The Cold War presents 180 essays on specific events and developments of the Cold War. Essays cover the most important world conflicts and crises of nearly a half century, along with the economic, cultural, and even athletic conflicts, as well as literary and film genres of stories of espionage and intrigue.
Few eras in modern history have had broader and deeper impacts on the world than the Cold War, which began almost immediately after the conclusion of World War II in 1945 and ended in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union. At its center, the Cold War was a struggle for economic, military, and ideological supremacy in the world between the United States and the Soviet Union that directly involved most of the nations of North America, Europe, and East Asia and indirectly involved most of the rest of the world at one time or another. Although the Cold War never erupted into a direct military conflict between its two principal adversaries, it raised tensions and aggravated shooting wars all over the globe.
Scope & Coverage
The Cold War is more than a mere collection of loosely connected essays, as it can be read as an integrated history of the Cold War. The Cold War presents 180 essays on specific events and developments of the Cold War. The set's table of contents is a virtual catalog of the most important world conflicts and crises of nearly a half century. However, the events of the Cold War were not confined to political and military strife. They also encompassed economic, cultural, and even athletic conflicts, and they even fostered literary and film genres built around stories of espionage and intrigue that were epitomized in the fictional secret agent James Bond. All these subjects and more are represented in the essays collected in The Cold War.
Organization & Format
Essays in The Cold War offer a student-friendly format. With few exceptions, the essays are of approximately uniform length--about 3 to 4 pages each. The top matter of every essay includes the date or dates of the event, the type of event, the location, a summary paragraph describing the event and its significance, and the key figures involved.
The main text of the essay is broken into several sections:
- Summary of Event" provides a chronological framework
- "Significance" sums up the event's historical impact
- "Further Reading" lists sources for further study
- "See Also" provides cross-references to other essays in the set
Additional finding aids in the set include Category, Personage, and General Subject Indexes, and a Table of Contents arranged by keywords in article titles.
In The Cold War's Introduction, essays on specific events, and Epilogue, readers will find easy access to whatever points of entry they choose to pursue. A list of topics reflecting the full breadth of the set can be seen below under the heading of "Important and Appealing Specific Topics."