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Cold War Historiography Essay

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The Cold War historiography, specifically the issue of nuclear deterrence has provided historians the classic dialectic of an original thesis that is challenged by an antithesis. Both then emerge in the resolution of a new synthesis. Unfortunately, each evolution of a new synthesis is quickly demolished with each political crisis and technological advance during the Cold War narrative. The traditional/orthodox views were often challenged by the conventional wisdom with the creation of synthesis or post revisionism. There appears to be a multiple historiographical trends on nuclear deterrence over the Cold War; each were dependent and shaped upon international events and technological developments. I have identified four major trends: the orthodox, the revisionist, the post revisionist, st and the New Left. Each of these different historical approaches had its proponents and opponents, both in the military as well as the political and…show more content…
The first theme is the aggressive actions and posturing (political as well as military) of the Soviet Union (whether it be Stalin through Andropov) forced the West and its allies into an ever increasing response to the perceived threat of a Soviet attack. The second theme is the United States confronted this aggressive posturing responded in kind; in turning raising the stakes back to the Soviet Union. In the last theme attempts to counter what the Soviets/Americans believed an encroachment to their spheres of influence required a response. The reality in this nuclear poker was everyone could afford to lose the small hands, but would not commit to all out confrontation unless threatened with the threat of total war. The commitment of the United States represented its stake to become active responsible for the freedom and
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