AUTHORGaddis, John Lewis
TITLEWe Now Know: Rethinking Cold War History
PUBLISHERClarendon Press
CITYOxford, England

Written in the 1990s, this book is a history of the early Cold War which draws on many documents that became available from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union after the end of the Cold War. There are three interesting chapters about nuclear issues, two on the role nuclear weapons played in the Cold War, and a third on the Cuban Missile Crisis. The author asserts that the United States failed to use its atomic monopoly effectively in the 1940s. He examines the role of escalation by both sides. He argues that the U.S. used escalation because only by making war too terrible to imagine could one assure there would be no war. By contrast, the Soviets believed they could forestall an attack by the U.S. by making the U.S. believe that the Soviets possessed many more intercontinental ballistic missiles than they really did. In dealing with the Cuban Missile Crisis, the author draws some interesting conclusions, for example that Khrushchev decided to place missiles in Cuba not because he saw President John F. Kennedy as weak, but because he saw him as aggressive and was worried that he would try to invade Cuba. The book is supported with extensive notes and a lengthy bibliography.

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