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on 1 September 2016
Having read a short taster about the Cold War - now enjoying getting stuck in. Not finished yet - a meaty read but worthwhile putting in the effort
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on 11 February 2010
This is a first-rate history of the Cold War. It is very accessible and easy to read, whereas these non-fiction books often aren't. You can tell this book accompanied a television series and this sometimes manifests itself in being a little dumbed down, but only a little. This book is best as a first and general view of the whole situation. For a more in-depth study an interested reader can probably look to the bibliography for inspiration. I'm not really complaining. I never really had to re-read a single sentence. The book says in the preface that it's written in broadly chronological order and this is true. It isn't exactly chronological, but it near enough is. I enjoyed reading it immensely and learned many new things about the activities of the USA and USSR that I didn't know before. It's not simply a case of defenders of freedom versus the "evil empire" and the consistent meddling in other countries' affairs in proxy wars and coups disabused me of many notions I had about the USA before reading this. Overall I will say that this is quite a pessimistic book. It just goes to show that mankind will never change. There will be more wars, more atrocities, more ethnic cleasing and more totalitarian regimes. America's influence will wane whilst, probably, China will wax into the 21st century. But will Beijing restructure and liberalise?
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on 6 September 2013
Documenting over 40 years of history as complex as the Cold War was never going to be easy but credit goes to Jeremy Isaac in trying to replicate the magic he made with World At War. The book is essentially an accompaniment to the 24 part TV program of the same name that was aired on CNN. You can catch these programs as they can be found on YouTube. I throughly recommend you read a chapter than watch the accompanying TV episode. The reason to do this is because the TV episodes will cover areas in more detail than the book. The book only quotes small passages of people who were at center stage of events folding while the TV program will give these people more time to explain what they saw or did.

If you want to know detailed knowledge on the Cuban Missile Crises, Berlin Wall, Korean War, Vietnam and other Cold War events than this is not the book but if you want an overview of what, why and how things happened during those 40 years than this is an excellent introduction....or you could watch it all on YouTube.

The conclusion is excellent and overall it is fair judge of history.
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VINE VOICEon 19 April 2009
Having read a few books now on the Cold War I have always been left to piece the puzzle together myself as the chapters jumped frm crisis to crisis rather than follow a chronological order. This book does things as they should be done - it tells the story as the events happened: in chronological order.

The book came with some serious pedigree as one of the authors is the producer of the classic World at War series and having read the book you come away feeling as well informed as you did having watched the World at War series. Nothing is left to chance. The authors make the events very interesting and even have little snippets of information that need to be included but would disrupt the flow of the book in boxes, such as background informaton on Kruschev, the Cuban Missle Crisis, the AK-47 etc.

Overall, a very good read that comes highly recommended. The only slight negative is that, as with most books on the Cold War, they take an American viewpoint on more than one occasion and often leave out other players in the Cold War, e.g. Britian.
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on 2 March 2017
This is a really great overview of the Cold War. Sure, it may not have as much detail about every topic as desirable, but it does very well as an introduction to the topic. If you want more detailed accounts of certain periods, you can check the bibliography for book recommendations.
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on 18 March 2013
I initially purchased this book as reading material to help me in my AS History course which is about US intervention in Asia (Korea/Vietnam), I have read both chapters regarding these areas and I have continued into the other chapters of the book as well due to my general interest on the Cold War topic.

- Very well written, isn't too slanted towards one side as I have seen with various American documentaries and books regarding Vietnam and Korea.
- Flows nicely and covers the entirety of the Cold War.
- Easy to pick up and read, I read the Korea and Vietnam chapters first but I had no trouble jumping backwards afterwards and reading up on the 1945-1955 era.

- Rather shallow in some points, in the sense that it doesn't delve very deep into the points and events mentioned, sometimes even skipping it out or just referencing it in a single sentence. The Korea chapter wasn't too bad for this but I felt the Vietnam chapter should've been a lot longer. It did a good job of the early events leading up to the war but it missed out the Nixon administration altogether and missed a huge gap out regarding the events leading up to the end of the war. I know I perhaps should have bought a book spefically about Vietnam but I have plenty of those already. All in all, just be prepared to do some research of your own in you wish to know more.

Still a great book though, would highly recommended 4/5
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 9 April 2012
This book provides a splendid one volume introduction to modern history post World War II, with particular reference to the United States and the former Soviet Union. The book is very readable and enjoyable. The events are arranged chronologically and explained clearly by the authors in this book which was written as an accompaniment to a 24 part TV series.

This would be perfect for general readers who know something of the cold war and who would like an enjoyable and well described overview of its causes and events.

However, it does not provided detailed analysis and there is little in the way of judgement, even with hindsight, of the actions of the world leaders and systems which led to the armed stand off in Europe, the proxy wars in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and the nuclear arms race which could have annihilated us all but, mercifully, didn't. The events are described and the narrative moves on quickly - but perhaps lacks a little depth at times.

Nonetheless this is a good read, with an excellent bibliography to stimulate further reading
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on 10 August 2015
Fantastic detailed (but not long-winded) analysis of the Cold War era. The best book on this topic I could find. Readable for people who may not know much about politics without being patronising either. A must for anyone interested in global diplomacy.
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on 9 December 2013
The book arrived in fairly good time, in immaculate condition. For an A2 History student this book is exceptionally helpful. It provides deep analysis of events that student books tend to neglect, information is easy to digest and it is well written. Definitely a recommended purchase for either recreational or educational purposes.
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on 21 December 2013
For anyone with an interest in 20th century history or specifically the Cold War this is an excellent book, brilliantly written with each chapter dealing with a specific aspect or period. Totally recommend.
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