Power In James Wilson's Overcoming The Cold War

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James Wilson’s book The Triumph of Improvisation evaluates the Cold War and the leaders who were in power at that time. Wilson examines the political leaders and their slow willingness to work toward a common goal to overcome the Cold War, would be attributed to the leniency yet narrow mind-set of President Reagan and Gorbachev. Wilson’s thesis that there was more than a set plan that helped Reagan with his campaign to end the Cold War but rather, it was his adaptability and willing to engage circumstances which would arise in a moments notice. Wilson effectively supports his thesis through the chronology of his book and his ability to address the many events and scenarios Reagan had to overcome in the wake of the Cold War. Wilson’s only setback…show more content…
Reagan’s personality and personal life are allowed to be portrayed throughout Wilson’s book. The president of the United States is given an entire chapter on his early presidency and his outspokenness on his strict view against communism. The president is pictured as a man who liked to use humor to “lighten the mood” on a serious situation, much to his detriment though. Because of this Wilson points out that tensions rose between Gorbachev and Reagan because a joke was not received as well by Gorbachev as Reagan thought it would have been. It becomes clear that the leader of the nation was traditional in his political views and longed to defeat communism. Taking this into account it can be seen that Reagan and Gorbachev were products of their past, and they were heavily influenced by their past and present to change the future of their…show more content…
While the book has a few setbacks, it is still a good piece of history that explains the struggle of bringing an end to the Cold War. It does not only focus on the United States, but the entirety of Europe. The Triumph for Improvisation is a book that is not only fascinating, but also a book that analyzes the Cold War rather than summarizing it. It looks at the specific decisions, meetings, and predicaments both the Soviet Union and the United States were forced to reconcile with. The way in which Wilson portrays the two countries and their leaders is informative and proves his thesis effectively, that the two countries while at odds, were willing to cooperate and work with one another while slowly bending their original

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