9780316518475 / 0316518476

The Fifty Year Wound: The True Price of America's Cold War Victory


Publisher:Little, Brown



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About the book:

America won the cold war, what Derek Leebaert calls a "muffled world war" in The Fifty-Year Wound, but the cost of victory--psychically, morally, and financially--was beyond frightful. The Soviet Union collapsed peacefully; civilization survived "more or less" intact; the world was "liberalized," and the cold war period was the longest "great power" peace since Rome fell. But a half-century "pattern of alarm" and the "industry of national security" curbed freedoms, diverted talent into "fundamentally unproductive" fields, postponed research, "trammeled" investment, and caused a national "waste of spirit." As well, Leebaert suggests the Cuban missiles were primarily psychological threats; American involvement in Vietnam led to OPEC's economic muscle; Kennedy was perhaps the most hawkish of post-WWII presidents, and that the events of September 11 were a direct cold war legacy. This massive, comprehensive, and stern but guardedly optimistic overview will reward the determined reader with its insights and hundreds of telling, sometimes shocking, details. --H. O'Billovitch

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