Cold War Endgame: Oral History, Analysis, Debates

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William Curti Wohlforth
Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003 - History - 346 pages

Cold War Endgame is the product of an unusual collaborative effort by policy makers and scholars to promote better understanding of how the Cold War ended. It includes the transcript of a conference, hosted by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Soviet Foreign Minister Alexander Bessmertnykh, in which high-level veterans of the Bush and Gorbachev governments shared their recollections and interpretations of the crucial events of 1989–91: the revolutions in Eastern Europe; the reunification of Germany; the Persian Gulf War; the August 1991 coup; and the collapse of the USSR.

Taking this testimony as a common reference and drawing on the most recent evidence available, six chapters follow in which historians and political scientists explore the historical and theoretical puzzles presented by this extraordinary transition. This discussion features a debate over the relative importance of ideas, personality, and economic pressures in explaining the Cold War's end.

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Forging a New Relationship
The Unification of Germany
The Persian Gulf War

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About the author (2003)

William C. Wohlforth is Associate Professor of Government at Dartmouth. He is the editor of Witnesses to the End of the Cold War (1996) and author of The Elusive Balance: Power and Perceptions During the Cold War (1993).

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