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The Cold War effectively began in 1945, as soon as Americans and Russians encountered each other in the heart of Europe.  But nobody, not least Stalin, wanted the Cold War. The political leaders all attempted to negotiate a period of detente, but were thrust into ideological, military, and economic confrontation by the circumstances of the end of the war, the development of nuclear weapons, and the diametrically opposed natures of the Soviet and American systems. This account thus takes a fresh outlook, differing with both the traditionalist and revisionists.  

Michael Dobbs has spent much of his career as a foreign correspondent, mainly for the Washington Post for which he covered the collapse of communism. His other books include Down with Big Brother: The Fall of The Soviet Empire (1997), and his study of the Cuban missile crisis, One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War (2009). Six Months in 1945 (2012) completes his cold war trilogy and provides thought for the future as well as reflections on the Cold War era.

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