously challenge them for global hegemony once more. In the 1970s, the Soviets strongly supported various regimes in Africa, improved their missiles, and finally launched an offensive in Afghanistan on Christmas Day, 1979.
A worried US then underwent tumultuous change, and the outcome was that Ronald Reagan became President in 1981. Something akin to a paradigm shift then occurred in US-Soviet relations. Reagan’s administration massively increased defense spending, and with it, the world abounded in danger; however, a second paradigm shift then occurred as a very new and different Soviet leader emerged.
Ultimately it would be the actions of these two men that caused the Cold War to end.
While you wait..
You’ll have to wait a few months for the book, but while you wait for it, we’ve got some educational materials to share with you.
The first of these looks at the origins of the Cold War. It is widely held that the Cold War began in the mid-to-late 1940s – 1945 is generally the most popular choice. In our podcast series, we considered 1945 to be the start year; however this article looks back at the pre-1945 world and considers different times in which the Cold War could have started. As you will see, some think it started with the Communists gaining power in Russia during the 1917 Russian Revolution. After that revolution, many in the West, such as Winston Churchill, were keen to crush Communism as they feared its spread across Europe and the world.
The second of these materials considers the Cold War in its entirety by looking at the main events in three different periods. If you’ve listened to the podcasts or read one of our books, this is a great analytical took that recaps some of the main points and asks some key questions about the war’s events.
PS – you’ll have seen that the blog has been more active this week. And we plan to keep it that way! We’re always looking for new contributors, so if you’re interested get in touch. Or, click here to find out more.
The materials are supplied courtesy of our friends at www.explaininghistory.com.
You can find out more about the Cold War by going to our Cold War page – click here.