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This collection of documents on the Cold War continues the Ashbrook Center’s extended series of document collections covering major periods, themes, and institutions in American history and government.

The volume begins with George Kennan’s “long telegram” (1946) laying out the containment policy that the United States would follow in various forms throughout the struggle with the Soviet Union. It ends with the transcript of a phone call between President George H. W. Bush and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl in 1989 in which the two leaders discussed how to deal with the changes transforming Russia and bringing the Cold War to an end. It covers American aid to Europe in the early years of the Cold War and American intervention in subsequent years in conflicts around the world to contain the spread of Soviet power. Its documents also explore the domestic effects of the Cold War, chronicling how national security concerns affected relations between American citizens and between Americans and their government. This collection and its companion volumes — World War I and the Twenties, The Depression and New Deal, and World War II — comprise a detailed account of the major events of America’s 20th century.


Table of Contents

Documents Include:

  • The Long Telegram, 1946
  • Joseph McCarthy, Address to the League of Women Voters, 1950
  • Irving Kaufman, Sentencing of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, 1951
  • U.S. State Department, The Negro in American Life,  1952
  • Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev, The Kitchen Debate, 1959
  • Dean Rusk and Robert McNamara, Report to President Kennedy on South Vietnam, 1961
  • Students for a Democratic Society, The Port Huron Statement, 1962
  • Minutes of the Meeting of the Special Group on Operation MONGOOSE, 1962
  • Central Intelligence Agency, Soviet Reactions to Certain U.S. Courses of Action on Cuba, 1962
  • Henry Kissinger and William Rogers, Telephone Conversation about Chile, 1970
  • President Jimmy Carter, Address at Commencement Exercises at the University of Notre Dame, 1977
  • President Ronald Reagan, Remarks at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin, 1987
  • National Security Council, National Security Directive 23, 1989
  • President George H.W. Bush and Helmut Kohl, Telephone Conversation, 1989