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The Best Books About The Cold War 

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Updated June 14, 2019 412 votes 83 voters 21.8k views

List of the best books about the Cold War, including jacket cover images when available, voted on by fans of the Cold War nonfiction genre. All these popular books on the Cold War are ranked by votes, so the top Cold War books are at the top of the list. The Cold War is a term that encompasses the long post-WW2 struggle between communist (USSR, China) and democratic (USA, Europe) world powers, and thus is not a definitive event in world history, which means this list is going to be slightly fuzzy in what should or shouldn't be included. So feel free to add historical overviews of the Cold War era etc if you think they are deserving of this list. 

This well-researched Cold War bibliography includes out-of-print titles. If you're knowledgable about the Cold War then please vote on the top Cold War nonfiction titles you have read. If you are new to the topic, you should be able to answer the question, "What are the best books about Cold War?" after checking out this list.  Most of these Cold War books - whether in-print or out of print - can be bought on Amazon with one easy click.

Many great authors have written books about Cold War, including Tom Clancy and Eric Ambler.

list ordered by
1
The Cold War: A New Hist... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
John Lewis Gaddis

First Published: 2005-12

Subjects: Cold War

Genres (Book): Non-fiction

The Cold War: A New History is a book by John Lewis Gaddis.
2
Inside the Soviet Army ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Viktor Suvorov

First Published: 1982

Subjects: Cold War

Inside the Soviet Army, is a book by Viktor Suvorov, which describes the general organisation, doctrine, and strategy of the Soviet armed forces. Suvorov explains his view on the political ...more
3
The Hunt for Red October... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Tom Clancy

First Published: 1984

Subjects: Cold War, Espionage, Adventure, United States of America

Genres (Book): Techno-thriller, Suspense, Children's literature, Fiction, Novel

Original Language: English Language

The Hunt for Red October was Tom Clancy's 1984 debut novel. The story follows a CIA analyst leading a covert group of US Naval officers to steal a cutting-edge Soviet nuclear submarine from 26 ...more
4
Architects of Victory: S... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Joseph Shattan

First Published: 1999

Subjects: Cold War, Ronald Reagan

Genres (Book): Non-fiction

Architects of Victory: Six Heroes of the Cold War is a book by Joseph Shattan.
5
Ghost Wars is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Steve Coll

Subjects: International Security, United States of America, Asia, Conspiracy, Espionage, + more

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001, written by Steve Coll, published in 2004 by Penguin Press, won the 2005 ...more
6
Blind Man's Bluff: The U... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Annette Lawrence Drew, Sherry Sontag, Christopher Drew

First Published: 1998-11

Subjects: Cold War, Espionage, Spy ship

Genres (Book): Non-fiction

Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage, published in 1998 by Sherry Sontag, Christopher Drew, and Annette Lawrence Drew, is a non-fiction book about U.S. Navy ...more
7
Command and Control: Nuc... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
8
Another Such Victory: Pr... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Arnold A. Offner

First Published: 2002-04

Subjects: Cold War, Harry S. Truman

Genres (Book): Non-fiction

Another Such Victory: President Truman and the Cold War, 1945-1953 is a book by Arnold A. Offner.
9
Reagan's War: The Epic S... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Peter Schweizer

First Published: 2002-10

Subjects: Cold War, Ronald Reagan, Communism

Genres (Book): Non-fiction

Reagan's War is a book by Peter Schweizer crediting Ronald Reagan with winning the Cold War against Communism. It recounts Reagan's long series of struggles with communists, starting in ...more
10
Tales from Spandau: Nazi... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Norman J.W. Goda

First Published: 2006-10

Subjects: Cold War, Spandau Prison

Genres (Book): Non-fiction

Tales from Spandau: Nazi Criminals and the Cold War is a book by Norman J.W. Goda.
11
The United States and th... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
John Lewis Gaddis

Subjects: Cold War, Modern history, United States of America, History of the United States, 20th century, + more

Genres (Book): History

The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1941-1947 is a book by John Lewis Gaddis.
12
Spy Handler: Memoir of a... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Gregory Feifer, Victor Cherkashin

First Published: 2004-12-28

Subjects: Cold War, Aldrich Ames, Robert Hanssen, KGB

Genres (Book): Memoir

Spy Handler: Memoir of a KGB Officer - The True Story of the Man Who Recruited Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames is a book by Gregory Feifer and Victor Cherkashin.
13
The Fall of the Berlin W... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
William F. Buckley, Jr.

First Published: 2004

Subjects: Cold War, Berlin Wall

Genres (Book): Non-fiction

The Fall of the Berlin Wall is a book by William F. Buckley, Jr.
14
We now know is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
John Lewis Gaddis

Subjects: Cold War, Modern history, 20th century, History

15
The Cold War and the Uni... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Nicholas J. Cull

First Published: 2008-06

Subjects: Cold War, United States Information Agency

Genres (Book): Non-fiction

The Cold War and the United States Information Agency: American Propaganda and Public Diplomacy, 1945-1989 is a book by Nicholas J. Cull.
16
One Nation Underground: ... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Kenneth D. Rose

First Published: 2001

Subjects: Cold War, Fallout shelter

Genres (Book): Non-fiction

One Nation Underground: The Fallout Shelter in American Culture is a book by Kenneth D. Rose.
17
Little America is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Rob Swigart, Henry Bromell

Subjects: Cold War, Middle East

Genres (Book): Speculative fiction

18
The Devil We Knew is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
H. W. Brands

Subjects: Cold War, United States of America, History of the United States, 20th century, Foreign relations

19
Legacy of Ashes: The His... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Tim Weiner

First Published: 2007-06

Subjects: 21st century, Current events, Government, Security, Politics, + more

Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA is a book by Tim Weiner.
20
A Shade of Difference is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Allen Drury

First Published: 1962

Subjects: Cold War

Genres (Book): Political fiction

Original Language: English Language

A Shade of Difference is a 1962 political novel written by Allen Drury. It is the first sequel to Advise and Consent, for which Drury was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1960, and is ...more
21
Red Army is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Ralph Peters

Subjects: Cold War

Genres (Book): Techno-thriller, Alternate history

Red Army is a 1989 Cold War-era military novel written by U.S. Army intelligence analyst Ralph Peters. The book considered a World War III scenario involving a Soviet attack on West Germany ...more
22
From the Shadows: The Ul... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Robert Gates

First Published: 1996

Subjects: Cold War, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

Genres (Book): Non-fiction

From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider's Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War is a book by Robert M. Gates.
23
The Draining Lake is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Arnaldur IndriĆ°ason

First Published: 2004

Subjects: Cold War, Espionage

Genres (Book): Mystery, Fiction

Original Language: Icelandic Language

The Draining Lake is a book by Arnaldur Indriðason.
24
Harry S. Truman and the ... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Frank Kofsky

Subjects: Cold War, United States of America, Foreign relations of the United States, History of the United States, Foreign relations, + more

25
The great transition is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
John W. Dower, Raymond L. Garthoff

Subjects: Cold War, Colonies, United States of America, Foreign relations of the United States, History of the United States, + more