The Cold War dominated international relations in the second half of the 20th century. A geopolitical contest between the United States and its allies on one side, and the Soviet Union, China and their associates on the other, the Cold War was about power and military competition, but it was also a struggle between two political and economic systems.
Nuclear weapons meant that this rivalry could not escalate without the risk of global oblivion. Crises arose and proxy conflicts occurred, sometimes resulting – as in Korea and Vietnam – in large-scale death tolls. In the main, however, confrontation took the form of a battle for hearts and minds. Coinciding with a new era of mass communications, the war was conducted through propaganda campaigns in books, newspapers, radio, cinema and, later, television.
Michael Hopkins is an expert guide to the origins, development, eventual ending and ongoing legacies of the Cold War, focusing on the decisions of those who made the policies and the experiences of those who were caught up in the major events of this highly charged period in our recent history. The Cold War highlights the impact of the conflict on the culture of the times, bringing home the reality of life in the shadow of the Bomb.