by Michael F. Hopkins

Thames & Hudson, $24.95, 144 pages

The Cold War by Michael Hopkins, is an exquisite text book. It’s awash with excellent illustrations and clear, accessible text. As a social studies teacher, I would have no difficulty incorporating themes, and passages from this book into my classroom. By my reckoning, The Cold War would be an appropriately leveled text for any high school advanced placement 20th century history class.

Thames & Hudson has also included reproductions of several primary source materials, such as a Soviet propaganda poster from 1928, a Soviet Communist party membership card, and a “How to Survive an Atomic Bomb” Mutual of Omaha insurance advertisement.

The Cold War does an excellent job of presenting  the topic as a mutual geopolitical competition, whose roots emerge from the complex challenges that came out of the first and second world wars. It’s impossible to understand the Cold War in a vacuum. Generally speaking, the period of the book extends from the rise of the Bolsheviks in the Russian Revolution (1917-22), to the fall of the Soviet Union, and the collapse of the Iron Curtain (1989-91). Any world history enthusiast would deeply enjoy this book.

Reviewed by Bradley Wright