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1. Cold War Historiography
About this Lecture
In this lecture, we look at the Cold War as a whole and also explore how the Cold War has been viewed by historians over the years. In particular, we will focus on: (i) the various periods of the Cold War, including its origins and escalation from 1945 to 1963, the period of detente from 1963 to 1979, the period of renewed escalation from 1979 to 1984, and then the period of genuine detente from 1984 to 1989; (ii) why it is important to learn about the origins of the Cold War in order to study it; (iii) the global nature of the Cold War; (iv) what the Cold War can't explain in this period; and (v) how the historiography of the Cold War has developed, including mention of the Orthodox, Revisionist and Post-Revision schools of thought.
In this course, Professor Andrew Preston (University of Cambridge) discusses the origins of the Cold War from 1945 until 1950. We start by looking at the Cold War as a whole and also explore how the Cold War has been viewed by historians over the years. After this, we have a look at the tension between the superpowers after the Second World War from 1945 to 1946. Then, we explore how the US effectively declared Cold War on the Soviet Union from 1946 to 1947 by putting itself on a permanent wartime footing. In the next lecture, we explore the early flashpoints of the Cold War from 1947 to 1948, including the Berlin Blockade. In the penultimate lecture, we have a look how in 1950 the Cold War became increasingly militarised and globalised. In the final lecture, we look at the question which has captured the attention of so many historians - who was to blame for the outbreak of the Cold War.
Professor Andrew Preston is Professor of American History at the University of Cambridge. He specialises in the history of American foreign relations, primarily since 1898. He has published widely on this subject, including his books The War Council: McGeorge Bundy, the NSC, and Vietnam, Sword of the Spirit; Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy; and American Foreign Relations: A Very Short Introduction.
Cite this Lecture
Preston, A. (2022, May 24). Cold War - Origins, 1945-50 - Cold War Historiography [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/cold-war-origins-1945-50/cold-war-historiography
Preston, A. "Cold War - Origins, 1945-50 – Cold War Historiography." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 24 May 2022, https://www.massolit.io/courses/cold-war-origins-1945-50/cold-war-historiography