In this thought-provoking, controversial study, Brands charges that the responsibility for fomenting the Cold War, and especially for its prolongation, rests heavily on the United States. The Cold War, he argues, was fueled by the endless search for foreign enemies by which Americans need to affirm their identity and basic goodness. The American desire to save the world, according to Brands, determined the fervor with which the Cold War was waged. He highlights the economic aspect, which, he notes, can be seen in retrospect as a massive effort to open foreign markets to U.S. products, and analyzes the Cold War as a long-running ``issue'' in American politics. With sly wit, Brands describes how Mikhail Gorbachev deprived this country of ``an enemy that could hardly have been improved upon'' and discusses the current awkward, enemy-less mode in which the U.S. finds itself as the government strives to develop a new national security agenda and politicians work out new campaign rhetoric to replace obsolete anticommunism. Brands is an assistant professor of history at Texas A & M and the author of Inside the Cold War. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/30/1993 Release date: 09/01/1993 Genre: Nonfiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.