Skip to Main Content

Cold War: Getting Started

What was the Cold War?

"The Cold War was born at the end of World War II in 1945 as wartime allies, the USSR and the United States, each sought to determine the future of Europe following the defeat of Nazi Germany. It later developed into a worldwide struggle for spheres of influence that lasted until 1991 but whose legacy will continue to be felt well into the twenty-first century." -Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World

Note: You will need to enter your MultiPass credentials to access Gumberg resources off-campus.

Print Books: (Follow the links to find out more about the books!)

eBooks: (Note: You will have to enter your MultiPass credentials to access these off-campus.)

The Berlin Wall with a cross and small memorial

Berlin Wall Memorial

A memorial on the western side of the Berlin Wall dedicated to Peter Fechter, a young man who died while attempting to flee East Berlin. Source: Dept. of Defense, Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

A replica of Sputnik


A replica of Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite in the world to be put into outer space. Source: NASA, Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Government officials crowded around a table with President Kennedy in the middle

Cuban Missile Crisis Meeting

October 1962 Executive Committee of the National Security Council meeting, White House, Cabinet Room. Source: Executive Office of the President of the United States, Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Survival Under Atomic Attack government booklet with an explosion on the cover

Survival Under Atomic Attack

An official government booklet released at the beginning of the Cold War that outlined what to do in the event of an atomic attack. Source: Executive Office of the President of the United States, Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Winston Churchill and Harry Truman on stage

Winston Churchill's "Iron Curtain"

President Harry Truman and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, just before Churchill delivered his famous "Sinews of Peace" speech, known for his remarks about the "Iron Curtain." Source: Missouri State Archives, Flickr, public domain.

Student protesters carry picket signs

Students Protesting the Vietnam War

Student protesters at the University of Wisconsin-Madison during the Vietnam War. Source: UW Digital Collections, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0.