The Cold War is an account of global history since 1945, which ties together the narrative of the Cold War to that of neoliberalism and the new imperialism in ways that illuminate and clarify the dilemmas of the present moment. Written for the general reader, it draws together scholarly research on a huge range of events, countries, and topics into an intelligible whole.
The sixty-year period since the end of World War II has seen the world remade. The war itself mobilized the political and social aspirations of hundreds of millions of people around the world. The contest between the United States and the Soviet Union for global dominance drew every country into its field of force. Struggles for national liberation in the Third World brought an end to colonial empires. Revolutions in China, Cuba, Vietnam and elsewhere shook the global order, as did uprisings in Paris and Prague. Since the end of the Cold War the forces of the capitalist market have overwhelmed social institutions that have given meaning to human existence for centuries.
But the end of the Cold War has created as many problems for the world’s remaining superpower, the United States, as it has solved. With its political, economic, and financial hegemony eroding, the United States has responded with military adventures abroad and increasing inequality and authoritarianism at home. The Cold War draws all these threads together and shows vividly that the end of history is not in sight.
…a masterly distillation of a lifetime of learning and prodigious research… The Cold War and the New Imperialism can be confidently recommended to readers interested in exploring the current world crisis and the historical processes that led to it, as well as in placing the invasion of Iraq in a wider political context.