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What a new book on the Cold War could teach Trump (and Kim Jong-un)

Rodric Braithwaite's Armageddon and Paranoia seesaws between two powers—and has much to say to our present moment

By Julie McDowall   October 2017

President Kennedy meets with Chairman Khrushchev at the U. S. Embassy. Photo: Kennedy Museum, Boston

Germany’s invasion of the USSR left a psychological wound that shaped Soviet attitudes to the Cold War. Rodric Braithwaite, the former UK ambassador in Moscow, shows how the resulting paranoia drove them to acquire the Bomb and nuclear parity with the Americans “at whatever cost.”

The Americans were also stricken with paranoia. The Soviet Union did not leak information, so the west was left to imagine their enemy—and they imagined the worst. “Understanding was often…

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