I have been reading Derek Leebaerts The Fifty-Year Wound: The True Price of Americas Cold War Victory, at Steve Haywards recommendation. This is a great read, told as a thumping good story of good beating evil (open it at random and start, and you will see what I mean) and the authors judgments are sound and clear; there is no moral ambiguity here. Hayward reviews it in the current Claremont Review of Books . Here is a paragraph from the review:
"Leebaert negotiates these treacherous crosscurrents with near-perfect pitch and refreshing honesty.
Beyond just the direct aspects of the Cold War such as diplomacy and military power, Leebaert
captures the cultural changes the conflict wrought. Yet Leebaert never indulges any of the fantasies
of the revisionist Left or libertarian Right. To the contrary, he devastates the cliché that the U.S.
embraced the Cold War in order to establish a militaristic national security state or to become a
self-conscious imperial power. Above all, he never questions the necessity of the overall conflict, or
expresses any doubt that the Soviet Union was the evil empire that Reagan understood it to be. In
fact, near the end of the book, Leebaert is indignant that the Soviet Union isnt regarded as just as
evil as Nazi Germany. The Fifty-Year Wound is patriotic throughout, realistic ("It would have taken an
entirely different United States to have accomplished the task without the usual pork barrels,
bureaucratic archaism, and vagaries"), and rejoices that our side won."