Simon Miles. Engaging the Evil Empire: Washington, Moscow, and the Beginning of the End of the Cold War. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2020. 248 pp. $34.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-1-5017-5169-1.
Reviewed by Dmitry Asinovskiy (Tel Aviv University)
Published on H-Russia (November, 2022)
Commissioned by Oleksa Drachewych (Western University)
In 1989, Robert McFarlane, Ronald Reagan’s former national security advisor, congratulated the exiting president on the “vindication of his seven year strategy” that resulted in Reagan’s summits with Mikhail Gorbachev in Geneva and Reykjavik and signing of the INF treaty. In the spirit of this statement, Simon Miles in his monograph, the name and some arguments of which he likely borrows from a William Pemberton chapter on the same period, presents the reader with the peculiarities of Reagan’s grand strategy. Contrary to the established stereotype, Miles presents Reagan as a master strategist, who, with the assistance of his team, skillfully applied the dual-track strategy toward the Soviet Union, which combined public hawkish rhetoric with engagement in “quiet diplomacy” long before Reagan and Gorbachev shook hands in Geneva in 1985. Miles thus challenges some of the notions that became deeply engrained in popular memory, such as the concept of “the Second Cold War” attributed to the first half of the 1980s, when the world was allegedly on the edge of the Third World War. Explaining the inability of the Reagan administration to engage with the Soviets more openly during the first half of the 1980s, Miles pinpoints Reagan’s perception of the United States as being in a weaker position against the Soviet Union. Skillfully combining different types of archival sources, from state documents to oral interviews, diaries, and memoirs of the main protagonists, Miles shows that this notion of losing the Cold War was essential for Reagan's, and his administration's, worldview and policies. According to Miles, it was only when the president felt that he could conduct negotiations from a position of strength that his covert diplomacy transformed into triumphant summits with Gorbachev.
Miles is certainly not the first to argue the importance of the first half of the 1980s for understanding the end of the Cold War. His arguments, though, are much better supported by archival evidence than in most previous works on the researched period. Miles relies on documents primarily from the United States and the United Kingdom, but also from Russia and former Eastern bloc countries. Although not all the archival sources mentioned in the bibliography can be found in the footnotes, there is no doubt that the author did exceptional work uncovering and gathering sources. This alone makes his book a truly meaningful addition to studies of late Cold War international relations. For the same reason it is worth noting that due to the continuing classifications of Soviet archival documents at the time of the author’s research, Miles relied on a very limited number of Russian sources, often resorting to available former Eastern bloc archives instead to obtain the Soviet perspective. While Miles’s research benefited greatly from some previously unpublished materials from the Russian State Archive of Contemporary History (RGANI), especially personal collections of Soviet leaders Iurii Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko (Fonds 82 and 83 respectively), the archives have become more declassified since the book's publication. Thus, whoever follows Simon Miles in researching the period of the early 1980s could greatly benefit from the declassified materials of the Politburo, the Secretariat, and the departments of the CPSU Central Committee, provided access remains what it had been prior to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Miles’s tremendous work with Western sources combined with inaccessibility or unavailability to him of certain Russian-language sources seems to have had an effect on the author’s perspective. Throughout the book Miles tends to adopt the language and the perspective of his American protagonists. For a minor example, while discussing the deteriorating health of Leonid Brezhnev and the growing contempt toward the old and ill leader in the Soviet society, Miles quotes a number of US internal reports on the following incident: “The Leningrad literary journal Avrora encouraged Brezhnev to stop putting off the inevitable and die” (p. 22). In actuality, the journal certainly did not encourage Brezhnev to die. In the issue dedicated to Brezhnev's jubilee, it coincidentally included a short satirical story about a certain old writer who is encouraged to die, written over a decade earlier. Indeed, it was considered an act of ideological sabotage by the Soviet censorship, yet it was likely a mere coincidence that cost a journal editor his career. Thus, quoting this episode from the US internal documents without comment, Miles makes a sensational statement that a direct call for the death of the Soviet leader could be made in the Soviet press, which is inaccurate to put it mildly. This and other minor issues could be overlooked as little inaccuracies, yet unfortunately the same pattern can be found in Miles’s major arguments.
The discussion of key problems in Miles’s narrative must start with a statement he makes in the conclusion of his book. While discussing “Russia’s reduced stature after the Cold War,” Miles argues that Russia’s citizens should have been ready to adjust to this harsh reality as “after all, the United States had won the Cold War, and the Soviet Union had lost” (p. 136). This slip of the tongue in the conclusion helps us trace how, despite the resistance of sources with which the author is very careful and professional, and despite his honest attempts to add Soviet perspective to his story, Miles provides the public with another narrative of US triumphalism. Notably, Miles himself condemns this thinking particularly among other explanations of the end of the Cold War as the one unable to account fully for “the remarkable pace of transformation” (p. 2). In addition, a simple look through the endnotes of Miles’s book impresses the reader with the number of archival references, yet a more attentive look reveals that the author avoids engaging in discussion with some of the fundamental works covering this period, especially those arguing against the decisive role of US policies in the end of the Cold War and against the perceived victory of the United States in that lengthy conflict. This major problem in Miles’s approach has a key influence on many of his arguments.
In June 2004, in his eulogy to President Reagan at his funeral, Alaska senator Ted Stevens remarked that when Ronald Reagan was sworn in as the US president, “the Soviet Union was winning the Cold War.” The name of Miles’s opening chapter, “The Red Star Rising,” reflects the same idea, referring to the perceived military and socioeconomic superiority of the Soviet Union over the United States at the beginning of Reagan’s first term. Here Miles confirms the findings of previous researchers, along with some of memoirists, that Reagan was indeed influenced by the conservative wing of his aides in believing that the United States was losing the Cold War due to the decade of “failed” détente policies. In his introduction, Miles argues that the first half of the 1980s witnessed a transformation of the Cold War “from a balance of power perceived to favor the Soviet Union to the more realistic perception of one tilted in favor of the United States” (p. 3). Were these factual or perceived transformations of the Cold War? And if the latter, whose perceptions were these? Further in his book, Miles evidently proves that such developments indeed happened within the Reagan administration. But those would be the transformations of US perceptions rather than the transformation of the Cold War. It seems likely that here Miles also has adopted the vision of his protagonists and slipped into the US-centered analysis of the Cold War.
However, Miles goes further to argue that the same perception of superiority, albeit temporary, over the capitalist West was evident among the Kremlin elders: “in Moscow, policy makers concluded that capitalism was in crisis—if not in its death throes—based on all the same indicators assessed by the incoming Reagan administration” (p. 28). Miles does not provide any sustainable proof of such a mood among Soviet decision-makers, referring us instead to an article in a Soviet military journal. Indeed, in the press, including some specialized journals, Soviet propaganda bragged about its superiority, yet this says very little about the actual beliefs of those in the Kremlin. There is little doubt that the members of Brezhnev’s Politburo believed in the eventual victory of socialism over “a rotting West,” yet they were well aware that in the early 1980s they were not winning the Cold War. On the contrary, since the 1960s, most Soviet leaders understood very clearly the need for domestic reform. Their lack of political initiative and unwillingness to take risks prevented them from pursuing the reforms started by Aleksei Kosygin. Aging leaders preferred to enjoy the benefits of their personal privileges in hope that the Soviet system was firm enough for them not to worry for the rest of their lives. Similarly in the spirit of having calm final years of their lives, the Politburo hoped to return to détente not out of belief that it had allowed the Soviet Union to achieve certain strategic superiority, but in order to secure the stalemate and contain possible US offensives. In fact, from Moscow’s point of view the collapse of détente was a result of aggressive US policies—even the invasion of Afghanistan, as we know today, was largely misread in the West as a Soviet offensive, whereas in the eyes of Soviet leaders, it was an inevitable defensive action in fear of Afghanistan falling into the capitalist camp.
The narrative promoted by the conservative wing of Reagan’s administration about the Soviet Union taking advantage of the United States because of détente finds no proof in the Soviet documents. There is not one Politburo transcript or remark in which Soviet leaders brag about fooling the United States into détente. On the contrary, the same language of peace and security that they used in public can be found in their internal discussions. For Leonid Brezhnev and many in the Politburo, détente was an achievement in itself, not a tool to cause the demise of the United States. At most, it was a way to stall confrontation until the inevitable collapse of capitalism, long in the future. There were, of course, certain developments in the 1970s that provided ground for optimism for the Soviet leadership—primarily, revolutionary shifts in the so-called Third World. There, quite unexpectedly for Moscow, a series of revolutions in Asia, Africa, and Latin America brought to power regimes that were either openly Marxist-Leninist or were willing (or seemed to be willing) to ally with the USSR against “global imperialism” led by the United States. For Reagan and some of his radical conservative aides, this was an evident proof of Soviet subversive activity directed against the United States. In most cases, this was a wrong assumption. Most of the revolutionary developments in the Third World originated from the local framework rather than from some subversive activities of the Soviet Union. Later, they were of course utilized by both Cold War superpowers through direct or indirect interventions. Yet these beliefs that the hand of Moscow was behind every disturbance in the Third World had a significant effect on the decision-making of the Reagan administration. Thus, it is surprising that while analyzing Reagan's policies, Miles only occasionally mentions his Third World strategy and refrains from including it into a wider analysis of US-Soviet relations. For example, Miles discusses the US invasion of Grenada in 1983 and briefly mentions its implications for Soviet perceptions of the United States as aggressor. Yet he concentrates on the United States' European allies' unease with Reagan's mission to Grenada (pp. 77-78). Grenada had an important influence on the radical conservative wing of the Reagan administration. The success of the mission encouraged the development of Reagan’s counterrevolutionary strategy, which included active support for Afghan mujahideen, the creation of “the Contras” in Nicaragua, and the consequent Iran-Contra crisis that did not end with Reagan’s impeachment thanks only to the turn of public attention toward the Gorbachev-Reagan rapprochement in the second half of the decade. These major activities that were considered by the Reagan administration as part of its anti-Soviet strategy are absent in Miles’s analysis.
Reagan’s anti-revolutionary offensive in the Third World continued well into the second half of the 1980s and could serve as evidence in support for Miles’s argument that there was no such thing as a “Reagan reversal” in 1984, although not in the way Miles intends to make this argument. One of the key ideas that Miles presents in his narrative is the continuity of Reagan’s peaceful initiatives throughout both of his terms. Miles argues against a well-rooted notion that in January 1984, the Reagan administration made a radical reversal of its policy toward the Soviet Union. Instead, Miles claims that Reagan’s “dual-track approach toward the Soviet Union remained consistent … comprising both peace through strength and quiet diplomacy” (p. 89). There is no doubt that in his first term Reagan made attempts to pursue what Miles refers to as “quiet diplomacy.” Miles provides us with a number of examples of Reagan’s peaceful initiatives. In 1981, Reagan cancelled the grain embargo imposed on the Soviet Union by his predecessor in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Miles argues that this decision was based on Reagan’s willingness to engage in a dialogue with the Soviet Union and proves it by quoting Reagan’s personal letter to Brezhnev (p. 34). The personal letter from Reagan to Brezhnev is by no means a source we should wholeheartedly trust. Reagan certainly used his lifting of the grain embargo to extract as many political benefits as possible. And he surely could not write to Brezhnev that the decision to cancel the embargo was a result of the internal pressure from Midwest farmers rather than a part of his grand strategy of engaging the Soviet Union. Failing to outline these limitations of what Reagan could communicate to Brezhnev as well as the aforementioned alternative explanation for Reagan's decision to lift a grain embargo are curious omissions by Miles.
Another instance of “quiet diplomacy” presented by Miles is the communication channels established by the US ambassador in West Germany and the Soviet ambassador in East Germany in 1981 (pp. 42-44). As Miles showed in his earlier work, this channel was indeed important as its existence proved the ability of two superpowers to have a direct conversation about a broad set of issues despite bilateral relations being at one of the lowest points of the Cold War. Yet there is no reason to believe that these meetings had any significant effect on the course of the superpowers’ confrontation, and Miles fails to provide a single real outcome of these negotiations that had a substantial effect. The case of the Siberian Seven, which Miles also borrows from his earlier work and presents as an example of Reagan’s successful quiet diplomacy, at least had a very evident outcome. The Pentecostal families hiding at the US embassy in Moscow were allowed to emigrate after Reagan’s new secretary of state, George Shultz, secretly brought Soviet ambassador Anatolii Dobrynin to the White House to meet Reagan. Here it is hard to disagree with Miles that the Soviet leadership saw this move as a positive gesture toward potential overt negotiations. But after the Soviets allowed the Pentecostal families to emigrate, no improvement in bilateral relations occurred. Instead, a series of crises pushed the superpowers even further in confrontation, leaving the Siberian Seven episode as an isolated example of Reagan’s diplomatic success that does not look like part of a pacifying grand strategy.
Historians often see 1983 as the year of the deepest crises in US-Soviet relations of the 1980s. Although generally accepting this notion, Miles challenges the established view that the world came closest to the edge of the nuclear conflict in 1983. In one of his articles, parts of which he also uses in the book, Miles did a brilliant job showing that Able Archer 83, often seen as a source of a Soviet war scare, actually never caused serious anxiety in the USSR. Yet in the third chapter of the book (“Talking about Talking”), Miles seems to extend this conclusion to all the crises of 1983, arguing that “U.S.-Soviet relations never approached the brink of Armageddon” (p. 58). Apparently throughout the year, the Reagan administration, encouraged by economic growth along with a military buildup that brought it to a position of perceived strength in comparison to earlier years, was busy searching for opportunities to start negotiations with the Soviets. The Soviets, in Miles’s narrative, tended to falsely perceive Reagan’s policies as aggressive, failing to recognize his covert attempts to engage in a dialogue. Combined with a series of tragic accidents such as the downing of a Korean Airlines plane (KAL 007) by a Soviet military jet, 1983 thus turned out to be “the year of misfires” (p. 83).
While describing the position of Yuri Andropov, Brezhnev's successor as general secretary, toward US-Soviet bilateral relations, Miles cites his letter to the foreign minister, Andrei Gromyko, in which Andropov encouraged Gromyko to “respond to Reagan constructively” as “Moscow’s main goal should be to stop an arms race in Europe and to reduce the threat of nuclear war by coming to an arms control agreement in Geneva” (p. 67). Andropov wrote this in July 1983 following the reception of Reagan’s personal letter, in which the US president proposed to engage in “private and candid communication.” It is likely that Miles here misreads Andropov’s message to Gromyko. Privately, the general secretary did not hesitate to brand Reagan’s letter as motivated by “duplicity and desire to disorient the Soviet leadership.” Therefore his letter to Gromyko was an instruction to prepare a formal “constructive” response with no real perspective of relations’ improvement. And this is how the actual Andropov’s response looked—polite, yet a formal rejection of Reagan’s engagement proposals. Does this mean that Andropov did not want to negotiate with Reagan? On the contrary, Andropov’s approach to US-Soviet relations was not that different from the late Brezhnev’s. Just like his predecessor, Andropov sought a return to détente because Soviet leaders believed in détente, and not because, as Miles argues, the Politburo realized that unlike three years earlier, the balance of power no longer favored the USSR in 1983. There is simply no evidence to believe that much changed in the Politburo’s vision from 1980 to 1983. Why then was Andropov’s response to Reagan’s overture so formal and trustless?
By July 1983, the Reagan administration had done much to strengthen the already existent belief of the new general secretary that the United States was on the offensive and any private overtures were nothing more than tactical misinformation. In March 1983, Reagan made his famous “evil empire” remark. A few weeks later, he announced the start of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). Contrary to Miles’s argument that the SDI was the aspect of Reagan’s defense buildup that “really worried the Kremlin” (p. 69), it was quickly considered that the initiative did not require immediate countermeasures as it did not constitute an immediate danger to the USSR. Nevertheless, the Soviet military leadership saw its announcement as a sign of aggressive US militarization. This mood was affirmed by the placement of Pershing missiles in Europe and the American invasion of Grenada in October 1983. As fairly argued by Vladislav Zubok, Andropov believed the actions of Reagan administration started to form an ominous pattern. Andropov’s statement in Pravda on September 28, 1983, a few weeks after the outbreak of the international scandal caused by the downing of KAL 007, also shows this vision. The most important conclusive part of the statement reflected Andropov’s disillusionment toward any kind of progress in dealing with the Reagan administration. It is noteworthy that Miles does not mention this statement in his book, despite it being a cornerstone of the Soviet position toward the Reagan administration in 1983 and repeatedly addressed in scholarship published before Miles.
Therefore, the Soviet leadership was indeed very alarmed in the fall of 1983, seeing the United States evidently pursuing an aggressive approach to the Cold War. The world might have been not as close to the brink of nuclear apocalypse as some publicists assumed, but Reagan’s policies were certainly not pulling the world away from the edge. Thus Miles’s argument against a “Reagan reversal” in January 1984 is based on poorly supported assumptions. Many in the world, including US allies in Europe, hailed this turn toward a more constructive approach. Yet many also saw it as a political gesture on the eve of the 1984 elections. Miles counters this narrative, quoting Reagan’s lamentations in his diary about the dismissal of his January 16 speech as mere politicking (p. 89). Sadly, the president’s diary can hardly be distinguished as a suitable source for understanding Reagan’s true intentions, yet Miles here chooses to uncritically use it to support his arguments. It is noteworthy that in his earlier work Miles discusses in detail how Reagan’s speech was intended to counter the criticism of Reagan’s elector opponent, Walter Mondale. Miles briefly mentions it in the book as well (pp. 88-89). However, in both cases Miles insists on the consistency of Reagan’s strategy of engaging the Soviets from the beginning of his first term, with the January 16 speech being a part of this consistent grand strategy. Yet it is exactly Reagan’s consistency that remains doubtful, whereas his politicking seems to be evident.
However, there is no doubt that in 1984 US attempts to pursue a more balanced and constructive policy toward the USSR accelerated. On the one hand, Miles attributes these to the changed perception of the Reagan administration, which now saw itself as a more powerful player than its rival. Here it is hard to argue with Miles—indeed, his archival sources prove this shift of perception very evidently. Yet, on the other hand, Miles attributes these efforts to changes in the Kremlin, highlighting the new general secretary, Konstantin Chernenko. Miles confronts the widely accepted notion of Chernenko’s personality as a colorless Party bureaucrat and temporary compromise figure at the top of the Soviet hierarchy. He argues that in the year of Chernenko’s perceived interregnum “the two superpowers laid the groundwork for a pattern of engagement” (p. 85). However, in the chapter that follows this statement, Miles brings no proof of Chernenko being personally important in these preparations for a breakthrough, instead stressing the importance of Soviet foreign minister Andrei Gromyko in stalling the negotiations. Miles himself writes that “the combination of an incapacitated general secretary and a resistant (and frequently agitated) foreign minister made concrete improvements few and far between in the summer of 1984” (p. 98). Even when Miles refers to the short periods of Chernenko’s remission from his lethal illness and apparent attempts “to bring Gromyko in line” (p. 100), it is evident that in foreign policy matters it was “a collective Chernenko” represented by old Brezhnev foreign policy aides such as Andrei Aleksandrov-Agentov, rather than the general secretary himself. Miles is right when he writes: “it was during Chernenko’s brief tenure that both superpowers received the assurances of the other’s good faith, which made future progress possible” (p. 105). Yet “during Chernenko’s tenure” does not equate to “thanks to Chernenko’s tenure.” Miles writes, referring to 1984, that “the Cold War was changing” (p. 105). This is certainly true. Yet one could argue that Chernenko’s tenure prevented it from changing faster. Most of the minor shifts that made the slow change in 1984 possible originated in Washington but the real change came from Moscow, and it came only after Chernenko died.
Miles’s fifth chapter (“New Departures”) intends to round out the narrative with the eventual transformation of Reagan’s clandestine initiatives into a public policy. However, despite some interesting archival findings, it presents a largely descriptive narrative of Gorbachev’s biography combined with a detailed story of the 1985 Geneva summit. In fact, instead of completing Miles’s narrative, the chapter stands aside from it. Miles agrees with most researchers of Gorbachev’s era that the new general secretary entered the office with a specific set of ideas that radically differed from the traditional Soviet approach to the Cold War. Yet the author is nevertheless forced by his grand narrative to argue that the Geneva summit became possible thanks to “shifts in the balance of power, perceived in Washington and Moscow” (p. 120). These attempts to connect the chapter to Miles’s narrative and the resistance of sources to adjust to it only highlight the problematic nature of the whole story that Miles presents to the reader. Even less encouraging is Miles’s sixth, and concluding, chapter, where he attempts to briefly tell the reader the whole history of post-1985 developments, tracing them through to today’s Russia. Unoriginally, he explains the end of the Cold War as the source of Vladimir Putin’s revanchist policies, which is logically traced from a publicist narrative borrowed from other authors in Miles’s conclusion, yet is completely disconnected from Miles’s own research in the five preceding chapters. Miles’s attempts to connect the two through his key idea of perceived Soviet dominance at the dawn of the 1980s hardly hold against criticism. Miles writes: “At the dawn of the 1980s, [Putin and millions of other Soviet citizens] believed themselves to be at that high point, ascendant, with the West at a disadvantage and capitalism in crisis” (p. 136). Thus, apparently it was not only Reagan and his team, nor the Politburo, but the entire Soviet Union that believed in its dominance, precisely in the beginning of the 1980s. Elsewhere in the book Miles cites Alexei Yurchak’s influential study. Among other things, it shows that many in Putin’s generation in the 1970s-80s believed in the “imaginary West” being the source of all things modern and progressive, instead of their own country. One could argue that it was the disillusionment in this “imaginary West” and meeting with the real West in the 1990s that played a bigger role in the turn of many in this generation to supporting Soviet revanchist ideology. Or it could be a mere speculation, yet not less grounded than the Miles’s.
Overall, it is evident that Miles’s narrative of Reagan’s dual-track policy contradicts Soviet sources and some of the important historiography with which Miles refrained from engaging. US policies were evidently seen as aggressive in Moscow, and Reagan’s covert diplomatic initiatives were incomparably smaller against his public actions and rhetoric. Although Miles’s work helps us to see a more voluminous picture of the US-Soviet relations, its ambition to create an alternative narrative of Reagan’s approach to relations with the Soviet Union remains unfulfilled. The author is taken away by his sources, some of which he approaches without necessary criticism. Yet, more importantly, it is the concept of a certain grand strategy of Reagan’s administration throughout the researched five years that rests at the center of most problematic issues of the book. Miles confirms that even Reagan himself admitted that his “policy of carrot and stick sent conflicting messages to the Kremlin and the world” (p. 56). Yet while the carrot message was clandestine and not very trustworthy, the stick message was clear and sound. It is safe to assume that Ronald Reagan did not have a consistent strategy toward the USSR throughout his time in office. Like in most cases in international relations, most of his actions were reactionary rather than strategically planned. However if there was something consistent in Reagan’s approach to the Soviet Union before Gorbachev, it was his tough action and harsh rhetoric poorly supported by backchannel courtesies. Reagan’s ability to transform this policy in response to Gorbachev’s willingness to make radical changes in bilateral relations serves as a fascinating example of alienating, albeit to a certain degree, one’s own approach for the sake of newly opened opportunities. It is very probable that this ability was driven by Reagan’s belief in the possibility to negotiate with Moscow from the position of strength, a belief that he did not have in the early 1980s. Yet, as Vladislav Zubok fairly put it, it was Gorbachev’s deliberate choice of a new vision to replace the ideology of Marxism-Leninism and Soviet geopolitical power that made him, and not Ronald Reagan or other Western leaders, a truly key actor in ending the Cold War.
. Quoted in William E. Pemberton, Exit with Honor: The Life and Presidency of Ronald Reagan (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 1997), 154.
. For Pemberton’s work see chapter 8, “Engaging the Soviets, 1981-1985,” in Pemberton, Exit with Honor, 149-71.
. Miles makes occasional references to some key works but not where his arguments contradict their findings. This is particularly evident for such influential monographs and articles as Raymond Garthoff, The Great Transition: American-Soviet Relations and the End of the Cold War (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 1994); Vladislav Zubok, A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007); and Michal Schaller, “Reagan and the Cold War,” in Deconstructing Reagan: Conservative Mythology and America’s Fortieth President, ed. Kyle Longley et al. (London: Routledge, 2006), 1-40. Miles also refrains from both referring to and arguing with two edited volumes particularly dedicated to his research period; see Leopoldo Nuti, ed., The Crisis of Détente in Europe: From Helsinki to Gorbachev, 1975-1985 (London: Routledge, 2009); and Olav Njolstad, ed., The Last Decade of the Cold War: From Conflict Escalation to Conflict Transformation (London: Frank Cass, 2005).
. Senator Ted Stevens, President Pro Tempore, Memorial Services in the Congress of the United States and Tributes in Eulogy of Ronald Reagan, Late a President of the United States (Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 2005), xvii.
. Odd Arne Westad, “Concerning the Situation on ‘A’: New Russian Evidence on the Soviet Intervention of Afghanistan,” CWIHP Bulletin, no. 8-9 (Winter 1996/1997); Odd Arne Westad, The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 316-26; Zubok, A Failed Empire, 259-64.
. Odd Arne Westad, “Reagan’s Anti-Revolutionary Offensive in the Third World,” in The Last Decade of the Cold War, ed. Olav Njolstad, 216.
. For Miles’s earlier discussion of the Berlin meetings see Simon Miles, “The Domestic Politics of Superpower Rapprochement: Foreign Policy and the 1984 Presidential Election,” in The Cold War at Home and Abroad: Domestic Politics and US Foreign Policy since 1945, ed. Andrew L. Johns and Mitchell B. Lerner (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2018), 267-88.
. Simon Miles, “The War Scare That Wasn’t: Able Archer 83 and the Myths of the Second Cold War,” Journal of Cold War Studies 22, no. 3 (Summer 2020): 86-118.
. Zubok, A Failed Empire, 274.
. Zubok, A Failed Empire, 271.
. Garthoff, The Great Transition, 129-30; Zubok, A Failed Empire, 274.
. Miles, “The Domestic Politics of Superpower Rapprochement,” 275-83.
. Alexei Yurchak, Everything Was Forever until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006), 158-206.
. Vladislav Zubok, Collapse: The Fall of the Soviet Union (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2021), 44.
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Dmitry Asinovskiy. Review of Miles, Simon, Engaging the Evil Empire: Washington, Moscow, and the Beginning of the End of the Cold War.
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