A Constructed Peace: The Making of the European Settlement, 1945-1963 By Marc Trachtenberg

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    People still think of the Cold War as a simple two-sided conflict, a kind of gigantic arm wrestle on a global scale, writes Marc Trachtenberg, but this view fails to grasp the essence of what was really going on. America and Russia were both willing to live with the status quo in Europe. What then could have generated the kind of conflict that might have led to a nuclear holocaust? This is the great puzzle of the Cold War, and in this book, the product of nearly twenty years of work, Trachtenberg tries to solve it.

    The answer, he says, has to do with the German question, especially with the German nuclear question. These issues lay at the heart of the Cold War, and a relatively stable peace took shape only when they were resolved. The book develops this argument by telling a story--a complex story involving many issues of detail, but focusing always on the central question of how a stable international system came into being during the Cold War period. A Constructed Peace will be of interest not just to students of the Cold War, but to people concerned with the problem of war and peace, and in particular with the question of how a stable international order can be constructed, even in our own day. A Constructed Peace: The Making of the European Settlement, 1945-1963

    Very informative read about the inner workings of US-USSR policies and strategies in the ending days of the second world war. Author himself (I had him as a professor at UCLA) has admitted to a small handfull (3 or 4 probably) of contradictions in his work...which is why I only give it four stars. Outside of this work the man could lecture for a week straight on just one chapter in this book. 0691001839 History of great-power relations from 1945-1962, it's probably the best history of the early Cold War in Europe I've read. 0691001839 Backlog 0691001839 I enjoyed this book and what it conveys. It does a good job of showing the swirling political and military dance that existed in Europe between ‘45 and ‘63. The arguments written are often repeated with slight variation as I suspect working diplomacy to be guilty of as well. A large portion of the second half of this book is given to the proliferation or restriction of nuclear weaponry of Western European nations by the US and how the Soviets felt about that. Again I enjoyed it as I now understand the importance of Berlin as locus for Cold War sentiments and how smartly Kennedy played Khrushchev. 0691001839