The Cold War

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Murfett, Malcolm H., ed. Cold War Southeast Asia. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, 2012.

Castle, Studies 58.3 (Sep. 2014), comments that readers "in the hunt for the lessons of history will find this collection of 12 wide-ranging Cold War-related essays most rewarding.... [T]he authors bring forth new information and thoughtfully crafted insights on the Cold War's impact on the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the establishment of Singapore.... [T]he volume includes an in-depth recounting of the origins of Thai-U.S. involvement in the Laotian 'secret war.'"

Marks, John. "The Epic of Our Time: Ted Turner's Cold War." U.S. News & World Report, 28 Sep. 1998, 48.

This is a report on CNN's 24-part documentary that ran from October 1998 to April 1999. It is "among the most ambitious documentaries," and "is likely to be the defining account of the cold war for many of its viewers." John Lewis Gaddis served as a consultant on the project.

May, Ernest R., ed. American Cold War Strategy: Interpreting NSC 68. New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 1993.

Clark comment: This volume includes the text of NSC 68. According to Cold War Connection, "Top Books on the Cold War,", this work combines "an elegant summary of the politics of the early Cold War" and "selections of writings by historians and policy-makers of different political persuasions, offering students and teachers the opportunity to compare a wide variety of interpretative positions."

McKnight, David. Espionage and the Roots of the Cold War: The Conspiratorial Heritage. London: Frank Cass, 2002.

Peake, Studies 47.1 (2003), finds this to be "a valuable, provocative, and well-documented study of Soviet COMINTERN espionage in its many forms from the Bolshevik days until 1950." The reviewer is, however, less enamored of the theoretical base within which the author tries to work. To Schecter, I&NS 18.3, this is "a sometimes fascinating but too often uneven study." The work's main "contribution is in tracing the links between Tsarist police repression and the growth of conspiratorial methods to avoid arrest." There is also "new material on the role of the Comintern and espionage, especially among the Asian communist parties."

Messer, Robert L. The End of an Alliance: James F. Brynes, Roosevelt, Truman, and the Origins of the Cold War. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1982.

Mrozek, Donald J. "The Cold War." In Encyclopedia of the American Military, 985-1018. New York: Scribner's, 1994.

Murphy, David E., Sergei A. Kondrashev, and George Bailey. Battleground Berlin: CIA vs. KGB in the Cold War. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1997.

Clark comment: Murphy is a former chief of the CIA Berlin Base and later headed Soviet operations at CIA Headquarters. Kondrashev is a retired KGB lieutenant general and headed the KGB's German Department. Bailey is a journalist and former director of Radio Liberty. Is this the final word on the Cold War as fought over, around, and in Berlin? Probably not, but we are unlikely to get a view from a more intimate standpoint. There are 57 pages of notes that bear out a conclusion that these are more than the meanderings of two old Cold Warriors.

From the "Preface": "Our goal has ... been ambitious: to provide never-before-seen documentary evidence of what each side knew during the crises, and to give readers a sense of what it was like to face off with an intelligence foe in Cold War Berlin."

Cohen, FA 76.6 (Nov.-Dec. 1997), notes that Battleground Berlin "covers primarily the grim glory days of the Cold War in Berlin -- the period up to the building of the Berlin Wall." Although this "is a major contribution to the intelligence history of the Cold War," the book has a number of gaps; and "Bailey's efforts to reconcile his coauthors' views of reality do not always succeed."

McGehee, in, says that "the book is laden with details that are difficult to follow as they swing from the CIA operational stories to the KGBers focus on political intelligence about postwar Germany. The authors unsuccessfully juxtaposition their stories, adding to the difficulties in comprehension and interest." In addition, the claims advanced as to the value of the Berlin Tunnel "seem overblown but a definitive appraisal is impossible."

The Publishers Weekly, 21 Jul. 1997, reviewer calls the book "a crucial addition to filling an important gap in our understanding of the Cold War. The book is not only authoritative, it is also well written and possesses the qualities of a very engaging espionage novel." In the same vein, Friend, History 26.3, calls Battleground Berlin "sober, authoritative, unsensational, documented, and revelatory."

For Bates, NIPQ, 14.3, a downside of the book "is the massive amount of detail." Nevertheless, the narrative fleshes out the history of the Cold War in Berlin "with a mass of heretofore-untold facts.... Another plus for Battleground Berlin is the detailed discussion of CIA and KGB tradecraft." Adams, IJI&C 12.1, sees this as "an unusual and very important volume ... [that] is illuminating on a number of levels."

The review by Jeffreys-Jones, I&NS 13.4, reads a bit haughty for my taste. Although he grants that they provide "balanced accounts of some significant episodes,... some interesting details ... [and l]ittle glimpses ... of characters," the reviewer takes the authors to task for being "historical amateurs." He finds particular fault with the absence in the book of "historical context" for the events they are relating. Welcome to the real world, Jeffreys-Jones.

Powers, NYRB (23 Oct. 1997) and Intelligence Wars (2004), 141-158, sees Battleground Berlin as "a fascinating and important account of the opening campaigns of the secret cold war waged by the CIA and the KGB.... Anyone interested in just how complex a counterintelligence case can become should read the fourteen pages in which Battleground Berlin lays out the intricate web of what was known to whom, through which channels," as the KGB closed in on Col. Pyotr Popov. See also, William Drozdiak, "Rival Spies Relive Thrills of Cold War," Washington Post, 21 Oct. 1997, A16.

Nichols, Thomas M. Winning the World: Lessons for America’s Future from the Cold War. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2002.

Goldgeier, NWCR 57.3/4 (Summer-Autumn 2004), notes that Nichols believes that the Cold War contest offers lessons for U.S. strategists as they faces the new enemy responsible for 9/11. The author "stresses that the key feature of the U.S.-Soviet struggle was the difference in ideology and that in a new war with new ideological foes, the United States can learn from the recent past." However, "he spends so much time expressing his rage at those who did not understand Soviet evil that he misses how much the new materials enable us to explore ... in even greater detail" the very issues he raises.

Offner, Arnold A. Another Such Victory: President Truman and the Cold War, 1945-1953. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2002.

According to Skinner, FA 81.5 (Sep.-Oct. 2002), the author "argues that Truman's unsophisticated, confrontational approach to statecraft made the Cold War longer, meaner, and more expensive than necessary.... Another Such Victory adds up to an authoritative sum of all doubts about Truman's foreign policy.... Sadly, the calculus is not as original as it is comprehensive." Corke, I&NS 18.4, seems disappointed that the author of this "revisionist" interpretation did not spend more space beating up on the CIA ("glaring deficiency").

Ovendale, R. "Britain, the United States, and the Cold War in South-East Asia, 1949-1950." International Affairs 58, no. 3 (1982): 447-464.

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