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Best Cold War Books: The Ultimate List

There are countless Cold War courses, tutorials, articles available online, but for some, having a book is still a necessity to learn. This is an up-to-date list of recommended books.

The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War (2019)

 Best Cold War Books: The Ultimate List“The best true spy story I have ever read.”—JOHN LE CARRÉ If anyone could be considered a Russian counterpart to the infamous British double-agent Kim Philby, it was Oleg Gordievsky. The son of two KGB agents and the product of the best Soviet institutions, the savvy, sophisticated Gordievsky grew to see his nation’s communism as both criminal and philistine.
Author(s): Ben Macintyre

Cold War: An International History (2017)

 Best Cold War Books: The Ultimate ListThe decades-long Cold War was more than a bipolar conflict between two Superpowers-it had implications for the entire world. In this accessible, comprehensive retelling, Carole K. Fink provides new insights and perspectives on key events with an emphasis on people, power, and ideas.
Author(s): Carole K. Fink

The Cold War: A Very Short Introduction (2003)

 Best Cold War Books: The Ultimate ListThe massive disorder and economic ruin following the Second World War inevitably predetermined the scope and intensity of the Cold War. But why did it last so long? And what impact did it have on the United States, the Soviet Union, Europe, and the Third World? Finally, how did it affect the broader history of the second half of the twentieth century–what were the human and financial costs?
Author(s): Robert J. McMahon

The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times (2007)

 Best Cold War Books: The Ultimate ListThe Cold War between the former Soviet Union and the United States indelibly shaped the world we live in today–especially international politics, economics, and military affairs. This volume shows how the globalization of the Cold War during the 20th century created the foundations for most of today’s key international conflicts, including the “war on terror.” Odd Arne Westad examines the origins and course of Third World revolutions and the ideologies that drove the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.
Author(s): Odd Westad

The Clever Teen’s Guide to The Cold War (The Clever Teen Guides) (2017)

 Best Cold War Books: The Ultimate ListFrom the end of World War Two to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 the world lived within the shadow of the Cold War. For almost half a century the East and the West eyed each other with suspicion and often hostility.
Author(s): Felix Rhodes

America’s Cold War: The Politics of Insecurity (2012)

 Best Cold War Books: The Ultimate ListThe Cold War dominated world affairs during the half century following World War II. It ended in victory for the United States, yet it was a costly triumph, claiming trillions of dollars in defense spending and the lives of nearly 100,000 U.S. soldiers.
Author(s): Campbell Craig, Fredrik Logevall

The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy (2010)

 Best Cold War Books: The Ultimate ListThe first full account of how the Cold War arms race finally came to a close, this riveting narrative history sheds new light on the people who struggled to end this era of massive overkill, and examines the legacy of the nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons that remain a threat today. Drawing on memoirs, interviews in both Russia and the US, and classified documents from deep inside the Kremlin, David E.
Author(s): David Hoffman

Simple History: The Cold War (2016)

 Best Cold War Books: The Ultimate ListThe Iron Curtain and nuclear missiles. The Cold War was a scary situation. As the Capitalist West faced off against the Communist East, the world anticipated a nuclear showdown. Witness the Berlin Wall – a symbol of the great divide. See the Cold War conflicts. Be amazed at super spy gadgets, and marvel at the space race. Simple History, telling the story without information overload.
Author(s): Daniel Turner

Origins of the Cold War: The Novikov, Kennan, and Roberts ‘Long Telegrams’ of 1946 (1993)

 Best Cold War Books: The Ultimate ListIn September 1946, the Soviet ambassador to the United States, Nikolai Novikov, sent a 19-page cable to Foreign Minister Molotov describing the likely direction of U.S. foreign policy in the postwar period. Recently discovered in the Soviet archives, the Novikov telegram parallels the famous “Long Telegram” of U.S.
Author(s): Kenneth M. Jensen

The War State: The Cold War Origins Of The Military-Industrial Complex And The Power Elite, 1945-1963 (2013)

 Best Cold War Books: The Ultimate ListToday when you factor in the interest on the national debt from past wars and total defense expenditures the United States spends almost 40% of its federal budget on the military. It accounts for over 46% of total world arms spending. Before World War II it spent almost nothing on defense and hardly anyone paid any income taxes. You can’t have big wars without big government.
Author(s): Michael Swanson

The Cold War: A History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts (2004)

 Best Cold War Books: The Ultimate ListThe Cold War contains a selection of official and unofficial documents which provide a truly multi-faceted account of the entire Cold War era. The experiences of the East Berlin housewife are placed alongside those of the South African student; the participation of political leaders from Europe and the Third World stand juxtaposed.
Author(s): Jussi M. Hanhimaki, Odd Arne Westad

Latin America’s Cold War (2012)

 Best Cold War Books: The Ultimate ListFor Latin America, the Cold War was anything but cold. Nor was it the so-called “long peace” afforded the world’s superpowers by their nuclear standoff.
Author(s): Hal Brands

The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters (2013)

 Best Cold War Books: The Ultimate ListDuring the Cold War, freedom of expression was vaunted as liberal democracy’s most cherished possession—but such freedom was put in service of a hidden agenda.
Author(s): Frances Stonor Saunders

Best Cold War Books: The Ultimate List

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Library Genesis and download some cold war books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism

Author(s): Ann Coulter
ID: 2322603, Publisher: Crown Forum, Year: 5 Oct 2004, Size: 329 Kb, Format: epub

The Spy in Moscow Station: A Counterspy’s Hunt for a Deadly Cold War Threat

Author(s): Eric Haseltine
ID: 2363491, Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books, Year: 30 Apr 2019, Size: 2 Mb, Format: epub

Empire of Secrets: British Intelligence, the Cold War, and the Twilight of Empire

Author(s): Calder Walton
ID: 2393671, Publisher: ABRAMS Press, Year: 29 Oct 2014, Size: 5 Mb, Format: epub

Please note that this booklist is not errorless. Some books are absolutely hot items according to Chicago Tribune, others are composed by unknown authors. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant resources you could recommend? Leave a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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