Reagan, Bush, Gorbachev: Revisiting the End of the Cold War

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2008 - History - 180 pages

This work is a contemporary chronicle of the Cold War and offers an analysis of policy and rhetoric of the United States and Soviet Union during the 1980s. The authors examine the assumptions that drove political decisions and the rhetoric that defined the relationship as the Soviet Union began to implode.

This work demonstrates that while the subsequent unraveling of the Soviet empire was an unintended side effect of Mikhail Gorbachev's reforms, termination of the Cold War was not. Ronald Reagan deserves full credit for recognizing Gorbachev's sincerity and his determination to change the direction of Soviet policies. For this, Reagan felt the full wrath of anticommunist hawks for doing business with a communist leader. But it was Gorbachev who concluded the superpowers had become mesmerized by ideological myths which ruled out any meaningful discussions of a possible accommodation of political issues for more than four decades. The evidence is compelling that Gorbachev himself broke the Cold War's ideological straight jacket that had paralyzed Moscow and Washington's ability to resolve their differences. Though politically weakened, Gorbachev conceded nothing to U.S. military superiority. Never did he negotiate from a position of weakness. In doing so, the last Soviet leader faced even greater political and physical risk. Without Gorbachev the end of the Cold War could have played out very differently and perhaps with great danger.


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The Carter Years
2 Ronald Reagan and the Second Cold War
3 Reagan Initiatives and Soviet Turmoil
4 The AntiSoviet Crusade Continues
5 The Reagan Doctrine
6 The ReaganGorbachev Détente
7 The Vanishing Cold War
8 In Retrospect
Selected Bibliography

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About the author (2008)

Norman A. Graebner is Randolph P. Compton Professor of History and Public Affairs Emeritus, the University of Virginia and is the recipient of the university's highest honor, the Thomas Jefferson Award. He is an internationally acknowledged authority on United States and American diplomacy. He was a Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University and a Thomas Jefferson Visiting Scholar at Downing College, Cambridge. He is the author, co-author, or editor of more than thirty books and some 130 articles, essays, and book chapters, including Empire on the Pacific: A Study in American Continental Expansion (1955, 1983), Foundations of American Foreign Policy: A Realist Appraisal from Franklin to McKinley (1985), and America as a World Power: A Realist Appraisal from Wilson to Reagan (1984).

Richard Dean Burns is Professor Emeritus and former chair of the History Department at California State University, Los Angeles. He has authored and edited more than a dozen books and two dozen articles covering arms control, diplomatic history, international law, and American foreign policy. Most recently, he co-authored The Quest for Missile Defense, 1944-2003 (2004). His other publications include an edited three-volume, Encyclopedia of Arms Control and Disarmament (1993), a co-edited three-volume Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy, Second Edition (2002), an edited three-volume Chronological History of United States Foreign Relations (2002), and Cold War Chronology, 1917-1992 (2005).

Joseph M. Siracusa is Professor of International Diplomacy and Director of Global Studies in the School of Global Studies, Social Science and Planning, at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology where he is a specialist in nuclear politics and global security. A native of Chicago and long-time resident of Australia, he is internationally known for his writings on nuclear history, diplomacy, and presidential politics. He is also a frequent political affairs commentator in the Australian media, including ABC Radio National. His books include A History of United States Foreign Policy, Depression to Cold War: A History of America from Herbert Hoover to Ronald Reagan (with David G. Coleman), Presidential Profiles: The Kennedy Years, and Real-World Nuclear Deterrence: The Making of International Strategy (with David G. Coleman).

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