Covering the development of the Cold War from the mid-twentieth century to the present day, The Cold War 1949–2016 explores the struggle for world domination that took place between the United States and the Soviet Union following the Second World War. The conflict between these two superpowers shaped global history for decades, and this book examines how this conflict developed into a nuclear arms race, spurred much of the wider world towards war and eventually resulted in the collapse of the Soviet empire.

In this accessible yet comprehensive volume, Martin McCauley examines not only the actions of the United States and the Soviet Union but also the effects upon and involvement of other regions such as Africa, Central America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Key themes include the Sino-Soviet relationship and the global ambitions of the newly formed People’s Republic of China, the rise and fall of communism in countries such as Cuba, Angola and Ethiopia, the US defeat in Vietnam, the gradual unravelling of the Soviet Union and the changing shape of the post–Cold War world.

Providing a wide-ranging overview of the main turning points of the conflict and illustrated throughout with photographs and maps, this is essential reading for all students of the Cold War and its lasting global impact.

chapter 1|11 pages

Origins of the Cold War

chapter 2|27 pages

Cold War


chapter 3|30 pages

To the brink and back


chapter 5|24 pages

The Sino-Soviet schism

chapter 6|10 pages

Cuba, Vietnam and Indonesia

chapter 7|11 pages

The war of cultures

chapter 8|4 pages

The Prague Spring

chapter 9|42 pages



chapter 10|7 pages

The Islamic challenge

Iran and Afghanistan

chapter 11|2 pages


chapter 12|31 pages



chapter 13|65 pages

Gorbachev and the end of the Cold War

chapter 14|17 pages

The judgement

chapter 15|46 pages

The post–Cold War world