Try an audiobook on us

The Cold War

A World History
Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
Length: 25 hrs and 47 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (184 ratings)
£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

As Germany and then Japan surrendered in 1945, there was a tremendous hope that a new and much better world could be created from the moral and physical ruins of the conflict. Instead, the combination of the huge power of the USA and USSR and the near-total collapse of most of their rivals created a unique, grim new environment: the Cold War.

For over 40 years the demands of the Cold War shaped the life of almost all of us. There was no part of the world where East and West did not ultimately demand a blind and absolute allegiance and nowhere into which the West and East did not reach. Countries as remote from each other as Korea, Angola and Cuba were defined by their allegiances. Almost all civil wars became proxy conflicts for the superpowers. Europe was seemingly split in two indefinitely.

Arne Westad's remarkable new book is the first to have the distance from these events and the ambition to create a convincing, powerful narrative of the Cold War. The book is genuinely global in its reach and captures the dramas and agonies of a period always overshadowed by the horror of nuclear war and which, for millions of people, was not 'cold' at all: a time of relentless violence, squandered opportunities and moral failure.

This is a book of extraordinary scope and daring. It is conventional to see the first half of the 20th century as a nightmare and the second half as a reprieve. Westad shows that for much of the world, the second half was by most measures even worse.

©2017 Odd Arne Westad (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    141
  • 4 Stars
    33
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    135
  • 4 Stars
    27
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    130
  • 4 Stars
    27
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Full picture

Gives an encompassing overview. Gives details to support claims. Not free of personal interpretation and views, which make it interesting to listen to and engaged.

18 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best books I've ever read

What an excellent book. I know my political history quite well and even I learned plenty here. about as comprehensive a general overview gets while staying clear of sweeping generalisations or geting bogged down in needless detail. Also the book is read by my favourite narrator so that goes in its favour too. I highly recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating

I am about half way through and the book just becomes more and more fascinating. I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the interpretation but it is thought provoking and illuminating. I guess the one thing which really makes me give 5 stars is the fact that the book seems to be quite even handed and not written from a purely USA perspective. When I get to the end I will review this review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great book. Reasonably balanced.

Excellent book. A few parts dry, but mostly very enjoyable and covers nearly every corner of the world.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

world history

detailed account of life during the cold war not easy to recognise if you lived during it

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wide ranging and in-depth

A great book for someone looking for a comprehensive history of the 'conflict'. The level of detail over such a long period is truly brilliant

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Solid review of the cold war

Well written and detailed explanation of the early portion of the cold war. I thought that the writer seemed to pay to little attention to the Reagan era and glossed over as though it was a editor driven bolt on.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

You'll learn a lot

If you didn't know much about The Cold War, you must read this book. It is easy to follow and the narrator is great.

I learned a lot about the Cold War and how the USSR and USA influenced many countries of the world with their ideologies.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very informative but possibly a little too long.

Very informative and I've learned a great deal about the subject. However, despite the excellent performance, it seemed just that bit too long. I'm pleased I listened to it, but won't be listening again.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • OL
  • Hanwell, London United Kingdom
  • 30-11-18

Thought provoking

An excellent book giving me a radically different personal perspective on the years I grew up, and challenging me to reappraisal my assumptions.