Odd Arne Westad's The Cold War: A World History is a considerable achievement. It is, in every respect, a world history. Its 22 chapters cover the globe. It is well written and accessible, and assured in its treatment of the many complex issues it deals with. Its judgments are judicious and supported by evidence. Westad is particularly strong in showing the variety of ways in which the Cold War affected different regions and different aspects of world politics. He gives a good sense of the changes taking place in the world during the Cold War—decolonization and globalization, for example. There is nothing like this book in the literature on the Cold War, and it is hard to imagine a better single comprehensive history being produced in the near future.

In an earlier book, The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times (New York: Cambridge University...

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