Cold War

A Student Encyclopedia

by Spencer C. Tucker, Editor
Priscilla Mary Roberts, Editor, Documents Volume
Foreword by John S. D. Eisenhower


It was a time of global tensions and brinksmanship, bomb shelters and witch hunts, where local conflicts in Korea, Cuba, Indochina, and Africa soon became tests of wills between the forces of democracy and the forces of communism. It was the Cold War, and for nearly 50 years, it held the world in its grip.

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Cover image for Cold War

September 2007


Pages 2969
Volumes 5
Size 8 1/2x11
Topics Military History/Conflict and Wars
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The most comprehensive and up-to-date student reference on the Cold War, offering expert coverage of all aspects of the conflict in a richly designed format, fully illustrated to give students a vivid sense of life in all countries affected by the war.

ABC-CLIO is proud to announce the latest addition to its widely acclaimed legacy of historical reference works for students. Under the direction of internationally known expert Spencer Tucker, Cold War: A Student Encyclopedia captures the vast scope, day-to-day drama, and lasting impact of the Cold War more clearly and powerfully than any other student resource ever published.

Ranging from the end of the Second World War to the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cold War: A Student Encyclopedia offers vivid portrayals of leading individuals, significant battles, economic developments, societal/cultural events, changes in military technology, and major treaties and diplomatic agreements. The nearly 1,100 entries, plus topical essays and a documents volume, draw heavily on recently opened Russian, Eastern European, and Chinese archives. Enhanced by a rich program of maps and images, it is a comprehensive, current, and accessible student reference on the dominant geopolitical phenomenon of the late-20th century.


  • 1,099 entries covering all facets of the Cold War from its origins to its aftermath, including political, diplomatic, military, social, and economic topics, as well as the lives of everyday citizens caught up in the conflict in countries around the world
  • Over 200 internationally recognized contributors from around the world, many writing about events and issues from the perspective of their country of origin
  • Over 175 original documents (each with its own introduction)—a collection that draws heavily on recently opened files from archives in China, Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union, and includes documents that reflect social and cultural life during the Cold War as well as political, military, and diplomatic issues
  • 700 images of important persons, places, events, and artifacts, plus 50 carefully crafted tables and graphs that make important data clear and meaningful
  • 47 maps detailing major military operations, from the Berlin Airlift to the battlefields of Vietnam
  • A special resource area helps early researchers develop sound information literacy skills with a "how to use" section on using primary sources, reading maps, and how to use tables and charts


  • The first comprehensive student encyclopedia on the Cold War—a masterful combination of authority and accessibility designed specifically for a classroom audience
  • Gives students a sense of the dynamic nature of history by showing how recently opened archives in former current communist countries have changed our understanding of the Cold War
  • Wide-ranging coverage goes beyond military and political topics to encompass cultural events, such as art, music, and literature
  • The visual presentation, including an extraordinary number of images and graphic representations of statistical information, is specially designed to appeal to a student audience, helping them make sense of complex topics
Author Info

Spencer C. Tucker, PhD, graduated from the Virginia Military Institute and was a Fulbright scholar in France. He was a U.S. Army captain and intelligence analyst in the Pentagon during the Vietnam War, then taught for 30 years at Texas Christian University before returning to his alma mater for 6 years as the holder of the John Biggs Chair of Military History. He retired from teaching in 2003. He is now Senior Fellow of Military History at ABC-CLIO. Dr. Tucker has written or edited 36 books, including ABC-CLIO's award-winning The Encyclopedia of the Cold War and The Encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, as well as the comprehensive A Global Chronology of Conflict.

Priscilla Mary Roberts, PhD, is an associate professor of history and Honorary Director of the Centre of American Studies at the University of Hong Kong. She spent 2003 as a visiting Fulbright scholar at the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. She received her degree from Cambridge University. She has received numerous research awards and was editor of the documents volume of ABC-CLIO's award-winning The Encyclopedia of the World War I and The Encyclopedia of World War II.



"Recommended for academic and high-school libraries, which will find it easy to choose the right set. For a public library serving both general readers and high-schoolers doing homework assignments, Cold War: A Student Encyclopedia will meet the needs of both groups."Booklist

"If you want to add the best available research on the Cold War to your collection, either one of these [in reference to ABC-CLIO's The Encyclopedia of the Cold War] would be your source, which one is up to you."Library Media Connection

"The comprehensiveness and clarity of this work make it a useful resource."School Library Journal

"Lucid explanations of even the most difficult concepts make it a user-friendly resource for high school students that is sure to prove itself invaluable to teachers as well."VOYA


2008 Distinguished Achievement Award — AEP

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