Historicizing the Cold War

TitleHistoricizing the Cold War
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsIriye, Akira
EditorImmermann, Richard H., and Petra Goedde
Book TitleThe Oxford Handbook of the Cold War
PublisherOxford University Press

This chapter discusses the process of historicizing the Cold War. It explains that the Cold War had no influence on major world affairs from the late nineteenth century onward and that, under such a view, the Cold War can only be considered as but a fraction of world history. It argues that if the Cold War is to be historicized, it is important to broaden the perspective and relativize the geopolitical story against the background of many other stories which comprise history. The chapter explores the role or contribution of the Cold War in the three sub-periods after World War 2: 1945–70, 1970–90, and 1990 to the present.


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