ABOUT THIS BOOK
“A creative, carefully researched, and incisive analysis of U.S. strategy during the long struggle against the Soviet Union.”
—Stephen M. Walt, Foreign Policy
“Craig and Logevall remind us that American foreign policy is decided as much by domestic pressures as external threats. America’s Cold War is history at its provocative best.”
—Mark Atwood Lawrence, author of The Vietnam War
The Cold War dominated world affairs during the half century following World War II. America prevailed, but only after fifty years of grim international struggle, costly wars in Korea and Vietnam, trillions of dollars in military spending, and decades of nuclear showdowns. Was all of that necessary?
In this new edition of their landmark history, Campbell Craig and Fredrik Logevall engage with recent scholarship on the late Cold War, including the Reagan and Bush administrations and the collapse of the Soviet regime, and expand their discussion of the nuclear revolution and origins of the Vietnam War. Yet they maintain their original argument: that America’s response to a very real Soviet threat gave rise to a military and political system in Washington that is addicted to insecurity and the endless pursuit of enemies to destroy. America’s Cold War speaks vividly to debates about forever wars and threat inflation at the center of American politics today.
This is a creative, carefully researched, and incisive analysis of U.S. strategy during the long struggle against the Soviet Union. There are plenty of good books on this topic already, but Craig and Logevall’s is one of the best, and their interpretation has important implications for contemporary strategic debates.
-- Stephen M. Walt Foreign Policy
Campbell Craig and Fredrik Logevall accomplish something amazing: in a mere 370 pages of text they present a cogent, well-written, highly informative, yet accessible narrative of the forty-five-year history of the Cold War… Together they bring a level of expertise to more facets of the Cold War than the vast majority of single-authored works could possibly emulate… There is much to applaud in this work and the authors will, I am sure, reap many accolades because of it. Due to its brevity and jargon-free writing style the book will be especially useful for undergraduates as well as the general public, but even specialists will find it worth reading.
-- Gregory Mitrovich American Historical Review
It is an excellent history, providing the best treatment of the question, ‘Who ended the Cold War, Reagan or Gorbachev?’
-- H. Nelsen Choice
Craig and Logevall compellingly argue that the American experience in the Cold War must be understood in terms of the interplay between domestic and international politics. American history, political culture, and raw partisanship shaped attitudes and responses just as encounters with the USSR affected internal politics, economy, and society. This is an important book that will be read for years to come.
-- Robert Jervis, author of American Foreign Policy in a New Era
A landmark study that takes a remarkably fresh approach to the Cold War, asking not only how it began or ended but why it lasted so long. The answer—that the U.S.–Soviet confrontation was perpetuated largely by the imperatives of American electoral politics and an ever expanding military–industrial complex—demands the serious attention of anyone interested in global affairs, past or present. Craig and Logevall remind us that American foreign policy is decided as much by domestic pressures as external threats. America’s Cold War is history at its provocative best.
-- Mark Atwood Lawrence, author of The Vietnam War: A Concise International History
In this beautifully incisive and important reinterpretation of U.S. foreign relations history, Craig and Logevall demonstrate why Cold War America could never shake its own insecurity complex. It is a must read, not simply for understanding U.S. national security in the second half of the twentieth century, but for insight into why the politics of insecurity persist.
-- Timothy Naftali, coauthor of One Hell of a Gamble
Much ink has been spilled on the history of the Cold War, but Craig and Logevall have written a wholly new and original book. In beautiful, compelling prose, America’s Cold War unearths the inner dynamic of American foreign policy by highlighting its intimate but hidden links with both domestic politics and economics. With its revealing insights into the partisan political influence upon U.S. foreign policy, this brilliant book offers a timely reminder that politics doesn’t always stop at the water’s edge.
-- Andrew Preston, author of The War Council: McGeorge Bundy, the NSC, and Vietnam
A refreshingly incisive analysis of U.S. foreign policy during its long struggle with the Soviet Union. Craig and Logevall show how the interplay of structural forces and domestic politics led U.S. leaders to consistently exaggerate foreign threats, leading to costly misadventures that squandered much blood and treasure and inflicted considerable harm on other countries. Their judgments are subtle and balanced, the writing is clear and concise, and the implications for today’s leaders are profound.
-- Stephen M. Walt, author of Taming American Power