Devil We Knew Essay

756 WordsNov 23, 20074 Pages
The Devil We Knew: Americans and the Cold War H.W. Brands' book was a pretty solid read. It provided a different outlook on the Cold War, as it sought to show that it was not merely an American victory over "communism" and the Russians. There was far more to the Cold War than most Americans would care to admit, but Brands puts it out there for the reader to take in. Brands' purpose for writing this book was to inform the reader of actions taken before, during, and after the Cold War. After World War II, the United States and Russia were the only two remaining world powers. Each had a conflicting method of government, which ultimately led to the Cold War. The two superpowers were at the center of attention for the better part of…show more content…
All through school, I was taught that the United States beat back the mighty Soviet Union and that democracy and freedom prevailed; what a joke. Brands brought up Korea and Vietnam, and all the lives lost for a questionable cause. The French should have handled their business over in Vietnam. When they could not oust the North Vietnamese, they should have cut and run instead of begging for help; this would have saved countless lives. A war over in the remote jungles of Vietnam to "establish and protect democracy" was the last thing the United States needed at the time. Brands book was clear in its reasoning and the author did an excellent job of putting everything out in the open. The author wrote the book in a way that allowed the reader to gather insight from events that are not commonly viewed in the manner he presents them. Brands put the Cold War into a different perspective that showed the reader that it was not an easy "victory" for the United States. The final chapter of the book was the best part of Brands' work. He stated that the Americans won a clear and decisive victory over the USSR. However, the USSR basically imploded and could not support itself any longer, which gave the Americans a fall sense of victory. Brands stated that "communism, not capitalism or democracy, has been the communists' worst enemy" (which I whole-heartedly believe). Outside oppression usually does nothing more than prolong the inevitable fall of
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