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Senior: 11 & 12: Unit 4: Cold War

Focus for Assignment

  1. Context Statement
You have been investigating international experiences that have emerged in the Modern World through our studies on the Cold War 1945-1991. We examined how the Cold War divided the world and subsequent relations between countries, in addition to exploring the hottest parts of the Cold War.
  1. Task
Investigate the significance of the Cold War period being a war without an end; including how the influence of propaganda and threat of violence to create fear and terror, was shaped by the period itself.
  • Your investigation must reflect the application of key issues raised in our depth study.
  • Your historical essay must be based on research, and requires sustained analysis, evaluation and synthesis of evidence from historical sources to fully support the hypothesis.

Oliver Library Catalogue

   Oliver Library Catalogue

   Look here for books, eBooks, 

   DVDs and websites.  

Possible Topics

ISBN 9781108413152

Effectivology: Brinkmanship: Walking On the Edge as a Strategic Decision

To the nuclear brink - Eisenhower, Dulles, and the Quemoy-Matsu Crisis 
Author: Gordon H. Chang; Source: International Security , Spring, 1988, Vol. 12, No. 4 (Spring, 1988), pp. 96-123
Published by: The MIT Press.
Nuclear brinkmanship, limited war and military power 
Author: Robert Powell; Source: International Organization , Summer 2015, Vol. 69, No. 3 (Summer 2015), pp. 589-62
Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of the International Organization Foundation
Gulag Online: The history of the Gulag
From ebook: Cold War: The Essential Reference Guide by James R. Arnold and Roberta Wiener, eds. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2012.
KEY INQUIRY QUESTION: Why is the Petrov Affair considered an important event in Australia's response to the threat of communism?

The Petrov Affair (Museum of Australian Democracy)

Congratulations on actions towards Mrs Petrov - Letter to Prime Minister Robert Menzies (PRIMARY SOURCE: National Archives of Australia)

Communism as a hanging offence in the cold war in Australia 1950-1953 (Journal of Australian Studies)

How the Communist Party of Australia built a mass movement (Jacobin Magazine  -Socialist Party)

How blind devotion to the Soviets put an end to communism’s Australian heyday (Sydney Morning Herald)

First Communist MLA - Paterson wins Bowen (The Guardian)

How Australia failed to destroy Communism (Ausltralian Society for the Sudy of Labour History)

PRIMARY SOURCE: The Communist Party Dissolution Bill 1950 (Australian National University Archives)


The ENTIRE collection of resources provided by the BBC Library can now be searched on ONE single, powerful search platform, which retrieves print books, eBooks, database articles and websites. Click HERE for assistance.

Primary Source documents

Wilson Center Digital Archive :  excellent range of primary documents - use the search box to find your topic
The Avalon Project, Yale Law School : primary documents from the Cold War
CIA :  Assessing the Soviet threat
Library of Congress : Revelations from the Russian Archives_Cold War.  Documents translated into English and accessed via the Library of Congress
Office of The Historian, United State Government : Cold War years
British National Archives : The Cold War
John F Kennedy Museum : Cold War documents
History.Com -  videos of speeches from the Cold War 
Museum of Australian Democracy : The Petrov Affair
Korean War : Australian Government
Berlin Wall
Occupation and the Emergence of Two States (1945-1961) : German History in Documents and Images
Czech Crisis
CIA intelligence report - documented on 28 Oct 1986 'POLITICS IN THE SOVIET POLITBURO AND THE CZECH CRISIS'
Prague Spring Archive - Texas University
Speech by Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev November 1968, as justification to Prague Spring  - Fordham University
Note:  In 1981, Yale Law reviewed the Brezhnev Doctrine - Law and Use of Force by States
Cold War studies (Transcript of Conversation between Brezhnev and Dubcek, 13 August 1968) - Harvard University
The Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia - Michigan University
Crisis in Czechoslovakia - (includes translated documents, images, video & audio) Michigan State University
Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia - Wilson Centre Digital Archive
Czechoslovakia 1968 - includes CIA reports documenting the build-up to and Soviet Invasion

History Essay Template

HIDDEN: More Websites

McCarthyism and the Red Scare - Accessed via History Reference Centre database.

Cover ArtEbook: McCarthyism and the Communist Threat 

Provides an absorbing overview of Senator Joseph McCarthy and his anti-Communist "witch hunts" of the 1950s. Also explores the ways in which the McCarthy era shaped the trajectory of American politics and culture for decades to come.

Wikipedia: Espionage
(Good general introduction & overview of espionage)

YouTube: Espionage
Spyweb – Cambridge Spies & other spies

Wikipedia: US - CIA
YouTube: O.S.S. - U.S. - (O.S.S. later became CIA

Spy agencies, intelligence operations, and the people behind them

Includes both KGB and CIA.

Look through the History databases above under 'Central Intelligence Agency' or 'C.I.A.'. There are many sources here!

Useful Ebooks

Cover Art Moscow Rules: Secret police, spies, sleepers and assassins by Douglas Boyd

Soviet dictator Josef Stalin installed secret police services in all the satellite countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Trained by his NKVD, a predecessor of the KGB officers of the Polish UB, the Czech StB, the Hungarian AVO, Romania's Securitate, Bulgaria's KDS, Albania's Sigurimi and the Stasi of the German Democratic Republic spied on and ruthlessly repressed their fellow citizens on the Soviet model. When the resultant hatred exploded in uprisings they were put down by brutality, bloodshed and Soviet tanks. What was at first not so obvious was that these state terror organisations were also designed for military and commercial espionage in the West, to conceal the real case officers in Moscow. Specially trained operatives undertook 'wet jobs', including assassination of anti-Soviet figures. Perhaps the most menacing were the sleepers who settled in the West, married and had children while waiting to strike against their host countries.

Possible Topics


Video Overview of the Cold War

Useful Databases