Transcending the Cold War

"This rather unfashionable study shows what happens when leaders click": Kristina Spohr and David Reynolds talk to Rob Attar about their new edited volume on superpower statecraft in a dangerous world

Former US president Ronald Reagan and president of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev during a meeting in Moscow, Russia, on 16 September 1990. (Photo by Wojtek Laski/Getty Images)

This article was first published in the October 2016 issue of BBC History Magazine 

In context

Summits in the 1970s and 1980s, primarily involving the leaders of the US, USSR, and East and West Germany, aimed to tackle two thorny Cold War issues: the nuclear arms race and the German situation. The Reagan-Gorbachev summits of the 1980s resulted in a real improvement of relations. Then, as the Eastern Bloc collapsed from 1989, Helmut Kohl, Mikhail Gorbachev and George HW Bush worked to ensure a peaceful transition from communism. This book also covers Nixon’s 1972 visit to Mao’s China.

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