Jeremy Isaacs and Taylor Downing - Cold War - Little, Brown Book Group

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Cold War

For Forty-five Years the World Held its Breath

By Jeremy Isaacs and Taylor Downing

  • Paperback
  • £14.99

*A comprehensive and accessible account of a crucial period in recent world history
*Originally published as a tie-in to the critically acclaimed CNN and BBC series

Cold War is the story of the half-century since the end of the Second World War - the story of our lives. Its framework is the confrontation, military and ideological, between two great powers that dominated the world during these years. It is a story of crises and conflict on a global scale: from the Berlin Blockade and the Cuban Missile Crisis, to the tanks in the streets of Warsaw, Budapest and Prague, to spies, student riots and encounters in space.
In Cold War, Jeremy Isaacs and Taylor Downing record epic history through the detail of individual human experience: the recollections not only of statesmen whose decisions led to these momentous events, but also of the ordinary men and women whose lives were bound up in these years of conflict. Cold War is the first comprehensive history for the general reader to benefit from the recent opening of Soviet, East European and Chinese archives as well as formerly classified American documents. In a driving narrative that it both gripping and informative, the true story of the Cold War can at last be told.

Biographical Notes

Jeremy Isaacs was executive producer of Cold War, a 24-part series broadcast on BBC2. Taylor Downing was educated at Cambridge and went on to become Managing Director and Head of History at Flashback Television.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780349120805
  • Publication date: 07 Aug 2008
  • Page count: 560
  • Imprint: Abacus
An excellent one-volume history of forty-five years of superpower rivalry — GUARDIAN
Little, Brown

1983

Taylor Downing
Authors:
Taylor Downing

1983 was a supremely dangerous year - even more dangerous than 1962, the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis. In the US, President Reagan massively increased defence spending, described the Soviet Union as an 'evil empire' and announced his 'Star Wars' programme, calling for a shield in space to defend the US from incoming missiles.Yuri Andropov, the paranoid Soviet leader, saw all this as signs of American aggression and convinced himself that the US really meant to attack the Soviet Union. He put the KGB on alert to look for signs of an imminent nuclear attack. When a Soviet fighter jet shot down Korean Air Lines flight KAL 007 after straying off course over a sensitive Soviet military area, President Reagan described it as a 'terrorist act' and 'a crime against humanity'. The temperature was rising fast.Then at the height of the tension, NATO began a war game called Able Archer 83. In this exercise, NATO requested permission to use the codes to launch nuclear weapons. The nervous Soviets convinced themselves this was no exercise but the real thing.This is an extraordinary and largely unknown Cold War story of spies and double agents, of missiles being readied, of intelligence failures, misunderstandings and the panic of world leaders. With access to hundreds of extraordinary new documents just released in the US, Taylor Downing is able to tell for the first time the gripping but true story of how near the world came to the brink of nuclear war in 1983.1983: The World at the Brink is a real-life thriller.

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