The Cold War book cover
Diederick J. Vandewalle, Associate Professor of Government

For my new, upcoming course entitled "Perception and Misperception: The Politics of the Cold War," I am finally reading John Lewis Gaddis's The Cold War: A New History. Inspired in part by the fact that I've visited virtually all of the major Cold War flashpoints Gaddis discusses in his book—several in part due to Dartmouth alumni trips—I'm intrigued by how to convey to my students, for whom the Cold War is virtually ancient history, the complexity and dangers of the five-decade long confrontation between the U.S. and the Soviet Union after World War II. Gaddis's The Cold War does an outstanding job in summarizing these complexities, the dangers of the confrontation, as well as the competing views of the two adversaries as the Cold War unfolded...and ended.