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The Cold War: A Military History
by David Miller
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312241836, Hardcover)ICBMs and MIRVs, duck-and-cover drills and fallout suits, the Warsaw Pact and the Berlin Garrison: it has been over for only a decade, but in many ways the material and symbolic culture of the cold-war era seems ancient. British military historian David Miller documents the military aspects of the decades-long struggle between East and West as if it indeed happened long ago, patiently and thoroughly explaining the complex disagreements among the Allied powers over how the post-World War II world was to be ruled, and how those disagreements led in time to the Iron Curtain, the arms race, and the specter of nuclear holocaust.
Miller takes great interest in the ordnance of destruction, cataloging the orders of battle and assets of the contending powers and their satellites. At times this thoroughness overcomes clarity with a surfeit of acronym-laden detail ("the SS-16 carried a single 1 MT warhead and was essentially an SS-20 with an additional third stage, giving it a range of 9,000 km. This range meant that the SS-16 was classified as an ICBM and was covered by the SALT treaty, whereas the SS-20 was an IRBM and thus was not covered by SALT"). The complex prose notwithstanding, Miller offers a highly useful synopsis of the struggle, closing with an understated observation: "Both sides in the Cold War seem to have realized that a conflict between them would almost certainly have escalated from conventional to nuclear.... In consequence, they kept their heads, and for forty years they kept the arms race within reason--just." --Gregory McNamee
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:40:34 -0400)
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