The End of the Cold War

1985 - 1991

3.8 based on 86 ratings & 23 reviews on

Publication date: 14.07.2016
ISBN: 9780330517294
Number of pages: 656


The Cold War had seemed like a permanent fixture in global politics, and until its denouement, no Western or Soviet politician foresaw that the stand-off between the two superpowers - after decades of struggle over every aspect of security, politics, economics and ideas - would end in their lifetimes. Even after March 1985 when Mikhail Gorbachëv became the leader of the Soviet Union it was not preordained that global nuclear Armageddon could or would be averted peaceably.

But just four years later, the Berlin Wall was dismantled and perestroika spread throughout the former Soviet bloc. It was a sea change in world history, which resulted in the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Drawing on pioneering archival research, Robert Service's gripping new investigation of the final years of the Cold War pinpoints the astonishing relationships among President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachëv, Secretary of State George Shultz and the USSR's last Foreign Affairs Minister, Eduard Shevardnadze, who found a way to cooperate during times of extraordinary change around the world. The story is of American pressure and Soviet long-term decline and over-stretch. The End of the Cold War shows how that small, skillful group of statesmen were determined to end the Cold War on their watch. In the process, they irreversibly transformed the global geopolitical landscape.

Authoritative, compelling and meticulously researched, this is political history at its best.

In the media

Well-written and thought-provoking.
Literary Review
Service is known for his meaty biographies of Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky, so it is unsurprising that in this intricate history he brings magnificently to life the "big four" who did most to end the Cold War.
Sunday Telegraph
Our leading historian of the Soviet Union ... magisterial.

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