A Brief History of the Cold War by Colonel John Hughes-Wilson

The author argues that the Cold War’s beginning was not in 1945 but in 1917. Some of his other judgments are even more controversial. He reveals that the Cuban missile crisis was not the only time during the Cold War when the United States went on DEFCON 3 alert, he believes Diem’s assassination in Vietnam was a CIA operation fully authorized by Kennedy, and he even believes the JFK assassination was carried out by the Mafia and that Oswald was indeed a patsy. Other judgments are more conventional but equally memorable: Reagan was a brilliant Cold Warrior who deserves to be remembered for that if nothing else, Bush was an incompetent bungler who hummed and hawed indecisively as the Soviet Union unraveled before his eyes, and Gorbachev… “Gorbachev stands as an almost heroic figure, who did more to end the Cold War than any other individual, although perhaps not in the way he had envisaged.” This is the best book to date I have read on the Cold War, and the author is not an American.

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