Cold War

An International History

Carole K. Fink

Second Edition • December 13, 2016 • 352 pages

Print ISBN: 9780813349824 • $32.00 USD$41.50 CAN

Ebook ISBN: 9780813350622 • $22.99 USD$29.99 CAN

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Includes discussion questions, suggestions for further study, and downloadable maps

The decades-long Cold War was more than a bipolar conflict between two Superpowers—it had implications for the entire world. In this accessible, comprehensive retelling, Carole K. Fink provides new insights and perspectives on key events with an emphasis on people, power, and ideas. Cold War goes beyond US-USSR relations to explore the Cold War from an international perspective, including developments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Fink also offers a broader time line of the Cold War than any other text, charting the lead-up to the conflict from the Russian Revolution to World War II and discussing the aftermath of the Cold War up to the present day. The second edition reflects the latest research and scholarship and offers additional information about the post–Cold War period, including the “new Cold War” with Russia. For today’s students and history buffs, Cold War is the consummate book on this complex conflict.

Carole K. Fink is Humanities Distinguished Professor of History Emerita at The Ohio State University. She is an award-winning author, editor, and translator of 12 books, including Defending the Rights of Others, The Genoa Conference, and Marc Bloch: A Life in History, and has been the recipient of numerous fellowships, most recently from the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton, the German Marshall Fund, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Fulbright Foundation.

Preface to the Second Edition
List of Photographs
List of Maps
List of Abbreviations and Acronyms


Chapter 1. Prelude: Soviet Russia <0x000A>and the West, 1917–1941
War and Revolution
A Contested Peace
The Soviet Entry into World Politics
The Dark Decade, 1931–1939
The Aggressors Triumphant, 1939–1941
Suggestions for Further Study

Chapter 2. The Grand Alliance, 1941–1945
Disparate Partners
Turning the Tide While Tensions Mount
Moving Apart
The End of World War II
Suggestions for Further Study

Chapter 3. Cold War, 1945–1952
Two Rivals Emerge
Nuremberg: The Final Collaboration
The Rupture
1947: The Division of Europe
The World Outside Europe
Prague and Berlin
War in Korea
Suggestions for Further Study

Chapter 4. The Widening Conflict, 1953–1963
A Global Cold War
The Nuclear Question
Building Europe
Peaceful Coexistence?
Cuba and Berlin
Exit Kennedy and Khrushchev
Suggestions for Further Study

Chapter 5. The Sixties
The Cold War and Vietnam
June 1967: The Arab-Israeli War
Prague: August 1968
1968: International Human Rights Year
Suggestions for Further Study

Chapter 6. Détente, 1969–1975
Reducing the Nuclear Threat
Ping-Pong Diplomacy
Testing Détente, 1970–1974
Suggestions for Further Study

Chapter 7. Détente Collapses, 1975–1980
Human Rights
The Cold War in Africa
SS-20 Missiles and SALT II
The Middle East: 1979
Suggestions for Further Study

Chapter 8. The Second Cold War, 1981–1985
The Deterioration of US-Soviet Relations
Central and South America
The Middle East
Suggestions for Further Study

Chapter 9. The End of the Cold War, 1985–1991
The Gorbachev Revolution in International Affairs
1989: The Transformation of Eastern Europe
1990: German Reunification
1991: The Collapse of the Soviet Union
Suggestions for Further Study

Chapter 10. Aftermath: A New World Disorder
The 1990s: A Global View
America’s Global War on Terror
A New Cold War?
Suggestions for Further Study


“Fink has written a landmark treatment of the Cold War by using new archival sources to flesh out the true relationship between the Soviet Union and the West…Highly recommended.” —Choice

“A perspicacious review of Soviet international relations from 1917 onwards and a deft analysis of how wrangling over the fate of Germany and Eastern Europe during and after WWII laid the foundations for the coming rivalry…Fink’s crisp, lucid prose and judicious, even-handed assessments impart a coherent arc to complex events; students especially will find this an invaluable introduction to a watershed era of modern history.” —Publishers Weekly

“Fink has provided a compact, objective, and insightful account that illustrates how disputes over the post-WWII fate of Europe morphed into a conflict that engulfed regions across the world…She deftly illustrates how Third World nations became hapless pawns in the broader geopolitical struggle, and she concludes with a sharp description of the residual effects of the Cold War upon the major and minor participants. This is an ideal introductory text for college students and general readers.” —Booklist

“Now in an updated second edition reflecting the latest scholarship and including additional information about the post-Cold War period, Cold War: An International History is a studious examination of the decades-long Cold War between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., spanning events from the Russian Revolution to World War II to the present. The Cold War influenced nations worldwide, including developments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America; understanding it is crucial to understanding modern world history. A handful of black-and-white photographs, a bibliography, and an index round out this excellent addition to public and college library collections.” —Midwest Book Review

Cold War: An International History offers instructors, students, and the general public a well-organized and highly readable survey of recent history in all its implications.” —Russian Review

“Prizewinning author Carole Fink’s book on the Cold War, now in its second edition, is superb. Drawing on her almost unrivaled mastery of numerous languages and familiarity with many cultures, Fink goes well beyond the usual account of the bipolar world in the period beginning with World War II. She addresses the whole era from the Russian revolution to the present and includes fascinating new material on developments outside Europe as well as on the two main antagonists. Fink writes beautifully and in a way easily accessible to students. Her Cold War opus rates as a great achievement.” —Stephen A. Schuker, University of Virginia

“By virtue of the sweep of its geographical reach and the breadth of its chronological framing, this updated edition of Professor Fink’s book allows its readers to understand the centrality of the Cold War to the shaping of modern and contemporary global history.” —Aviel Roshwald, Georgetown University

“Among the surveys of the Cold War, Carole Fink’s stands out for its global inquiry and genuine transnational perspective. Fink masterfully reevaluates the many actors who were not mere sideshows on a main stage held by Moscow and Washington. The new edition offers a fresh look at the legacies and continuities of the Cold War to the present day. Accessible and insightful, this book will remain important for years to come.” —Alessandro Brogi, University of Arkansas

“Carol Fink’s enthusiasm as an academic teacher of international history directly translates into this energetic, elegantly written book. It makes stunningly clear that we need to understand the history of the 20th century’s Cold War in order to understand today’s world.” —Norbert Frei, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

Praise for the First Edition
Cold War: An International History is a magnificent narrative of the Cold War from a global perspective. This is unsurprising, given Carole Fink’s reputation for combining breadth of vision with meticulous transnational research. She has so clearly, gracefully and insightfully covered the crucial elements of the rivalry between the Soviet Union and the West, combining key details, recent discoveries, and transnational perspective with wonderfully cosmopolitan analysis of the larger meanings and the historical trends—all of which make this such a superb account of the Cold War.” —John Whiteclay Chambers II, Rutgers University

Cold War: An International History is a must read for all history enthusiasts. Through her clear prose and many years of research and expertise on the subject, Carole Fink brings refreshing new perspectives to the Cold War, going beyond the conflict between the US and the USSR to include meaningful discussions of key events in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.” —István Deák, Columbia University

“Written by a renowned scholar of international history, this concise and masterfully composed analysis of the Cold War in global perspective cannot be recommended highly enough for undergraduate and graduate teaching.” —Volker Berghahn, Columbia University

“Carole Fink, a prominent and prolific historian, manages to break new ground in her book by placing the history of the Cold War in a chronologically and geographically enlarged context. She presents this complex material in an easily comprehensible format.” —Peter Kenez, University of California, Santa Cruz

Cold War: An International History is a well written, cogent and comprehensive recounting of the political structure of the Cold War. Its primary strengths are its accessibility and its focus on the Cold War as a global phenomenon. For faculty and students looking for a political ‘skeleton’ to frame their course, this book would be a very good choice.” —Cristofer Scarboro, King’s College

Cold War: An International History is a comprehensive, analytical, and sovereign overview that provides readers with clear arguments, while never losing sight of the complexity of the Cold War. The book shows Carole Fink, one of the leading historians of twentieth-century international relations, at the height of her powers.” —Holger Nehring, University of Stirling

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