Accessible World Presents A World View of History by Don Queen

Come join us on Wednesday the 20th and listen to author and Cold War Guru John Lewis.
Gaddis discuss his book, “The Cold War: A New History.” and share your thoughts about
his opinions and your Cold War experiences.
Yale Historian and author of six previous books on the Cold War has written a concise,
critically acclaimed, account of the “Cold War”, i.e. the period between The End
of World War Two and the dissolution of the Soviet Empire in 1991.
Dampened by the fear of total nuclear annihilation, the Cold War was marked mostly
by what did not happen rather than what actually did happen. For example, the Cold
War’s beginning is not marked by a Tuchmanesque “Guns of August” explosion, but
three definitive speeches in 1946-1947 by the three former WWII allied leaders. In
February 1946 Joseph Stalin gave a speech predicting, according to Marxian Laws of
History, another war between greedy capitalists and the victory of Communism. Winston
Churchill’s gave his famous Iron Curtain speech on March 5 1946 warning of the suppression
of free peoples living in central and Eastern Europe. In 1947, Harry Truman’s announced
the Truman Doctrine and Marshal Plan to oppose Soviet expansion. Fortunately, there
never was a direct shooting war as opposed to a proxy conflict with the Soviet Union
except for some secret dog fights over Korea.
This absence of direct warfare was probably due to what Gaddis criticizes Dwight
D. Eisenhower for as "the most subtle and brutal strategist of the nuclear age” because
Eisenhower insisted on limiting development of nuclear weapons to those designed
for total war only. His purpose was to make sure that no nuclear war would take place,
” This grew into “Maximum Assured Response” (MAD) IN THE 70’S which ultimately gave
the U.S. a second strike response capability of THREE thousands Hydrogen Bombs, probably
enough to destroy life on earth.
The author criticizes President Nixon and Kissinger for “détente” which recognized
the status quo permanently consigning persons in Soviet controlled countries to Communism.
He commends Regan, Margaret Thatcher and Pope Paul for the ultimate demise of the
Soviet Empire. Gorbachev receives less praise but Gaddis says he is one of the most
deserving recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize.
For those of us who lived through all or part of the Cold war, it was a time of chronic
anxiety escalating to downright fright during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was a
time of “duck and cover drills” home bomb shelters and duck tape jokes. Fortunately,
it ended like it began, not with a bang but a whimper with the missile defenses of
both sides still unused and intact.
The Cold War: A New History
Gaddis, John Lewis. Read by Alexander Strain. Reading time 10 hours 30 minutes.
World History
Yale historian analyzes the power struggle that occurred between the United States
and the Soviet Union from 1945 to 1991 and its effect on world events. Uses archives
from Eastern Europe, Russia, and China to describe the tension of nuclear armament
and the leaders behind the weapons. 2005.
Download The Cold War: A New History, DB62511
Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, 2006. Book Number: HN002
group facilitated by Don Queen, Email: queens@pacbell.net

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