Some definitions of the Cold War

  • In brief, it was the divergent aspirations, needs, histories, governing institutions, and ideologies of the United States and the Soviet Union that turned unavoidable tensions into epic four-decade confrontation that we call the Cold War. (Robert J McMahon, 2003)
  • The 'Cold War' is an erroneous term for a global conflict which, spanning several continents and a multitude of coups, civil wars, insurgencies and interventions, was characterised by ongoing armed aggression...Globally, however, the Western experience (of the frostiness of superpower relations) is a clear exception to the norm. In all, the Soviet sponsoring of left-wing regimes and the US roll back of communism resulted in over a hundred wars through the Third World and a body count of over 20 million. (Andrew Hammond)
  • "On Moral Equivalency and Cold War History" by John Lewis Gaddis, //Ethics & International Affairs//, Volume 10 (1996) An interesting essay that looks at a few different definitions.