The period of Attlee’s Labour governments has been seen as the time of the revival of the ‘special relationship’ between Britain and the United States, a relationship revived to face the threat of the Soviet Union at the time of what Walter Lippmann, the American journalist, described in 1947 as the ‘Cold War’. Like Neville Chamberlain’s policy for the ‘appeasement’ of Europe in the late 1930s, myths and legends have proliferated about the origins of the Cold War. ‘Inevitability’ has been invoked; ‘ineluctable forces’ mentioned; ‘accident’ offered as an explanation. The Cold War was a name, given in hindsight, to what appeared as a Soviet threat, first to some British, and then afterwards to American statesmen. The phrase, in inverted commas, began to appear in British official minutes around 1948. By 1949 it was accepted, and written in small letters.
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