Cold War | Wilson Center

Cold War

“If you want Peace…”: Orwellian Detours on the Path to a Politics of Peace in the early Cold War

Cold war history is replete with moments of international crises and confrontations.  But when looking closely at the archival record, one cannot help but notice how ubiquitous the talk of peace was in international relations.  By shining the archival spotlight on peace rather than war, Petra Goedde shows that a transnational politics of peace emerged that involved both high level diplomats and grassroots activist

2019: Melancholy, Remorse, and Resignation in a Year of Communist Anniversaries

2019 is a year of anniversaries in the history of global communism: the seventieth anniversaries of the founding of the German Democratic Republic and the People’s Republic of China and the sixtieth anniversary of revolutionary Cuba. Drawing upon his book, Vanguard of the Revolution: The Global Idea of the Communist Party, A.

The Interrogation Rooms of the Korean War: The Untold History

The Korean War is often synonymous with the 38th parallel and the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on the Korean peninsula.  What happens if we tell the story of the Korean War from inside the interrogation room? Professor Monica Kim tells the story of two generations from both sides of the Pacific creating and navigating a landscape of interrogation, transforming the Korean War into a global history about warfare, decolonization, and sovereignty. 

Polish Perspectives on the Rapacki Plan for the Denuclearization of Central Europe

On October 2, 1957, speaking before the United Nations General Assembly, Polish Foreign Minister Adam Rapacki proposed the denuclearization of Central Europe. Specifically, Rapacki stated that if East Germany and West Germany denuclearized, so too would Poland. In a coordinated move, Czechoslovakia pledged its willingness to join the endeavor. Taken together, the proposal to denuclearize these four Central European states became known as the “Rapacki Plan.”[1]


The Soviet Side of the Cultural Cold War

In Enemy Number One: The United States of America in Soviet Ideology and Propaganda, 1945-1959, I analyzed how Soviet people adapted their worldview to postwar Soviet ideology, which almost overnight turned a recent friend and ally, the United States, into enemy number one.

Atomic Condominium: The Soviet Union and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, 1958-1970

For all the discord that has historically characterized U.S.-Soviet and later U.S.-Russia relations, limiting the further spread of nuclear weapons has been reliably common ground. Since the mid-Cold War, both powers have remained staunch champions of nuclear nonproliferation, even as relations between them have grown increasingly fraught elsewhere. How should we account for this joint campaign against new nuclear powers?