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History Unplugged Podcast

with Scott Rank

The Cold War -- Not WW2 -- Was Arguably the Defining Event of the 20th Century

00:00 47:57
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The Cold War existed vaguely in a fifty-year stretch and lacked the defining moments of a major military conflict. However, there is a strong argument to be made that it defined the 20th century. While most point to World Wars One and Two as the most important events of the century, the institutions that dominate today's nations are by-products of the Cold War: the military-industrial complex, their political systems (whether capitalist, socialist, or something in between), funding for scientific research, and even space programs.

Fundamentally at stake was a question of whether the world would accept the political beliefs of Soviet Union of collectivism and communism, or the principles of economic and political democracy supported by the United States. The Cold War established America as the leader of the free world and a global superpower. It shaped U.S. military strategy, economic policy, and domestic politics for nearly 50 years.
In this episode, we recount the pivotal events of this protracted struggle and explain the strategies that eventually led to its end. This includes the development and implementation of containment, détente, and finally President Reagan's philosophy: "they lose, we win."
March 05, 2020
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Meet Your Host
Scott Rank is the host of the History Unplugged Podcast and a PhD in history who specialized in the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Before going down the academic route he worked as a journalist in Istanbul. He has written 12 history books on topics ranging from lost Bronze Age civilizations to the Age of Discovery. Some of his books include The Age of Illumination: Science, Technology, and Reason in the Middle Ages and History’s 9 Most Insane Rulers.. Learn more about him by going to scottrankphd.com.
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