Talking about history, one can never be sure whether he is dealing with truth or lies, with facts or with superstitions. There are always alternatives in historiography, and truth is probably always somewhere in between. At least, this seems to be true when the Cold War period is discussed. In search of objective truth one can find different opinions, sometimes absolutely opposite by character, and the pole of preference does not depend on the origin of the historian. At least, it does not always depend, because probably in the schools of the former USSR children are taught to see the facts in one light, while in the United States the focus cannot in any way be the same. But even in the USA there are different theories, and it seems rational to be aware of all of them. Alan Brinkley assures the readers of that necessity, and offers a keen and objective interpretation of well-known historical events. Orthodox accounts tend to put the entire blame on the Soviet Union, while revisionists find the roots of the conflict totally in the actions of the United States. Finally, post-revisionists managed to find a sound balance between justifications, and have demonstrated how both states made their contributions to this decades-long confrontation. In particular, historians have long searched for an answer why and how this war finally came to an end. Alan Brinkley provides a profound view in depth of historical context and offers a groundbreaking picture of the situation based on the new perspectives of the past which stimulate reexamination of the main events.
In fact, it is now clear that hostility between these two powerful states was always mutual and did not appear suddenly. On the contrary, it began to grow short after World War I and resulted from ideological incompatibility as well as numerous political decisions, economic infusions and social controversies. “The alliance of convenience and necessity against Germany temporarily muted the tensions, but disagreement over the timing of the second front and antagonistic visions of postwar Europe pushed the two nations into a “cold war” only a few months after the victory over the Axis,”ť Brinkley (846) reminds. From that on the two nations were in a constant fear of military conflict to turn from potential to real. In the United States communism was announced the greatest social evil to be contained by all means. Soviet threat was an impressive ideological target to fight against in the United States as well as in Europe, and after the communist victory in China the nation and its leaders were terrified even more. By Brinkley (843), “In international affairs as much as in domestic reform, the optimistic liberalism of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations dictated a more active and aggressive approach to dealing with the nation’s problems.”ťAt the same time, the role of the world leader was the American foremost goal, and the Soviet Union was in fact the most serious obstacle on that way. Therefore, Joseph Stalin kept suspicious and led espionage against the capitalist intervention into his country.