This is an illustrated history and the illustrations are outstanding. Most illustrations are not in full colour but the book has been produced in colour throughout so that those illustrations available in full colour are reproduced as such. The author has begun the story in 1900
NAME: The Cold War, An Illustrated History
CLASSIFICATION: Book reviews
AUTHOR: Andrew Heritage
BINDING: Hard back
PRICE: GB £20.00
SUBJECT: Global conflict, anti-communist, Korean War, Blockade of Berlin, nuclear, arms race, surrogate conflicts, technology, politics, USSR, Stalin, Hitler, Truman, Kennedy, Khrushchev, Macmillan, Reagan, Thatcher, Eisenhower, Churchill, Mao, China, PRC, Roosevelt, Great Depression, Cuban missile crisis, Vietnam, Yeltsin, Gorbachev, Space Race, Star Wars, CND, global terrorism
DESCRIPTION: This is an illustrated history and the illustrations are outstanding. Most illustrations are not in full colour but the book has been produced in colour throughout so that those illustrations available in full colour are reproduced as such. The author has begun the story in 1900 and there are pages with groups of key dates, 1900-1918, 1919-1929, 1930-1940, 1941-1942, 1943-1944, 1945-1946, 1947-1948, 1949-1950, 1951-1952, 1953-1954, 1955-1956, 1957-1958, 1959-1960, 1961-1962, 1963-1964, 1965-1966, 1967-1968, 1969-1972, 1973-1976, 1977-1980, 1981-1985, 1986-1990, 1991-1995,2001-2010. In consequence the text is extremely brief but the amount of information contained in the book is considerable. The author is justified in starting in 1900 because the Cold War as most accept it from 1945 to the late 1980s was really only a part in a century of related wars that has spread over into the next century. A combination of German aggression, urbanization, and industrialization, created a fertile ground for new conflicts that would affect the entire world. 1917-1918 sowed the seeds of the next major global war but a series of lesser conflicts occupied the period from 1918 to 1939. Fascism developed in Germany out of the disastrous Treaty ending WWI where a well-intentioned but naive USA started to meddle in world affairs. Fascism developed in Russia out of the civil war that followed the 1917 revolution. Inevitably the two major Fascist powers would come into direct conflict. They piloted the Cold War in Spain when German and Russian military aid was applied to the two sides in the Spanish Civil War and where both sponsors used their own soldiers, sailors and airman as “volunteers” for the respective combatants. As WWII was being won, American naive foreign policy ensured that German defeat would be followed by a new global conflict but this time fought largely by proxies. The Korean War saw a re-run of the Spanish Civil War where the USSR and Communist China supported the North and the rest of the world supported the South without war spreading outside the Korean theatre. Israel supported by the US and the Arab nations supported largely by the USSR engaged in a series of wars where both combatant groups depended heavily on technology supplied by their respective sponsors. The Korean/Asian conflict effectively continued on in Indo-China and the USSR followed the US example of disproportionate warfare in Vietnam by invading Afghanistan. The race to develop military technology and advantage was eventually won by the US as the USSR ran out of the funds to continue. Naive US policies once again perpetuated the conflict by failing to help Russian democrats to build a positive new future, leaving the door open for former communists to slide back into power. At the same time the clients of Russia and America continued on in new conflicts creating global terrorism and new arms races. To cover that complex history in 208 pages with very little text is a major achievement. The book should appeal to a wide readership and may be particularly useful to a generation of young British people who have been seriously let down by a decade and more of an education system that did not consider the old arts of reading and writing particularly useful, or seeing history before 1997 as having any relevance.