The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times

The Global Cold War Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times The Cold War between the former Soviet Union and the United States indelibly shaped the world we live in today especially international politics economics and military affairs This volume shows how

  • Title: The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times
  • Author: Odd Arne Westad
  • ISBN: 9780521703147
  • Page: 302
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Cold War between the former Soviet Union and the United States indelibly shaped the world we live in today especially international politics, economics, and military affairs This volume shows how the globalization of the Cold War during the 20th century created the foundations for most of today s key international conflicts, including the war on terror Odd Arne WeThe Cold War between the former Soviet Union and the United States indelibly shaped the world we live in today especially international politics, economics, and military affairs This volume shows how the globalization of the Cold War during the 20th century created the foundations for most of today s key international conflicts, including the war on terror Odd Arne Westad examines the origins and course of Third World revolutions and the ideologies that drove the U.S and the U.S.S.R towards interventionism He focuses on how these interventions gave rise to resentments and resistance that, in the end, helped to topple one and to seriously challenge the other superpower In addition, he demonstrates how these worldwide interventions determined the international and domestic framework within which political, social and cultural changes took place in such countries as China, Indonesia, Iran, Ethiopia, Angola, Cuba, and Nicaragua According to Westad, these changes, plus the ideologies, movements and states that interventionism stirred up, constitute the real legacy of the Cold War Odd Arne Westad is Professor of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science In 2004 he was named head of department and co director of the new LSE Cold War Studies Centre Professor Westad is the author, or editor, of ten books on contemporary international history including Decisive Encounters The Chinese Civil War, 1946 1950 2003 and, with Jussi Hanhimaki, The Cold War A History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts 2003 In addition, he is a founding editor of the journal Cold War History.

    One thought on “The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times”

    1. I've actually corresponded with Odd Arne Westad, the author of this book, and this book provided some of the supporting research used in my novel, Eteka: Rise of the Imamba. This is a great book that dives into many of the events that transpired during the Cold War, offering great views into regions like Africa, Asia and Latin America. I definitely recommend this book if you are a serious history lover with an interest in the Cold War.

    2. When it comes to Cold War history, this is as good as it gets. When I was discussing this text with my colleagues, it received near-unanimous praise from everyone. There was certainly a feeling that Westad has irrevocably 'shaken up' the historiography of the Cold War with this text's innovative, multifocal, contextual approach to the subject. As one of my colleagues remarked, this text has 'a little something for everybody' in its contents just by virtue of its comprehensiveness. It is a toolki [...]

    3. A truly amazing look at dozens of American and Soviet interventions in the Third World throughout the Cold War. The exciting part of the book is the in-depth look at the Soviet perspective, all thanks to the (intermittent) opening of their archives. The takeaway is that the Communist world could not agree on ANYTHING. The Chinese HATED the Soviets, who hated the Cubans, who suspected the Eastern Europeans, who distrusted the "Euro-Communists" of the Western democratic countries. Moscow tried to [...]

    4. Note: Kicked the rating up a star after a very useful conversation with Wyl Schuth. Westad is European, so I'm ratcheting down my irritation with the style a bit.Difficult book to evaluate fairly. On the one hand, the subject matter is critical. The Cold War, which Westad traces back to its roots in the late 19th and early 20th century, wasn't just the US vs. the USSR or the West vs. the East or any other set of events that can be adequately explained in bipolar terms. So, by giving extended att [...]

    5. This is a review 5 years in the makingBack in 2011 when I returned to UT to finish my degree in History, my US Foreign Policy professor (Perren Selcer) tossed me a book on the Cold War and recommended I submit a review of it for an undergraduate essay contest. I skimmed through the book between my mandatory readings for other classes and cobbled together the following essay, for which I won an honorable mention and an invitation to a pizza party: notevenpast/undergraduateThis book and the review [...]

    6. Westad's book is a phenomenal display of history scholarship. It is no wonder that the book won the Bancroft Prize. It is an absolutely fascinating piece of world history. It accomplishes the task of telling the story of a time period in world history without seeming too generalizing or too immensely specific. Westad makes no mistake in informing the reader through his immense bibliography that he is well-read in Norwegian, English, French, German, Mandarin Chinese, and Russian sources on the Co [...]

    7. This is an amazing book- I definitely see how it won the Bancroft Prize. Unlike some other reviewers I found the author's writing to be engaging (to the extent of being humourous at times) and easy to follow. The best parts of the book, for me, are those which explore the decision making process of the Soviet policy makers- the quotes from Khrushchev and Stalin are sublime. As a European I also found the insight into the Americans' mentality to be of considerable interest.

    8. This is so good that I actually emailed the author after finishing it. Our world is shaped by the cold war, just as surely as Ithaca and Cayuga Lake is shaped by glaciers. Read how the US and the USSR treated the 3rd world like a chess board. The author is a bit of a liberal but the relentlessness of his pursuit of concrete living details is clean fresh air. The role of Cuba in Africa (a small portion of the book) was quite the revelation to me.

    9. really good. not a survey, though. if you're looking for a survey of all the conflicts, this isn't it.if you are looking for a detailed look at a few instructive examples to develop a coherent narrative, it's great.

    10. Phenomenal research! I did not actually know too much in depth about the Cold War prior to reading this book, but I am happy that this was the first real scholarly account that I have read of it. The book recounts the events of the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union purely in 'The Third World' (i.e. China, Congo, Indonesia, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Cuba, Somalia, Ethiopia). The majority of these nations was experiencing de-colonization and the author does a great job of profiling the leader [...]

    11. Read this book!!This book has been on my personal to read list since it came out, since it seems to connect the US and Soviet interventions around the world after 1945 to the current world situation. After having read it, I'm just blown away. The US and USSR are mirror images here, "regimes of global intervention" each blinded by their own ideology, history and expectations into seeing a reflection of themselves throughout the Third World rather than the actual situations at hand. The demands of [...]

    12. Among political scientists, it is a truism universally acknowledged that the Cold War was a unique stage in the international system, both for its unusual bipolar structure and the globally destructive potential of nuclear military technology. Historians, on the other hand, see it as their professional duty to qualify if not eliminate entirely such comfortable ideas. One such historian is Odd Arne Westad, who builds his new history of the Cold War on the unusual premise that it constituted not a [...]

    13. I can't really imagine how this book could get much better, which is precisely what is frustrating about it. What's brilliant about the book is that all the events are true, and the drama comes from incredible oxymorons that resulted from cold war policy - the US' search for liberty and anti colonialism leads to a kind of inverse imperialism, while the soviet union's search for international justice leads to nationalism and dictatorship; meanwhile, third world optimism and hopes for Global advan [...]

    14. This is a history of the Cold War through the 1970s and 1980s and focuses on the way the Cold War was fought by proxy in the Third World. The perspective of the author is a decidedly left wing Euro-centric perspective the author in the introduction claims that the interventions in the third world by two ideological superpowers arrested the development of European-style social democracy in Africa, Asia and Latin America! The author makes too little of indigengous cultural factors in Latin America [...]

    15. It is impossible to comprehend current events worldwide—from the war in Afghanistan to piracy in Somalia to China’s unwavering support of North Korea—without first understanding the events and ideologies that shaped them. Westad’s detailed chronology picks up where most history books leave off, paying equal attention to Cold War highlights, like the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam War, as to events often overlooked by Western scholars. From forgotten wars in Africa and Central America t [...]

    16. This is a dense, hard to read text but it is unique scholorship on the Cold War. The Cold War has been written about extensively, mostly from the perspective of the Soviets and the Americans. This book shows the role of "the Third World" in the Cold War, their impact and the effect. Good scholorship but not an easy or narrative read. Westad makes excellent use of primary source material. An educational read that makes you want to research more.

    17. Interesting perspective on the Cold War, theorizing that the Cold War was truly played out in Third World nations in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, and fought by the two competing ideologies of the United States and Soviet Union.If you buy into the thesis, you'd probably give it another star, but it was a little on the dry side, so I'm not sure if I can recommend this except to the most studious of Cold War followers.

    18. Westad's analysis makes it seem as if Third World countries had no agency whatsoever. It also ignores the strategic and security considerations which governed American and Soviet interventionist policies. His analysis of present day jihadist terrorism entirely ignores Jihadist ideology [fits well with the tendency of his analysis to ignore domestic politics and mindsets of Third World countries]. Other than that, it is a good book.

    19. I used this in my one-semester US diplomatic history course in Spring 2010. Some students adored it; others didn't get it at all. I quite liked it though; it does a really good job of presenting a broad synthesis that integrates US, Soviet, and Third World perspectives into a single history. While I imagine that it will be heavily revised in the future, it's a major step forward in our understanding of the Cold War.

    20. Another great introduction to the Cold War that offers a different interpretation to that of both Leffler and Gaddis. Westad believes that the Cold War was primarily a conflict centered on the superpowers' attempts to gain the support of Third World countries. Those countries and their leaders in turn exploited the superpowers' policies for their own benefits. A great international history, with Westad incorporating sources from seven different languages.

    21. very informative re: "third world" ramifications/fronts of the cold war, albeit super dry. love westad, though; his other books, lectures, articles, etc. are certainly more of the "page-turner" sort (/intent). that said, this is the best historical account i've read of detailing worldwide ideological impact of the superpowers' ideological battle.

    22. he does need to write another 500 hundred pages, because it is incomplete. but the research impressive, and i buy the ideological argument more than i am normally apt to because he really takes you in there. i'm seeing US hegemony differently. thanks.

    23. Most in-depth study of Soviet-U.S. Cold War conflicts as they played out in what was then known as the Third World that I have read. A great survey book, but also has wonderful details from five Soviet archives.

    24. The title says it all and actually does what it says. It really is good. Comparing the Soviet sources from the run up to Afghanistan to American sources from the run-up to Iraq provides a mildly eerie experience.

    25. Most histories of the Cold War restricts themselves to the post-war years. Yet this history takes a look at the hisotrical antecedents of the conflict, and how it arose, thereby providing a more solid explanation. It also tackles some ideological questions that other histories ignore.

    26. A comprehensive account of the Cold War in the Third World. Mixes thoughtful and fresh analysis of more famous conflicts (Vietnam for example), with very detailed looks at some that are (I would say) less well known in the U.S such as Ethiopia.

    27. Informative and deeply researched book. Well presented facts. Went a little too deep at times specially in the African part which was not that interesting.Did not discuss economic or European aspects.

    28. This is the book that kicked off my obsession with US intervention in Southern Africa during the Cold War. I love ittttt.

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