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Origins Of The Cold War Essay

1311 words - 5 pages

A) Plan of the investigationSubject of the investigation:To investigate historical controversy over the origins of the Cold War.Methods:a.Research of bibliography about the origins of theCold Wax. Instrument: Internet. Three main siteswere particularly helpful: CNN the Cold War, ColdWar Policies, Cold War History Project. The maincriteria used for selection were: reliability of thesources and the most recent.b.Writing of an annotated bibliography about thetopic.c.Selection and reading of a book about the origins ofthe Cold War. Criteria: the most comprehensive andrecommended.d.Search, selection + of the authors which representthe main currents of thought.e.Analysis of their main postulates and arguments.B) Summary of evidenceThe origins of the Cold War is one of the most controversial historiographic issues. However, among the multiple interpretations and assessments about the topic it is clear or rather clear that some main currents of thought can be identified: the orthodox or traditional, the revisionist and the post-revisionist. The orthodox or traditional interpretation argued that the origins of the Cold War was due to the aggressive Soviet policy of expansion in the immediate post war years. Two of the proponents of this theory are: Thomas Bailey (1950) and Arthur Schlesinger (1967). Willaim Appleman Williams (1959) and Walter LaFeber (1997) are revisionist historians who support the thesis that the United States had been primarily to blame for the Cold War. The post-revisionist scholarship have searched for a balance and argue that the Cold War was caused by misperceptions of both the United States and the Soviet Union. Melvyn Leffler (1991) and John Lewis Gaddis (1997) are exponents of thisview.C) Evaluation of sourcesTwo of the sources selected for evaluation are Walter LaFeber's America, Russia, and the Cold War 1945-1996 and John Lewis Gaddis's We Know Now: Rethinking Cold War History. Both of them are secondary sources and make use of the latest research about the Cold War and, particularly, the new Soviet and Chinese materials which have only recently become available. Both have long been recognized, by the public and colleagues, as specialists in Cold War history and their work and information are used almost in all the works about the topic. Both are representatives of two main currents of thought about the Cold War. LaFeber is, and has been, one of the most articulated proponents of the revisionist approach, while Gaddis is accepted as one of the most, if not the most, distinguished historian of the post-revisionist perspective. Both LaFeber's and Gaddis's works are their most recent productions: LaFeber's is its 8th edition, the first was in 1967. Gaddis' is from 1997, although he has written numerous books and articles about the Cold War. Both are American historians who have been dedicated to the academic life and scholarly pursuits. LaFeber is Professor of Flistory at Cornell University, while Gaddis is Professor of History...

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