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The Cold War

A World History
Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
Length: 25 hrs and 47 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (24 ratings)
Non-member price: $46.83
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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

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-11-2018

One of the best books I've ever read

What an excellent book. I know my political history quite well and even I learned plenty here. about as comprehensive a general overview gets while staying clear of sweeping generalisations or geting bogged down in needless detail. Also the book is read by my favourite narrator so that goes in its favour too. I highly recommend.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-05-2018

Full picture

Gives an encompassing overview. Gives details to support claims. Not free of personal interpretation and views, which make it interesting to listen to and engaged.

19 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Philadelphus
  • 02-04-2019

Very interesting but would prefer different narrator

This is an extremely interesting book, placing the Cold War in a global histrical context and not strongly beating the drum for either side. A very complex tale is told clearly and it’s never dull.

I nearly sent it back however, when Joanathan Keble mispronounced the author’s name - he said Arn instead of Arne. In fact I nearly didn’t get the book in the first place because of the way he generally mangles non-English words. How can you turn Liebknecht into Libnickt? The book was, however, gripping enough for me to persist, albeit at times with gritted teeth.

Audiobook publishers - please either stop using him for international history or get him a pronounciation coach.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Steve Pearman
  • 19-04-2019

Do Not Buy!!!

As someone who loves history and the Cold War.... I just couldn’t get into this as the narrator has a whistle with the letter S which is extremely off putting and annoying.

I read a review which stated this and thought oh don’t be so stupid it can’t be that bad. But it’s really like listening to someone whistle badly for hours on end.

What a waste of money!!!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-04-2019

Easy to digest

Easy to. Listen and very clear. Would recommend to anyone for a brief update and getting the big picture of cold war

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  • Reluctant Sceptic
  • 12-04-2019

Excellent listen.

Very much enjoyed the whole book with the narration just right. As someone whose been around since the very late 50’s, the book provides the background to the Cold War as well as detailing the headlines and highlights one recalls. Not in any way heavy reading... surprisingly.

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  • Jonathan
  • 26-02-2019

Efficient, beautifully crafted history.

This tautly written book manages to balance a fairly comprehensive overview whilst interspersing little pieces of forensic detail throughout. It’s perfectly paced and always stays interesting - whilst not an ‘entertaining’ read it’s fairly engrossing. The audiobook is highly recommended thanks to the flawless narration which offers a straightforward matter of fact tone, but injects some real emotion into the many quotations used throughout.

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  • fadster
  • 14-02-2019

Fantastic read for all the Cold War history buffs.

Kept listening at every possible minute. Really insightful, well paced and well narrated.
Only thing I thought could have been avoided was narrators change of accent when quoting Americans.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-02-2019

Really good history.

A wide ranging and in-depth account of a fascinating chapter of history told in a balanced and objective manner enhanced by excellent narration.

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  • Philip
  • 04-02-2019

A masterful tour de force

Westad makes accessible and understandable a tangled and often complex period in modern history. The reasons why the Cold War began, endured for so long yet ultimately disappeared almost overnight are well laid out in this authoritative work. And Keeble's narration is, as always, totally engaging. Five stars!