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Managing the Cold War: A View from the Front Line

Michael Alexander
RUSI Books, 4 May 2006
The central issues of Michael Alexander’s career were the central issues of his time: the confrontation with the Soviet Union, and the instruments of defence and diplomacy by which this could best be managed. These are the themes of his book, Managing the Cold War

Managing the Cold War blends rigorous analysis, personal reminiscence, detailed accounts of negotiations and policy discussions, and original documents, including a series of penetrating private letters on the Soviet Union and the future of the Cold War that he wrote in the 1980s to the then prime minister, Margaret Thatcher. This book offers valuable insights for the scholar and general reader.

Acclaim for Managing the Cold War

'Here we see again the dazzling sheen we so much miss, the agility in argument, the elegance in exposition. And here too we see how firmly held – though constantly re-tested – were the convictions from which he spoke.'

The Lord Kerr of Kinlochard, Head of the UK Diplomatic Service, 1997-2002

'He had what few officials have: a genuinely creative mind, combined with a determination – within the limits of propriety – to see his ideas on policy adopted by ministers. He was a man of penetrating intelligence, lucid and forceful to an extent that could sometimes seem overbearing to his interlocutors.'

Sir Rodric Braithwaite, UK Ambassador to the Soviet Union/Russian Federation, 1988-1992

'These are the reflections of a man who for much of his working life found himself at the centre of the diplomatic containment of the Soviet Union. His conclusion is that the West played its hand rather well. And he should know for he was one of the principal players. To use his own naval metaphor, he helped steer the alliance on a sensible course to a by no means inevitable conclusion.'

Professor Christopher Coker, London School of Economics

Review of Managing the Cold War by Max Hastings, in The Guardian


Managing the Cold War: A View from the Front Line
By Michael Alexander
268 pages
ISBN 0-85516-191-4

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