Top critical review
23 people found this helpful
Right-Winger Gaddis Does Not Have All The Answers.
on 5 September 2000
In the 1970s and '80s John Lewis Gaddis established a distinguished reputation as the leader of the post-revisionist school on the origins of the Cold War. Since then, sadly, his writing has been characterised by a drift towards the misguided stance of the Reaganite Right. In his latest work he has made a commendable early attempt to analyise the substantive new reaources made avaliable by the declassification of the Soviet archives. Yet his title "We Now Know" (a notion repeatedly asserted throughout this work) claims far too much. The new evidence has contributed to the debate on the Cold War but does not provide all the answers - indeed, how could they have done? A radically different set of conclusions could be drawn from the archival evidence than those that Gaddis's deeply conservative perspective leads him to. This is a useful contribution to the debate on the Cold War, therefore, but nobody should be deluded into thinking this is a definitive work. "We Now Know More" would have been a more accurate - if less catchy - title. We cannot expect all the arguments concerning the Cold War to be resolved at a stroke. The debate has a long way to run yet.