Humanity Forum on New Histories of the Cold War

Humanity co-editor Timothy Nunan invited Susan Colbourn, Reem Abou-El-Fadl, and Stella Krepp to take part in a two-part discussion of Paul Thomas Chamberlin’s The Cold War’s Killing Fields, Lorenz M. Lüthi’s Cold Wars, and Kristina Spohr’s Post Wall, Post Square. In order to open the discussion, Nunan invited the forum participants to submit a short reflection with their initial reactions to the books. These reactions will then serve as the foundation for the second part of the discussion, namely an audio discussion that will be recorded and shared on our blog later this winter. Reproduced below are the initial short reflections from Colbourn, El-Fadl, Krepp, and Nunan.

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Forum on New Histories of the Cold War

This essay is part of a forum on new histories of the Cold War. All contributions to the forum can be found here. Paul Thomas Chamberlain The Cold War’s Killing Fields: Rethinking the Long Peace New York: HarperCollins, 2018 Lorenz Lüthi Cold Wars: Asia, The Middle East, Europe Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020 Kristina Spohr Post Wall, Post Square: Rebuilding the World After 1989 New Haven: Yale University Press, 2020 Are we entering a new Cold War? Recent years have seen a deterioration of relations Read More »

Accountants, Cartographers, and Systems Analysts, Oh My!

This essay is part of a forum on new histories of the Cold War. All contributions to the forum can be found here. At this point, we know a lot about the Cold War. In part, that has been the product of archival access. Across Eastern Europe, formerly communist states and ex-Soviet republics have flung open their archives, willing—indeed, eager—to share the closely-held secrets of the past. The passage of time, too, has brought mandatory declassifications and regular releases from national archives, foreign ministries, presidential Read More »

The “Cold War” and Other Frames: On the Challenges of Writing Global History

This essay is part of a forum on new histories of the Cold War. All contributions to the forum can be found here. What is global history and how do we go about writing it? What does it mean for our understanding of the so-called Cold War, and for its historiography? These are the challenges that the books in this roundtable take up, as three regional specialists turn their hand to the telling of a century of simultaneous connections between far-flung regions of the world. Read More »

Notes from a Latin Americanist

This essay is part of a forum on new histories of the Cold War. All contributions to the forum can be found here. In 2005, in his book The Global Cold War, Odd Arne Westad formulated an innovative intellectual blueprint for writing new international histories of the Third World through the prism of three southern continents’ shared struggle for postcolonial forms of political and economic sovereignty. This has given rise to new projects on the Global Cold War, particularly in its regional iterations, as these three Read More »

Violence, Structural Change, and Absences in New Histories of the Cold War

This essay is part of a forum on new histories of the Cold War. All contributions to the forum can be found here. Thanks again to Drs. Colbourn, El-Fadl, and Krepp for taking part in this conversation. I sincerely look forward to discussing these books with the three of you. I’d also like to thank the editorial assistant for Humanity, Matthew Liberti, for proofreading this initial exchange. There are so many potential areas I’d like to touch on in our discussion: how these books build Read More »

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