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The Global Cold War
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  • 15 b/w illus. 10 maps
  • Page extent: 498 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.801 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 909.825
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: n/a
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Cold War
    • World politics--1945-1989
    • World politics--1989-

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521853644 | ISBN-10: 0521853648)

The Global Cold War

Cambridge University Press
9780521853644 - The Global Cold War - Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times - by Odd Arne Westad

The Global Cold War

The Cold War shaped the world we live in today – its politics, economics, and military affairs. This book shows how the globalization of the Cold War during the last century created the foundations for most of the key conflicts we see today, including the War on Terror. It focuses on how the Third World policies of the two twentieth-century superpowers – the United States and the Soviet Union – gave rise to resentments and resistance that in the end helped topple one superpower and still seriously challenge the other. Ranging from China to Indonesia, Iran, Ethiopia, Angola, Cuba, and Nicaragua, it provides a truly global perspective on the Cold War. And by exploring both the development of interventionist ideologies and the revolutionary movements that confronted interventions, this book links the past with the present in ways that no other major work on the Cold War era has succeeded in doing.

ODD ARNE WESTAD is Director of the Cold War Studies Centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he teaches Cold War history and the history of East Asia. He has written or edited ten books on contemporary international history, the most recent of which are Decisive Encounters: The Chinese Civil War, 1946–1950 (2003) and, with Jussi Hanhimäki, The Cold War: A History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts (2003).

The Global Cold War

Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times

Odd Arne Westad

Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo

Cambridge University Press
The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 2RU, UK

Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York
Information on this title:

© Odd Arne Westad 2007

This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception
and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements,
no reproduction of any part may take place without
the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published 2005
First paperback edition 2007

Printed in the United Kingdom at the University Press, Cambridge

A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library

ISBN-13 978-0-521-85364-4 hardback

ISBN-13 978-0-521-70314-7 paperback

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for
the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or
third-party internet websites referred to in this book,
and does not guarantee that any content on such
websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

Ruth First
Sayed Ali Majrooh


List of illustrations page viii
List of mapsix
List of abbreviationsxii
1The empire of liberty: American ideology and foreign interventions8
2The empire of justice: Soviet ideology and foreign interventions39
3The revolutionaries: anticolonial politics and transformations73
4Creating the Third World: the United States confronts revolution110
5The Cuban and Vietnamese challenges158
6The crisis of decolonization: Southern Africa207
7The prospects of socialism: Ethiopia and the Horn250
8The Islamist defiance: Iran and Afghanistan288
9The 1980s: the Reagan offensive331
10The Gorbachev withdrawal and the end of the Cold War364
Conclusion: Revolutions, interventions, and great power collapse396


1.Bolshevik soldiers in 1917. © Bettmann/CORBISpage   47
2.Sukarno addressing supporters in 1950 © Bettmann/CORBIS84
3.Kennedy and Mobutu at the White House in 1963. © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS141
4.Mikoyan with Fidel Castro and Che Guevara in Havana, 1960. © Bettmann/CORBIS.174
5.Che Guevara in Zaire (Congo), probably June 1965.179
6.Poster: “25 de septembro 1975”219
7.MPLA supporters in Luanda, 1975. © Françoise de Mulder/CORBIS221
8.Poster: “25 de junho de 1976: Um ano de independencia”223
9.Mengistu Haile Mariam. © Bettmann/CORBIS252
10.Propaganda pictures distributed by the Afghan resistance on the back of matchboxes, 1983–85.317
11.Propaganda pictures distributed by the Afghan resistance on the back of matchboxes, 1983–85.327
12.Jimmy Carter and Daniel Ortega in Washington in 1979. © Bettmann/CORBIS332
13.Ronald Reagan meeting with Afghan Mujahedin in the Oval Office, 1983. © Bettmann/CORBIS333
14.General Boris Gromov waving to withdrawing Russian troops, Afghanistan, 1989. © Reuters/CORBIS373
15.“Botha, I’m fed up.” South African anticonscription poster against the war in Angola, 1988.391


1.The contiguous continental expansion of the United States up to 1914page   13
2.The Russian empire in 191444–45
3.Decolonisation since 194588
4.US Third World interventions, 1945–65116
5.The United States, the Soviet Union, and Cuba173
6.The US war in Indochina, 1960s182
7.The wars in Southern Africa229
8.The Ethiopian revolution and the Ogaden war258
9.The Soviet Union in Afghanistan314
10.The Nicaraguan revolution and the Contra war342


A book that aims to integrate more than fifty years of the international history of five continents obviously works up a fair amount of debts, intellectual or otherwise. My primary debt is to those many scholars who have written accounts of various aspects of the Cold War in Africa, Asia, and Latin America that I have drawn on for this volume. They have created a big literature, spread over many different fields of investigation, from history to sociology and social anthropology. Each of these fields are fascinating in their own right, and I have written this book in the spirit of helping to connect them further.

Another debt is to the members of my graduate seminar at the LSE over the past four years, especially Alita Byrd, Jeffrey Byrne, Jan Cornelius, Tanya Harmer, Julia Huber, Alex Martinos, Alessandra Migliaccio, David Milne, Claudia Schleipen, Sim Chi-yin, Candace Sobers, Amal Tarhuni, David Walsh, Valdis Wish, Louise Woodroofe, and Cynthia Wu. They and their cohorts made for many good discussions and much good cheer while helping to shape this book.

I am also deeply indebted to those scholars who agreed to read the whole or part of the manuscript as it was being prepared. My coeditor of the Cambridge History of the Cold War, Melvyn Leffler, is a wonderful critic and a great friend, whose reading influenced the manuscript in many different ways (although I think we still disagree on its basic argument). At LSE my colleagues McGregor Knox, Piers Ludlow, Nigel Ashton, and Steven Casey provided important input. During my stay at New York University in the spring of 2002, Marilyn Young read and commented on the first chapter. At the University of California, Santa Barbara, Tsuyoshi Hasegawa and Fred Logevall (now of Cornell University) helped organize a seminar to discuss my main findings in the spring of 2003, and Campbell Craig did the same at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. At Peking University in the spring of 2004 Niu Jun and his colleagues helped make this a better book, and in Moscow Aleksandr Chubarian and his staff at the Institute of General

© Cambridge University Press

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