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.