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Historical Dictionary of the Cold War by Joseph Smith, Simon Davis


Historical Dictionary of the Cold War by Joseph Smith, Simon Davis

Cold war was a term coined in 1945 by left-leaning British writer George Orwell to predict how powers made unconquerable by having nuclear weapons would conduct future relations. It was popularized in 1947 by American journalist Walter Lippmann amid mounting tensions between the erstwhile World War II Allies - the capitalist democracies - the United States of America and Britain - versus the Soviet Union, a communist dictatorship. As the grand alliance of the Big Three they had defeated Nazi Germany, its satellites and Japan in World War II but became rivals who split the world into an American-led Western bloc and Soviet-led Eastern bloc. Both were secured from direct attack by arraying ever-greater nuclear and conventional forces against the other while seeking global supremacy by other means. The 45-year Cold War lasted until the Soviet Union collapsed between 1989 and 1991. This second edition of Historical Dictionary of the Cold War contains a chronology, an introduction, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 400 cross-referenced entries on important personalities, crucial countries and peripheral conflicts, the increasingly lethal weapons systems, and the various political and military strategies. This book is an excellent resource for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about this crucial period in history.


Published in 1999, the first edition of this work is now revised and enhanced with supplementary information that became available during the past two decades because of archival declassifications and new historical, political, social, and cultural interpretations of the Cold War. Accessing the primary-source historical documents along with new records has become feasible in different countries, and the communist era is being revisited by scholars worldwide. This second expanded edition by historians Smith (Univ. of Exeter, UK) and Davis (Bronx Community College) includes references to recent historical research and writings that shed new light on the 1945-91 period. The authors
introduction explores the origins of the Cold War

; the major players; the parties; the political and military figures and strategies involved; their mission, goals, and objectives; and the collapse of a system that reached a global impact and significance with consequences that will continue to mark the 21st century. The year-by-year chronology is followed by alphabetical entries featuring civilian or military leaders, politicians, and countries the conflict affected. An essay discussing the variety of sources included and their contribution to Cold War historiography precedes the ample bibliography. This second edition augments college and academic library collections supporting historical research in political sciences and foreign relations and in Slavic, Eastern European, and Soviet studies.

Summing Up: Recommended. Undergraduates through professionals/practitioners; general readers. * CHOICE * Authors Joseph Smith and Simon Davis have captured the essence and madness of the `balance of terror
of the Cold War in the second edition of Historical Dictionary of the Cold War

.... This book is an excellent resource for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about this crucial period in history and is appropriate for high school, community college, university, and public libraries. * American Reference Books Annual *

About the Author

Joseph Smith is Reader Emeritus in History at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom. He is an expert on Cold War history and American foreign relations, particularly with Latin America, notably Brazil. Simon Davis is Professor of History at Bronx Community College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He concentrates on international and imperial history, with particular emphasis on the modern Middle East.

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Book Info

Publication date

15th March 2017


Joseph Smith, Simon Davis

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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield


422 pages


Military history: post WW2 conflicts
The Cold War
International relations



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