This book is an attempt to accomplish two things. First, I want to reflect on the origins, evolution and initial character of the early years of the Cold War and to provide a clear account for students and the general reader of how the struggle between Russia and the United States erupted after the end of World War II. A second task (see Chapter 7) is to examine how these Cold War years, the events, the personalities and the crises might inform our understanding of international relations more generally. Many scholars, from different academic areas, have offered insights into the origins of the Cold War. Some are referred to and discussed in the following chapters. There are quite literally thousands of books and articles exploring the very many different dimensions of international politics between 1945 and 1962.
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