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Strategic Long-Term Propaganda

In the opening lines of Cold Warriors, Duncan White notes that “between February and May 1955, a group covertly funded by the Central Intelligence Agency launched a secret weapon into Communist territory”: balloons carrying copies of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. This was perhaps the . . . . Continue Reading »

How to Lose a Cold War
(and Why)

North by Northwest’s style is so impeccable, its tone so effervescent, that many viewers fail to grasp the film’s seriousness. Ernest ­Lehman, the screenwriter, did not help when he described the film as an insubstantial caper in the vein of James Bond, “something that has wit, . . . . Continue Reading »

Briefly Noted

With God in America: The Spiritual Legacy of an Unlikely Jesuit by walter j. ciszek, s.j. loyola, 264 pages, $19.95 With God in America completes the triptych of the legendary Walter J. Ciszek, S.J., an American missionary priest who endured twenty-three years in the Soviet Gulag. While the . . . . Continue Reading »

Mr. and Mrs. Fearmonger

The Cold World They Made:The Strategic Legacy of Roberta and Albert Wohlstetter by ron robin harvard, 365 pages, $35 Today all but forgotten, Roberta and Albert Wohlstetter were once the First Couple of Armageddon. During the Cold War, with World War III seemingly just around the corner, they played . . . . Continue Reading »

The Realism We Need

What Hitchens fails to spot is that the Soviet Union was not just about Communism, or about Russia. It was an empire. One hundred twenty million-plus of the Soviet Union’s two hundred eighty-six-million population were non-Russians. Almost none of them were Soviet by choice, any more than the one hundred million people in the other Warsaw Pact countries wanted to be under Soviet tutelage. To view the collapse of the evil empire solely from a Russian point of view is therefore misleading. Continue Reading »

The Cold War Is Over

The misreading of Russia’s geopolitical situation is especially sad because for the first time in many decades there is much to hope for in Moscow. Out of utopian misery has come the prospect of rebirth. It is as yet incipient. But I see great possibilities in it, in the many once-blighted . . . . Continue Reading »

Beyond Cuba and Castro

Thawing relations with Cuba was the right thing to do. We’re a long, long way from the early 1960s when Cuba was a Soviet satellite and the prospect of nuclear missiles ninety miles from Miami posed a direct threat to our national security. We’re also a long way from the 1970s when Cuba was trying to export revolution to Angola and elsewhere. Fidel Castro is dying. His Marxist dream has been dying for more than twenty years. There’s nothing about Cuba in 2014 that poses a risk to American interests. Continue Reading »

Ronald Reagan: Cold Warrior and Nuclear Abolitionist

In recent years, as scholars have explored Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy with greater access to primary-source documents, something utterly baffling to the conventional wisdom of his time (and ours) has come into focus: Reagan, determined to win the Cold War, was also eager to rid the world of nuclear weapons. And while many, in his time and ours, imagine those to have been incompatible goals, the fortieth president of the United States was capable of holding both ideas in his head at once, and acting toward both ends. Continue Reading »

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