Photo: via Imgur

Books The Best Books About The Cold War  

Reference
362 votes 70 voters 20.2k 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
7 0
The Hunt for Red October is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Tom Clancy 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

2
20 5
The Cold War: A New History is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
John Lewis Gaddis The Cold War: A New History is a book by John Lewis Gaddis.

3
12 2
Inside the Soviet Army is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Viktor Suvorov 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

4
10 3
Another Such Victory: Presiden... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Arnold A. Offner Another Such Victory: President Truman and the Cold War, 1945-1953 is a book by Arnold A. Offner.

5
11 4
Architects of Victory: Six Her... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Joseph Shattan Architects of Victory: Six Heroes of the Cold War is a book by Joseph Shattan.

6
8 2
Tales from Spandau: Nazi Crimi... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Norman J.W. Goda Tales from Spandau: Nazi Criminals and the Cold War is a book by Norman J.W. Goda.

7
5 0
Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold ... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Annette Lawrence Drew, Sherry Sontag, Christopher Drew 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

8
8 3
Reagan's War: The Epic Story o... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Peter Schweizer 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

9
5 0
Ghost Wars is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Steve Coll 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

10
5 1
Spy Handler: Memoir of a KGB O... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Gregory Feifer, Victor Cherkashin 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.

11
4 0
Command and Control: Nuclear W... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War

12
4 0
The United States and the Orig... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
John Lewis Gaddis The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1941-1947 is a book by John Lewis Gaddis.

13
5 2
The Devil We Knew is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
H. W. Brands

14
4 1
Red Army is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Ralph Peters 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

15
4 1
The Fall of the Berlin Wall is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
William F. Buckley, Jr. The Fall of the Berlin Wall is a book by William F. Buckley, Jr.

16
3 0
Mohammad Mosaddeq and the 1953... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War

17
3 0
Edward Lansdale: The Unquiet A... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War

18
3 0
Judgment on Deltchev is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Eric Ambler

19
3 0
The First Directorate: My 32 Y... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War

20
3 0
George F. Kennan: An American ... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
John Lewis Gaddis George F. Kennan: An American Life is a book written by John Lewis Gaddis.

21
3 0
The great transition is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
John W. Dower, Raymond L. Garthoff

22
5 3
The Cold War and the United St... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Nicholas J. Cull The Cold War and the United States Information Agency: American Propaganda and Public Diplomacy, 1945-1989 is a book by Nicholas J. Cull.

23
5 3
One Nation Underground: The Fa... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Kenneth D. Rose One Nation Underground: The Fallout Shelter in American Culture is a book by Kenneth D. Rose.

24
5 3
We now know is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
John Lewis Gaddis

25
4 2
Little America is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Rob Swigart, Henry Bromell

26
3 1
Legacy of Ashes: The History o... is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Tim Weiner Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA is a book by Tim Weiner.

27
3 1
The Draining Lake is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Arnaldur IndriĆ°ason The Draining Lake is a book by Arnaldur Indriðason.

28
3 1
From the Shadows: The Ultimate... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Robert Gates 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.

29
3 1
A Shade of Difference is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Allen Drury 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

30
2 0
The Main Enemy is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
James Risen

31
2 0
Memoirs is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Harry S. Truman

32
2 0
The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espio... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Alexander Vassiliev, Allen Weinstein The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America --The Stalin Era is a book by Alexander Vassiliev and Allen Weinstein.

33
2 0
Bay of Pigs Declassified: The ... is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War

34
2 0
Eisenhower: A Soldier's Life is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Carlo D'Este Eisenhower: A Soldier's Life is a book by Carlo D'Este.

35
2 0
Bitter Fruit is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Stephen Kinzer

36
2 0
Craft of Intelligence is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Allen Dulles

37
2 0
Britain, Southeast Asia and th... is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War

38
2 0
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, ... is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War

39
2 0
Crisis and crossfire: The Unit... is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War

40
2 1
Advise and Consent: A Novel of... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Allen Drury Advise and Consent is a 1959 political novel by Allen Drury that explores the United States Senate confirmation of controversial Secretary of State nominee Robert Leffingwell, who is a former ...more

41
2 1
Strategies of containment is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
John Lewis Gaddis

42
2 1
Gentleman Spy: The Life of All... is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War

43
1 0
All the Shah's Men is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Stephen Kinzer All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror is a book written by American journalist Stephen Kinzer. The book discusses the 1953 Iranian coup d'état backed by ...more

44
3 3
The CIA and the Cult of Intell... is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
John D. Marks The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence is a 1974 controversial non-fiction political book written by Victor Marchetti, a former special assistant to the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence ...more

45
2 2
Harry S. Truman and the war sc... is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War

46
2 2
Fail-Safe is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Harvey Wheeler, Eugene Burdick Fail-Safe is a best-selling novel by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler. The story was initially serialized in three installments in the Saturday Evening Post on October 13, 20, and 27, 1962, ...more

47
1 1
The secret state is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Peter Hennessy

48
1 1
Episodes of the Cuban Revoluti... is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Che Guevara Episodes of the Cuban Revolutionary War also titled Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War is an autobiographical book by Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara about his experiences during the ...more

49
1 1
Brixmis is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Tony Geraghty

50
1 1
Vietnam is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Books About The Cold War
Stanley Karnow