It shaped our lives in a plethora of ways. At home and abroad, the Cold War intruded. A ferocious arms race and great fear were some of its most salient consequences. On at least two occasions, the two superpowers came to the brink of war, and then suddenly, it was over. We had won.
- One war ended, and a new one began. As Churchill put it, an iron curtain descended upon Europe. The United States became the architect of an anti-Soviet alliance through the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, and NATO.
- China went for Mao, and a hot war began in Korea. Behind the iron curtain in Poland, East Germany and Hungary revolts against Soviet imperialism and domestic tyranny erupted.
- The Cold War changed our lives at home as a terrible fear permeated the United States. Senator Joseph McCarthy, the Hollywood Blacklist, the Hiss-Chambers trial, the Prague Spring, and the Rosenberg trial were important events of the '50s and '60s.
- Nails were planted in the coffin of communism both in the Soviet Union and the satellite states. March 1985 saw the emergence of Mikhail Gorbachev, and once again, the world witnessed the role of personality in history.