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Senior: 11 & 12: Unit 4: Cold War

Significant People of the Cold War

A selection:

US Presidents

  • Harry S. Truman
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower (also Supreme Commander of US forces in NATO)
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Lyndon B. Johnson
  • Richard M. Nixon
  • Gerald Ford
  • Jimmy Carter
  • Ronald Reagan

Soviet Union Leaders

  • Josef Stalin
  • Nikita Khrushchev
  • Leonid Brezhnev
  • Yuri Andropov
  • Mikhail Gorbachev 
  • Boris Yeltsin

Chinese Leaders

  • Mao Zedong
  • Deng Xiaoping

Other National and State Leaders

  • Fidel Castro (Communist revolutionary and Prime Minister of Cuba)
  • Ho Chi Minh (Communist revolutionary, Prime Minister and President of Vietnam)
  • Kim Il Sung (Communist revolutionary, Premier and President of North Korea)
  • Winston Churchill (Prime Minister of Great Britain)
  • Margaret Thatcher (Prime Minister of Great Britain)
  • Charles de Gaulle (President of France)
  • Josip Broz Tito (Communist revolutionary and President of Yugoslavia)
  • Alexander Dubcek (Communist politician, First Secretary of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia ie leader of Czechoslovakia)
  • Nicolae Ceaușescu (General Secretary of Romanian Communist Party and President of the Socialist Republic of Romania)
  • Imry Nagy (Hungary)
  • Robert Menzies (Prime Minister of Australia)
  • Gamal Abdel Nasser (The nationalist, Communist-leaning President of Egypt who seized the British-controlled Suez Canal in 1956)
  • Erich Honecker (Leader of Communist East Germany)
  • Willy Brandt ((Mayor of Berlin – playing a key role during the Cold War tensions centred around Berlin)
  • Mohammad Mosaddegh (Premier of Iran - nationalized the huge British oil holdings in Iran in 1951–53 - almost succeeded in deposing the shah
  • Reza Pahlavi (Shah of Iran)
  • Anwar Sadat (President of Egypt

Other Leadership Roles in the Cold War

  • Alan Dulles (Director of the CIA)
  • Henry Kissinger (US Secretary of State and National Security Adviser)
  • John Foster Dulles (US Secretary of State)
  • Douglas Macarthur (Commander of US forces in Pacific War; Commander of  US occupation of Japan; Commander of US forces in Korea)
  • Joseph McCarthy (US Republican senator from Wisconsin who capitalized on Cold War fears of Communism in the early 1950s by accusing hundreds of government employees of being Communists and Soviet agents)
  • J. Edgar Hoover (Controversial Director of the FBI)
  • George Kennan (US Diplomat - Containment Theory policy)
  • George C. Marshall (US Secretary of State - The Marshall Plan)
  • Robert McNamara (US Secretary of Defense - escalated US involvement in Vietnam War)
  • Lech Walesa (Leader of the Polish Solidarity Movement, who helped to bring about the end of one-party Communist rule in Poland)
  • Che Guevara (Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military theorist. A major figure of the Cuban Revolution).
  • Lavrenti Beria (Director of the Soviet secret police who played a major role in the purges of Joseph Stalin's opponents)

Paragraph Structure

Oliver Library Catalogue

   Oliver Library Catalogue

   Look here for books, eBooks, 

   DVDs and websites.  


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.

Useful Websites

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

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

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

Video Overview of the Cold War

Useful Ebooks

Advanced Web Searching Tips

1. Use 'Ctrl F' (Control + Find) to search for particular terms easily in a long document, whether from a website or a database article.

2.  Use a Boolean command - put double inverted commas around phrases to limit and improve your results eg "energy drinks problems".

3. Use filetype:pdf to search in Google for only pdf articles - "plastic pollution" filetype:pdf - will force Google to return results on plastic pollution which are only pdf articles (PDFs are great sources sometimes deeply buried in Google results and remain unseen).

4. Use a Google domain command eg site:edu OR site:gov to limit results to a CERTAIN DOMAIN such as education or government eg biodiesel site:edu

5.  To check the authority of a website when it is not clear who the author / authority is, go to the end of the URL in the Google search box, cut back to the first forward slash (/) and hit 'Enter'. This will take you to the Home Page of the website, and you can see the full name of the source.

6. Use a Google command to limit results to the MOST RECENT: After you get your results, choose the Google Menu Bar, and choose 'Tools'. Then on the far left, at the drop-down menu next to 'Any Time', you can choose 'Within the last year' (or less, if you prefer), but generally, you can choose 'Custom Range' at the bottom, as often the last 3 years would be sufficient for a recent search.