Origins of the Cold War 1941-1949: 4th Edition (Paperback) book cover

Origins of the Cold War 1941-1949

4th Edition

By Martin McCauley


216 pages | 16 B/W Illus.

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Origins of the Cold War 1941-1949 covers the formative years of the momentous struggle which developed between two superpowers, the Soviet Union and the United States. It not only involved these titans but also the rest of the globe; many proxy wars were fought much to the detriment of the developing world. In a clear, concise manner, this book explains how the Cold War originated and developed between 1941 and 1949.

The fourth edition is revised, updated and expanded to include new material on topics such as the culture wars and Stalin’s view of Marxism. The introduction looks at the various approaches which have been adopted to analyse the Cold War and the challenges to arrive at a theory which can explain it. The book explores questions such as: 

- Who was responsible for the Cold War?

- Was it inevitable or could it have been avoided?

- Was Stalin genuinely interested in a post-war agreement?  

Illustrated with maps and figures and containing a chronology and who’s who of key individuals, Origins of the Cold War 1941-1949 incorporates the most recent scholarship, theories and information to provide students with an invaluable introduction to a fascinating period that shaped today's world.


"Martin McCauley delivers the masterful review of the origins of the Cold War you would expect from such a fine historian. For students with or without a previous knowledge of the international history of these tumultuous years this is a very suitable text and the inclusion of documents is a reflection of how history of this period should be taught. This is a very nicely framed piece of scholarship."

Martin Thornton, University of Leeds, UK

"Martin McCauley’s Origins of the Cold War, 1941-1949 is an excellent choice for those embarking on study of this complex period of international history. The inclusion of an excellent selection of source material and useful introductions to key concepts and characters make this an excellent book for those new to this topic. Its contents should spark stimulating seminar discussions, and would be of great use to those taking A-Levels on modern history, and introductory undergraduate courses on the Cold War."

Mark Hurst, University of Kent, UK

Table of Contents

List of figures. List of maps. Foreword. Chronology. Who’s Who. Part One: Background. 1. Setting the Scene Part Two: Descriptive Analysis 2. Moscow’s View of the World 3. Conflicts During the War 4. 1945: The Turning-Point 6. Culture Wars 7. The Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan 8. The Soviet Response 9. The Third World 10. The United Nations and the Concept of Collective Security Part Three: Assessment 11. Was it all inevitable? Part Four: Documents Further reading. References. Index.

About the Author

Martin McCauley is a prolific author and broadcaster who has a wealth of experience in Soviet, Russian and international affairs. He was at the University of London for over 30 years, and his recent publications include Russia, America and the Cold War, 2nd edition (2008), Stalin and Stalinism, 3rd edition (2008) and The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union (2007).

About the Series

Seminar Studies

Each book in the Seminar Studies series provides a concise and reliable introduction to a wide range of complex historical events and debates, covering topics in British, European, US and world history from the early modern period to the present day. Written by acknowledged experts and including supporting material such as extracts from historical documents, chronologies, glossaries, guides to key figures and further reading suggestions, Seminar Studies titles are essential reading for students of history.

Almost half a century after its launch, the series continues to introduce students to the problems involved in explaining the past, giving them the opportunity to grapple with historical documents and encouraging them to reach their own conclusions. To submit proposals for new books in the Seminar Studies series, please contact the series editors:

Clive.Emsley: clive.emsley @

Gordon Martel: Gordon.Martel @

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General