The Cold War dominated international relations for forty-five years. It shaped the foreign policies of the United States and the Soviet Union and deeply affected their societies, domestic situations and their government institutions. Hardly any part of the world escaped its influence. David Painter provides a compact and analytical study that examines the origins, course, and end of the Cold War. His overview is global in perspective, with an emphasis on the Third World as well as the contested regions of Asia and Central America, and a strong consideration of economic issues. He includes discussion of: the global distribution of power the arms race the world economy. The Cold War gives a concise, original and interdisciplinary introduction to this international state of affairs, covering the years between 1945 and 1990.