The End of the Cold War

H - Z

Mann, James. The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan: A History of the End of the Cold War. New York: Viking, 2009.

Mead, FA 88.1 (Jan.-Feb. 2009), calls this work "an extraordinary account ... that sheds considerable light on the end of the Cold War." The author shows a Reagan who "imposed a consistent vision of his own on U.S.-Soviet relations."

Norquist, Warren E. "How the United States Won the Cold War." Intelligencer 13, no. 2 (Winter-Spring 2003): 47-56.

Reagan did it. "A longer version of this paper appeared first in Global Competitiveness Volume 9 (1), 2001 pp. 1-27 and a later version in Advances in Competitiveness Research volume 10, No. 1, 2002."

Prados, John. How The Cold War Ended: Debating and Doing History. Dulles, VA: Potomac Books, 2011.

Peake, Studies 55.4 (Dec. 2011), notes that the author "concentrates on the period from 1979 to 1991.... This is a very thoughful and provocative book that does not pretend to be the last word on the topic."

Risen, James. "C.I.A. Counters Critics of Its Cold War Work." New York Times, 25 Nov. 1999. []

"At the conference it co-sponsored at the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, the CIA declassified 24 intelligence reports from the years 1988 to 1991 as proof that its assessments were more accurate than the critics have said. Still, the conference could not ignore the harsh truth that ... its forecasts in the late '70s and early '80s were sometimes far off....

"Douglas MacEachin, who headed the office of Soviet analysis in the '80s, acknowledged that the agency had moved too slowly to adjust its projections of military and strategic forces to reflect the worsening economic conditions.... The C.I.A. did report accurately the growing signs of an economic slowdown in the late '70s and early '80s.... By the late '80s, the C.I.A. did accurately portray the growing instability in the Soviet Union, and it did so earlier and more clearly than the critics have suggested, a review of the newly declassified intelligence reports shows."

Risen, James. "Documents Show the C.I.A. Saw Trouble Coming for Gorbachev." New York Times, 19 Nov. 1999. []

Intelligence estimates declassified by the CIA for a conference being held at Texas A&M University on the role that U.S. intelligence played in the final days of the cold war show that CIA analysts "were deeply pessimistic about the chances of success for President Mikhail Gorbachev's efforts to reform the Soviet Union's Communist system."

Clark comment: Risen carefully does not verify the thrust of the documents, merely noting that the estimates "provide insight into an enduring debate over whether the C.I.A. really 'missed' the collapse of the Soviet Union, as critics charge." Having had access to many of the estimates on the Soviet Union in the late 1980s (up to June 1990), I have remained convinced that much of the chest pounding (including that by Senator Moynihan) about the CIA's analysis was either misplaced, malicious, or uninformed. Were the analysts cautious? Absolutely! To have been otherwise would have been the height of folly.

Schweizer, Peter. Victory: The Reagan Administration's Secret Strategy That Hastened the Collapse of the Soviet Union. New York: Atlantic Monthly, 1994.

According to Surveillant 3.6, this is a "fascinating look at the final days of some of the operations targeting the Soviet menace to help in its destruction." For Elliott, WPNWE, 22-28 Aug. 1994, Schweizer's "is a decent point pressed much too far.... [A]bove all, a book that relies almost solely on interviews with a few key protagonists, that does not delve into pre-Reagan times..., and that shows no familiarity with the academic literature ... just can't be trusted to give a nuanced view of history."

Palmer, Proceedings 121.1 (Jan. 1995), notes that Schweizer portrays Casey as masterminding "new policies ... aimed at placing Moscow on the defensive and halting ... the erosion of the U.S. strategic position that had begun in the 1970s.... [The author] argues that the ... Soviet system ... could have continued to amble along -- had the pace of the Cold War remained sluggish. Thus, the Reagan administration's acceleration of the tempo exacerbated the internal contradictions of the Soviet economic system and eventually forced Mikhail Gorbachev into the attempt at internal restructuring that ultimately led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union."

Richard Pipes, FA 74.1 (Jan.-Feb. 1995), 154-160, notes that this work is a "fraction of the length of Mr. Garthoff's opus and lacks scholarly rigor"; nevertheless, it "comes closer to explaining the end of the Cold War." Choice, Jan. 1995, sees Schweizer arguing "cogently and confidently that the anti-Soviet Reagan team engineered a high stakes, proactive containment and rollback campaign to undermine Soviet Communism through an economic, technological, and military squeeze and destroy mission.... This is an insightful, purposeful, and highly readable exposé, which relies perhaps too much on anecdotes and interview data with partisan players."

Snyder, Alvin A. Warriors of Disinformation: American Propaganda, Soviet Lies, and the Winning of the Cold War -- An Insider's Account. New York: Arcade, 1995.

According to Surveillant 4.4/5, the author tells the story of Charles Z. Wick's USIA and that organization's role in U.S. foreign policy in the last decade of the Cold War.

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Ed., Benjamin B. Fischer. At Cold War's End: US Intelligence on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, 1989-1991. Washington, DC: History Staff, Center for the Study of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, 1999.

Clark comment: This volume was released for the18-20 November 1999 conference at Texas A&M University's Bush School of Government and Public Service. Also listed as Fischer, Benjamin B., ed. At Cold War's End (1999). Jonkers, AFIO WIN 2-00 (14 Jan. 2000), says that Fischer has written "a masterly Foreword that is worth the price of admission. It is an outstanding summary[,] capturing a set of momentous and convoluted -- almost unexplainable -- events. This is a basic source document -- a contribution to knowledge.... Highly recommended."

For Mapother, IJI&C 14.4, this collection "presents insight as to how the intelligence community kept the White House and upper levels of the national security bureaucracy on notice that strategic changes were coming, and offered reasonable predictions about what directions they would take." Crome, JIH 1.1, comments that Fischer's "preface is an utmost helpful guide through the documents and at the same time a well written and concise account of U.S. policy toward the the Soviet Union and the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe."

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