What are the best Cold War non-fiction books?

asked by Anonymous
250 contributors
10 solutions
  1. 38

    #1Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956

    Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956

    Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956 is a non-fiction book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Anne Applebaum. It chronicles the rise and fall of the Soviet Bloc under the rule of the communist Soviet Union.

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    Janice Gutierrez
    Written on March 12, 2018
    "This is just the thing I was looking for. It is non-fiction, and about the Cold War. I think it is one of the better books out there that I have found, and I've enjoyed it."
  2. 33

    #2The Gulag Archipelago

    The Gulag Archipelago

    The Gulag Archipelago is a book by Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn. Originally written in Russian, the book is an account of more than 200 prisoners' experiences in a gulag labor camp, including the author's own experiences.

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    Dylan Hayes
    Written on March 15, 2018
    "The Gulag Archipelago is one of the best books about Soviet history, but it does not necessarily cover the Cold War period. It stops before some of the key events of this era. It also focuses more on certain internal Soviet events instead of Soviet-American relations. It's very important to read if you want to understand the mindset of the Soviet state, but it might not be directly relevant to answering the given query."
  3. 31

    #3A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal

    A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal

    A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal is a non-fiction book by Ben Macintyre. It tells the story of Kim Philby, who worked as a double agent for both MI6 and the NKVD, and in doing so betrayed both his closest friends.

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    Moisés Salinas
    Written on March 13, 2018
    "I am a history buff and a reader of all things having to do with the colder war. Macintyre does an excellent job with this book. It's a truly remarkable story, it reads more like fiction than an actual event. Two thumbs up."
  1. 30

    #4The Triumph of Improvisation

    The Triumph of Improvisation

    The Triumph of Improvisation is a book by the historian James Graham Wilson. It chronicles the events of the Cold War through an analysis of the decisions made by Gorbachev and Reagan that ultimately lead to the end of the war.

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    Kyle Hawkins
    Written on March 18, 2018
    "A little bit boring piece of book actually, good for research but not for casual read."
  2. 29

    #5All the Shah's Men

    All the Shah's Men
    All The Shah's Men is a non-fiction book by Stephen Kinzer. It is a comprehensive account of the CIA operation to overthrow the Iranian president in 1953, in favor of putting a monarch Mohammad Reza Shah in position.
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    Jacqueline Jacobs
    Written on March 18, 2018
    "All the Shah's Men was a tough book for me to read. I always seem to have a hard time with war books but this one particularly had so much detail and was so well written that it just pulled me in. It's one of the best cold war non-fiction books that I have read."
  3. 25

    #6Khrushchev: The Man and His Era

    Khrushchev: The Man and His Era

    Khrushchev: The Man and His Era is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book by William Taubman. It is a biography of the former leader of the Soviet Union, the complex man who triggered the Cuban Missile Crisis.


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    Ronald Griffin
    Written on March 17, 2018
    "Khrushchev: The Man and His Era is a phenomenal read about the build up and climax of the battle of communism and capitalism. It is fascinating and very educational."
  4. 24

    #7Man Without A Face

    Man Without A Face
    Man Without a Face is an autobiography by Markus Wolf, the former head of intelligence services in East Germany and considered to be one of the greatest spymasters during the Cold War Era.
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    Dylan Foster
    Written on March 6, 2018
    "Man Without a Face is the autobiography of one of the greatest spymasters of the cold war era. I have always been fascinated by spies and how they worked. This book puts the spy game into context while learning about the history of the cold war from a spy's point of view."
  5. 23

    #8The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made

    The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made

    The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made is a non-fiction book by Walter Isaacson and Evan Thomas. It is an account of six key players in American diplomacy during a pivotal moment in history, from World War II up to the Cold War.

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    Lawrence Snyder
    Written on March 15, 2018
    "This is a very interesting read that presents a story about an exciting time in American history. The period between WWII and the Cold War are presented here from the perspectives of key figures in history and I found myself excited to continue reading it through to the end."
  6. 6

    #9The Ghost

    The Ghost

    The Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton is a biography written by Jefferson Morley. It chronicles the life of James Jesus Angleton, who served as a spy for the CIA from World War II to the Cold War.


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    Teresa Banks
    Written on April 12, 2018
    "There are so many books about the Cold War, that a biased biography about an obscure figure most have never heard of wouldn't be the first thing that comes to my mind when I think about books to consider in this genre. I don't think it's a terrible book, but it's not something I would pull down from the shelf to give to somebody interested in this topic. "
  7. 1

    #10The Billion Dollar Spy: A True Story of Cold War Espionage and Betrayal

    The Billion Dollar Spy: A True Story of Cold War Espionage and Betrayal

    The Billion Dollar Spy draws from previously classified CIA documents and firsthand account interviews. From one of The Washington Post's contributing editors, David E. Hoffman, it's a brilliant feat of reporting on the Cold War.

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    Tyler Black
    Written on March 26, 2018
    "I wanted to read a good Cold War non-fiction book and found The Billion Dollar Spy: A True Story of Cold War Espionage and Betrayal. I love that this book is based on classified, true information and that lead to a great story. It was also amazing writing and really made the story move at a fast pace. I loved this book and highly recommend it. "
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