|dc.description.abstract||In this overview of the history of the Cold War, from its origins at the end of World War II to its conclusion in 1989, Federico Romero maps out the different phases of the conflict and introduces the major historical debates. A narrative in chronological format, the book is a tightly structured argument about what mattered most, in different moments and places, throughout the long history of the conflict: superpower visions and strategies, ideological and cultural representations, decolonization and competing modernizing projects, economic globalization as well as generational and social change.
In recent years Cold War history has expanded to include not only the results of multi-archival research in many Communist countries and nations of the global South, but also new themes, approaches and methodologies. Transnational issues and non-state actors, cultural shifts and technological transformations, social history and political economy have reshaped our understanding of a conflict, and an era, that can no longer be analyzed only through the lens of international politics. As a consequence, our understanding of the Cold War has grown in reach and depth. Historical interpretations can be recast with broader scope, but they also need a new coherence.
Originating from the 20th century crisis of Europe (which it finally brought to an end) the Cold War evolved and into a complex set of shifting relationships and confrontations, and was terminated by larger trends of global historical change that bypassed it, besieged it and eventually emptied it out. However, its increasingly global dimension did not entirely do away with its centre of gravity, which remained located in the division of Europe. It was in this fundamental tension that the end of the Cold War can be understood, while its contradictory legacy remains inherently plural and contested.||en