Transcending the Cold War: Summits, Statecraft, and the Dissolution of Bipolarity in Europe, 1970–1990

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Kristina Spohr, David Reynolds
Oxford University Press, Aug 25, 2016 - History - 288 pages
In 1989 and 1990 the map of Europe was redrawn without a war, unlike other great ruptures of the international order such as 1815, 1870, 1918, and 1945. How did this happen? This major multinational study, based on archives from both sides of the 'Iron Curtain', highlights the contribution of international statecraft to the peaceful dissolution of Europe's bipolar order by examining pivotal summit meetings from 1970 to 1990. These are organized into three periods: 'Thawing', 'Living with', and 'Transcending' the Cold War. The volume offers fascinating insights into key statesmen such as Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, Leonid Brezhnev and Mikhail Gorbachev, Willy Brandt and Helmut Kohl, Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping. It explores the central issues of the superpowers and arms control, their triangular relationship with China, and the seemingly intractable German question. Particular attention is devoted to the cultural dimensions of summitry, as performative acts for the media and as encounters with 'the Other' across ideological divides. All these threads are drawn together in a sweeping analytical conclusion. Written in lively prose, Transcending the Cold War is essential reading for anyone interested not just in modern history but also current international affairs.

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List of Illustrations
Thawing the Cold
Beijing 1972
Moscow 1972
Helsinki 1975
Bonn Guadeloupe and Vienna 19789
Geneva Reykjavik Washington and Moscow 19858
Beijing and Malta 1989
The Caucasus 1990
Summits Statecraft and the Dissolution of Bipolarity
Bibliography of Secondary Sources

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About the author (2016)

Kristina Spohr is associate professor of International History at the LSE. German-Finnish by birth, she studied at the University of East Anglia, Sciences Po Paris, and Cambridge University, and also worked for a year in the NATO Secretary General's Private Office in Brussels. Her publications include The Global Chancellor: Helmut Schmidt and the Reshaping of the International Order (2016); Germany and the Baltic Question after the Cold War: The Development of a New Ostpolitik, 19892000 (2004); and At the Crossroads of Past and Present: Contemporary History and the Historical Discipline (co-editor, 2011). Her TV credits as presenter of historical documentaries for the German station ZDF include the five-part Geheimnisse des Kalten Krieges (2015) and Helmut Schmidt (2016). David Reynolds is professor of International History at Cambridge and a Fellow of Christ's College. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2005. He is the author of eleven books and three edited books, including The Long Shadow: The Great War and the Twentieth Century (2013), winner of the Hessell-Tiltman Prize, and Summits: Six Meetings that Shaped the Twentieth Century (2007). In Command of History: Churchill Fighting and Writing the Second World War (2004) was awarded the Wolfson Prize. He has also written and presented thirteen historical documentaries for BBC TV, as well as the award-winning Radio 4 series 'America, Empire of Liberty'.

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