On the Brink: The Dramatic Saga of How the Reagan Administration Changed the Course of History and Won the Cold Wa

Jay Winik, Author Simon & Schuster $29.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-684-80982-3
The thesis that President Ronald Reagan's administration, through its embrace of military confrontation and brinksmanship, hastened the breakup of the Soviet Union and decisively won the Cold War for the U.S. receives a fresh twist in Winik's intensely dramatic, personal narrative history. He credits four members of the Reagan team, all renegade Democrats, with translating the President's hard-line policy into effective diplomacy. The four are Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Perle, arms control negotiator, supporter of Star Wars and of the deployment of nuclear missiles in Europe; Jeane Kirkpatrick, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; human rights advocate Max Kampelman; and Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams. Drawing on more than 200 interviews with key participants, private papers, classified documents and memos of conversations, Winik, a professor at the University of Maryland's School of Public Affairs, also provides close-ups of Carter, Mondale, Kissinger, Caspar Weinberger, George Schultz, Paul Nitze and others. His engrossing book is certain to fuel debate. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
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