This book has sought to offer an account of the origins of the Cold War that does two things. First, to provide a relatively straightforward account of the Cold War and its origins; one that is not simply a narrative but which emphasizes certain key themes. Second, to highlight the importance of the history of the early years of the Cold War for understanding the pattern of international relations after 1945. In this final chapter the focus shifts to the resonances of the origins and eventual shape of the Cold War for international politics more broadly. My central aim here is to illuminate the shadows those events cast over the world today and contemporary conflicts - not merely the current ‘war on terror’ (though certainly also that) but the ideational and geopolitical challenges that the twenty-first century seems likely to throw up in general. However, before I do this, I need to clarify what can and cannot be expected from such parallels and in particular to draw out my understanding of what international history and international relations from the past might tell us about our present.
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