I watched the video after having read the book, and it presented a vast wealth of information on the foundings of the Cold War. The earlier events were given, such as the Berlin Blockade and the Berlin Airlift, as well as the partition of Germany and Berlin, and the mounting tensions between the two new world superpowers, the USA and the USSR. There is a good mixture of sources presented on the video, from first-hand sources to maps and diagrams explaining the events. I found the video a highly fascinating insight into the events of the second half of the last century, and how close we came to a full blown Hot War, especially over events such as the Cuban Missile Crisis. This video is the first in the series, and ideally, i suggest watching them all, as it gives all the information practically up to the last decade, with the fall of the Berlin Wall and Soviet Communism.
This series follows in the same landmark vein as the 1973 series of 26 episodes 'World at War' which focuses on WW2. This one however focuses on the period of 1945-91 and the Cold War standoff. The dramatic narration, musical score and style of presentation are all modelled on the aforementioned series and are pulled off just as well. This was made between 1994-8 and released towards the end of 1998 on the cable channel CNN and susequently released on VHS video in 1999-2000 however never made it to DVD and they aren't making anymore VHS either, hence the difficulty in obtaining copies. There are a total of 6 double video VHS volumes (UK version not USA) each volume comprising 4 episodes for a total of 24 episodes.
All I can say is that if you are reading this and have seen the 'World at War' then you can expect the same quality from this series executively produced by the same indiviudal who did 'World at War' 25 years earlier being Sir Jeremy Iaascs. The two are perfect accompanyments to one another. If you see it BUY IT.
This is part of the VHS tape series marketed by DD video in 1998. It is fairly expensive to buy, probably because of a limited edition. Vol 1 (Iron Curtain) is meant to be 4 episodes, which is contained on 2 cassettes, however the second cassette in the box set I purcashed from "ubiquitous books" did not contain episode 4 (the whole second half of the tape was blank, unrecorded). I was initially pleased that the seller agreed to replace the tape, however the replacement tape had the same problem. I suspect poor production standards from DD video are to blame. Episodes 1 to 3 are very good however. The book of the series, purchased separately, is also very good, and has the merit of no missing sections.
I have just watched this whole series again for only the second time since it was first broadcast on the BBC in 1999? At the time I recorded each episode onto VHS, and promptly forgot that I had done so. I tried to find it on DVD, and was surprised to find that it is not available, so I have transferred it to DVD myself. I was also shocked to see the prices being asked for used VHS versions. All I can find out is that some of the material broadcast in 1999 has been re-classified since Sept 2001, and the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan in November 2001. Is it mere coincidence that this series went out of print that same month? And why has it not been released on DVD, it is required material for anyone studying 20th century history, as is World at War. If you have an interest in this period, and ever get the chance, buy it, watch it and be amazed at the political double dealing that was the order of the day.