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The Cold War

By: Odd Arne Westad
Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
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Publisher's Summary

As Germany and then Japan surrendered in 1945, there was a tremendous hope that a new and much better world could be created from the moral and physical ruins of the conflict. Instead, the combination of the huge power of the USA and USSR and the near-total collapse of most of their rivals created a unique, grim new environment: the Cold War.

For over 40 years the demands of the Cold War shaped the life of almost all of us. There was no part of the world where East and West did not ultimately demand a blind and absolute allegiance and nowhere into which the West and East did not reach. Countries as remote from each other as Korea, Angola and Cuba were defined by their allegiances. Almost all civil wars became proxy conflicts for the superpowers. Europe was seemingly split in two indefinitely.

Arne Westad's remarkable new book is the first to have the distance from these events and the ambition to create a convincing, powerful narrative of the Cold War. The book is genuinely global in its reach and captures the dramas and agonies of a period always overshadowed by the horror of nuclear war and which, for millions of people, was not 'cold' at all: a time of relentless violence, squandered opportunities and moral failure.

This is a book of extraordinary scope and daring. It is conventional to see the first half of the 20th century as a nightmare and the second half as a reprieve. Westad shows that for much of the world, the second half was by most measures even worse.

©2017 Odd Arne Westad (P)2018 Audible, Ltd
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about The Cold War

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Objective and we'll organised

Best overview of the cold war I have read. Doesn't hesitate to point out the atrocities of either side, left me with a greater base for understanding the world today.

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4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Magnificent. Magisterial

Superb all encompassing narrative, with informed reflections. And most grateful for Keeble’s sonorous narration. One of my best books for this year

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2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent

It really needs an update as the world has taken a different direction. We now are faced with new threats from Islam, Putin, the rise of China and the crazy world of Donald Trump. It seems we are all doomed. I am quite depressed.

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2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Rivetting narration effort - the very best

I constantly rewind the background on the great power perspectives on Europe - a story running at blinding speed. Just brilliant!

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1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Tim
  • 12-07-2019

Excellent overview.

25 hours is a short time to cover 50 years of history across the globe in as complex and nuanced a struggle as the cold war, but it is accomplished well here. Westad covers the conflict region by region in each era of the conflict, and if events are truncated for space reasons this allows the listener to grasp the main ebbs and flows of events, ideas and personalities. I feel the book could have benefited from some elaboration on how close nuclear war came both during the Cuban Missile crisis, where an accidental USA U2 overflight of the Soviet Union during maximum tensions could have provoked war but isn't mentioned here, as was the Soviet sub that almost launched nuclear torpedoes on the same day, and during several near-misses and errors subsequently. An excellent overview of the era overall, highly recommend.

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1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Well articulated, in depth

This is a great book, it covers the Cold War in depth and explains cause behind events, not just the event itself. Highly recommended.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Good broad view of the cold war

By writing a history that concerns events in a considerable geographic regions and timeframe. Odd Arn Westad provides a good overview and insight into the political philosophy that drove the cold war decisions. Althought it provides considerable insight on the cold war, for making conclusions on the details of the events mentioned further research may be required. This work would be a good place to start if anyone want's to study the subject. As the breath of knowledge in here is good. This narration by Jonathan Keeble I found to be very well read.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Horrible Narrator

Probably an excellent book but, for me.at least, is one better read than heard only because of the narrator's insistence on doing terrible accents and/or ludicrous impersonations.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic!

This audible “The Cold War”, was a terrific recount of the lead up and demise of the Cold War. Quite interesting, it details how this standoff between superpowers impacted other world armed conflicts, power struggles of leaders / parties and the origin stories of other nations.

Highly recommend if you enjoy modern history and world conflict recounts

Great narrator as well +++

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Objective, detailed analysis

Westad delivered an unbiased, elaborative analysis on both camps in the Cold War, which I genuinely appreciate.

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