Small Wars, Faraway Places

Small Wars, Faraway Places

Global Insurrection and the Making of the Modern World, 1945-1965

Additional Formats
  • ePub
  • ISBN 9781101638033
  • 608 Pages
  • Viking Books
  • Adult


A sweeping history of the Cold War’s many “hot” wars born in the last gasps of empire 

The Cold War reigns in popular imagination as a period of tension between the two post-World War II superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, without direct conflict. Drawing from new archival research, prize-winning historian Michael Burleigh gives new meaning to the seminal decades of 1945 to 1965 by examining the many, largely forgotten, “hot” wars fought around the world. As once-great Western colonial empires collapsed, counter-insurgencies campaigns raged in the Philippines, the Congo, Iran, and other faraway places. Dozens of new nations struggled into existence, the legacies of which are still felt today. Placing these vicious struggles alongside the period-defining United States and Soviet standoffs in Korea, Vietnam, and Cuba, Burleigh swerves from Algeria to Kenya, to Vietnam and Kashmir, interspersing top-level diplomatic negotiations with portraits of the charismatic local leaders. The result is a dazzling work of history, a searing analysis of the legacy of imperialism and a reminder of just how the United States became the world’s great enforcer.
Small Wars, Faraway Places

Small Wars, Faraway Places

Michael Burleigh


“A brilliant book.”—Ben Macintyre, The Times (London)
“A bold, blunt, and sometimes beautiful defense of morality in history . . . . Mr. Burleigh poses the moral questions to the people that mattered at the great turning points of a vast war.”—Timothy Snyder, The Wall Street Journal 

“Chilling. . . . A deeply researched and vividly written book.”—The Cleveland Plain Dealer 

“This is a superb work of scholarship with fresh insights on nearly every page that will likely leave the reader asking hard and troubling questions long after finishing it. . . . An exceptionally important book.”—The Christian Science Monitor

“Burleigh has written a powerful, gripping book that will be essential reading for an understanding of World War II. It is worthy of anyone’s attention who is interested in that war.”—The Washington Times

“Michael Burleigh has long been one of our foremost writers on the importance of ethics in history, and in this deeply researched, closely argued and well-written analysis of the moral issues thrown up by the Second World War he has reached the zenith of his career.”—Andrew Roberts, National Review 
“An ambitious cultural history… [Burleigh] seamlessly synthesizes vast amounts of historical material and provides often-riveting accounts of terrorist atrocities and the literary and political environments where they took place.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Brilliant…. Tremendously erudite and enlightening.”—The New York Observer
“Takes everybody from Fenians and anarchists to the Red Brigades and al-Qaeda, and is written with characteristically biting flair.”—Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Telegraph (Books of the Year)
“An essential, imperative read…. Panoramic in its scope… There’s a hint of Edward Gibbon about Burleigh.”—The New Criterion
“Burleigh does a marvelous job profiling colorful characters while still managing to convey the historical importance of their ideas.”—Mark Lilla, The New York Times
“Well-informed and refreshingly provocative, Earthly Powers should be required reading for anyone who understands that religion and politics, even when separate, can never be divorced.”—Chicago Tribune

“This book [is] excellent…. A vast range of material is handled in a deft, readable way.”—The Economist
“A fascinating chronicle.”—The Wall Street Journal
“One of the most important books of the decade.”—The Observer
“Beautifully written, fearlessly outspoken, full of superb portraits of heroes and monsters… an exuberant tour-de-force.”—Simon Sebag Montefiore, Evening Standard
“Wonderful…. Trenchant…. Burleigh’s sharp judgments, which skewer many modern cultural ‘icons; bring alive his extensive research.”—Financial Times
“A powerful indictment of our uneasy times.”—JG Ballard, The Observer (London)


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