By Marcus Golding The fall of the Soviet Union is usually understood from two angles. One argues that the Soviet state could not keep up with the United States’ military superiority and, therefore, collapsed under economic strain. The other perspective suggests that western Europe and the U.S., and specifically the administration of President Ronald Reagan […]
Recalling his formative years as an American baby boomer and the influence the Cold War and the Soviet Union had on his worldview, Donald Raleigh asks what life was like for people his age in the Soviet Union? What were their concerns about the future? How did they spend their time and what did Cold War ideological battles mean for their daily lives?
Contrasting visions of Reagan have been especially stark in the realm of foreign affairs. Advocates often argue that he launched a new arms race that undermined the Soviet Union. Critics remember a detached leader presiding over the shameful Iran-Contra scandal. Both depictions are problematic, as they accentuate different aspects of a complex, often inscrutable man.