Meiji University

Meiji University, Japan, Fall 2010

For Hearts and Minds:
New Perspectives on the History of the Cold War
and International Relations since 1945

The geopolitical competition between the Soviet Union and the United States after World War II continues to dominate our understanding of the second half of the 20th century. This course will retrace the origins and unfolding of this ideological conflict. It will introduce students to new trends in historical scholarship on the Cold War that have increasingly come to question the accuracy and limits of this label when describing international relations from 1945-1989.

Transcending a mere diplomatic, political and military account of superpower domination as the sole vantage point, this course seeks to elucidate the global nature of the Cold War as well as its interaction with other historical forces, e.g., decolonization, the rise of religious fundamentalism, terrorism, and technological innovation.

Particular attention will be paid to the role of culture, transnational interactions, nongovernmental organizations, and the so-called Second Cold War of the late 1970s/early 1980s.


Recommended Reading:

  • Craig, Campbell, and Fredrik Logevall. America’s Cold War: The Politics of Insecurity. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2009.
  • Engel, Jeffrey A. Local Consequences of the Global Cold War. Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2007.
  • Gaddis, John Lewis. The Cold War: A New History. New York: Penguin Press, 2005.
  • Leffler, Melvyn P. For the Soul of Mankind: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War. New York: Hill and Wang, 2007.
  • Leffler, Melvyn P., and Odd Arne Westad, ed. The Cambridge History of the Cold War. 3 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
  • McMahon, Robert J. The Cold War: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Westad, Odd Arne. The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
  • Zubok, V. M. A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007.


Selected Sources


The following documents is a list of key sources illustrating the history of the Cold War:

  1. President Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points (January 8, 1918)
  2. Hitler Stalin Pact: Treaty of Nonaggression Between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (August 23, 1939)
  3. The Teheran Conference (November 28 – December 1, 1943)
  4. The Yalta Conference (February 4 – 11, 1945)
  5. The Berlin (Potsdam) Conference (July 17 – August 2, 1945)
  6. Churchill, Winston, S., The Sinews of Peace [“Iron Curtain Speech”] Fulton, Missouri (March 5, 1946) / Audio
  7. George Kennan to George Marshall [“Long Telegram”] (February 22, 1946)
  8. Clark Clifford, “American Relations With The Soviet Union” [“Clifford-Elsey Report”] (September 24, 1946)
  9. U.S. Secretary of State James F. Byrnes’ Stuttgart Speech (September 6, 1946) / Coverage in The Milwaukee Journal (September 6, 1946)
  10. President Truman: Special Message to Congress on Greece and Turkey (March 12, 1947) / Audio file (Real Player)
  11. Truman Doctrine” (1952) / Source Collection on “Truman Doctrine”
  12. Marshall Plan, “Harvard Speech” (June 5, 1947) / Audio / Transcript
  13. Ernst Reuter Speech “Ihr Völker der Welt” (September 9, 1948) / Audio
  14. John Foster Dulles, “The Evolution of Foreign Policy,” Before the Council of Foreign Relations, New York, N.Y., Department of State, Press Release No. 81 (January 12, 1954)
  15. John F. Kennedy: Radio and Television Report to the American People on the Berlin Crisis (July 25, 1961)
  16. Robert S. McNamara, “Defense Arrangements of the North Atlantic Community,” Department of State Bulletin 47 (July 9, 1962): 64-70.
  17. John F. Kennedy: Remarks in the Rudolph Wilde Platz, West Berlin (June 26, 1963) / Source Collection “JFK and Cold War Berlin”
  18. Lyndon B. Johnson “Great Society Speech,” University of Michigan (May 22, 1964)
  19. Kitchen Debate: U.S. Vice President Richard M. Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev at the U.S. Trade and Cultural Fair in Moscow (July 24, 1959) / Video
  20. The Brezhnev Doctrine (1968)
  21. Mutual Assured Destruction Doctrine (coming soon)
  22. Flexible Response (coming soon)
  23. SALT I, Moscow (May 26, 1972) / Context I / II
  24. SALT II , Vienna (June 18, 1979) / Context I / II
  25. Helsinki Final Accord


Note on Sources:
The sources above have been selected from the online collections of the Avalon Project (Yale University), the city of Berlin, the European Navigator (ENA), Federations of American Scientists, the George C. Marshall Foundation Archives, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library, the Modern History Sourcebook (Fordham University),,, the Truman Presidential Library, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Embassy to the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars.