8 Items

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during a meeting with Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev in Moscow, Russia. April 9, 2018 (Credit: Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via Associated Press). Keywords: Putin, Russia

Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via Associated Press

Analysis & Opinions - The New Republic

The Problem With “Cold War” Comparisons

| Apr. 17, 2018

Disoriented in a historical re-play, as headlines would have it, that seems to have crammed the timeline from the Machtergreifung to the Truman Doctrine into a mere nine months, The New Republic called up prizewinning Cold War historian Arne Westad at Harvard Kennedy School to get his thoughts. Over the course of a short phone call, he offered his take on proxy conflicts, Putin’s motivations, and why Russia is in a weaker position than it may seem.

From left, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrive for the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries in southeastern China on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, Pool)

AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, Pool

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

Has a New Cold War Really Begun?

| Mar. 27, 2018

For about four years now, since Russia’s occupation of Crimeaand China’s launch of the Belt and Road Initiative, there has been much speculation about whether another Cold War between East and West is coming. In the last month alone, headlines have proclaimed that “The New Cold War Is Here,” heralded “Putin’s New Cold War,” and warned that “Trump Is Preparing for a New Cold War.” But are we really returning to the past? Contemporary politics is full of false analogies, and the return of the Cold War seems to be one of them.

Visitors walk past a display of Cold War-era tanks at the Royal Tank Museum in Amman, Jordan on Thursday, February 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Sam McNeil)

AP Photo/Sam McNeil

News - Harvard Gazette

The Cold War’s Endless Ripples

    Author:
  • John Laidler
| Feb. 16, 2018

As an international historian, Odd Arne Westad may be best known for bringing a fresh interpretation to the Cold War in which he argues that the era began much earlier and extended much farther than popularly thought.

Those and other themes are explored in detail in a comprehensive new history of the Cold War written by Westad, the S.T. Lee Professor of U.S.-Asia Relations at Harvard, where he teaches at the Kennedy School.

Graffiti depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S. President Donald Trump, on the walls of a bar in the old town in Vilnius, Lithuania on Saturday, May 4th, 2016. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis, File)

AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis

Analysis & Opinions - Literary Hub

The Mess We're In: On the Inevitability of Post-Cold War Chaos

| Sep. 28, 2017

If the United States won the Cold War, as I think it did, then the Soviet Union, or rather Russia, lost it, and lost it big. The main reason this happened was that its political leaders, in the Communist Party, did not give its own population a political, economic, or social system that was fit for purpose. The Soviet peoples had sacrificed immensely during the 20th century in an attempt at building a state and society of which they could be proud. The vast majority of citizens had believed that their hard work and defense of their achievements had created both a Superpower with a global reach and a better future for themselves. The ability to believe in improvement under Soviet rule, which would also be the pinnacle of Russian achievement, kept doubts away for the majority, even for those who ought to have known better. The crimes of the Soviet state were ignored by rulers and ruled alike, in a mutual conspiracy of silence.

Book - Basic Books

The Cold War: A World History

| Sep. 05, 2017

We tend to think of the Cold War as a bounded conflict: a clash of two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, born out of the ashes of World War II and coming to a dramatic end with the collapse of the Soviet Union. But in this major new work, Bancroft Prize-winning scholar Odd Arne Westad argues that the Cold War must be understood as a global ideological confrontation, with early roots in the Industrial Revolution and ongoing repercussions around the world.

U.S. President George H. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev hold a joint press conference on Oct. 29, 1991 at the Soviet Embassy in Madrid. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

AP Photo/Jerome Delay

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

The Cold War and America’s Delusion of Victory

| Aug. 28, 2017

The Cold War as a system of states ended on a cold and gray December day in Moscow in 1991, when Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Soviet Union out of existence. Communism itself, in its Marxist-Leninist form, had ceased to exist as a practical ideal for how to organize society.