HIST 4575, Fall 2012
T Th 11:00 – 12:15
Room: LA 172
The Cold War defined much of world politics during the second half of the twentieth century. It was a strange kind of war. Given the advent of nuclear weapons, the two principal antagonists during the Cold War – the United States and the Soviet Union – never went to war against each other.
Yet they contested one another in “substitute wars” in the Third World/Global South (Vietnam, Afghanistan). The Cold War was defined by the nuclear arms race and its MAD strategy. It was also defined by relentless ideological competition. Both sides built formidable military alliance system, whose armies faced each other across the Cold War divide. Both sides competed through the export of their popular culture and assaulted each other constantly with propaganda directed at the other side. After 45 years of competition the Soviet Union and its Empire collapsed and the Cold War came to a peaceful conclusion.