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Taylor Downing was educated at Cambridge University and is the author of The Cold War, Breakdown (about shell-shock in WWI) , and Churchill's War Lab. His books are 'vivid and fast-paced' (Financial Times).
Clearly accessible to a wide audience, Downing's authoritative and well-researched narrative charts the growth of US-Soviet antagonism from Reagan's arrival in office in January 1981 to Able Archer. It deftly takes the reader from the White House to the skies over the Kamchatka peninsula, the streets of Beirut and the corridors of the Kremlin, where anxieties over confrontational US rhetoric were rising in the geriatric leadership of the Communist Party . . . This a remarkable story, which Downing tells in sparkling prose and in a feat of compression that many authors will envy * BBC History * Moving, sometimes hilarious - and simply brilliant * New Internationalist * If you want to understand what brought about the end of the Cold War, read this book. Downing is authoritative, and his writing is vibrant and compelling . . . He brings to the page his skills and insights as a documentary film maker * Scotsman * A carefully researched and hugely readable account of the build-up to war, the momentum inexorably growing as he assembles each part of the jigsaw. Indeed, his narrative is so persuasive that by the time you are about two- thirds through, it takes some effort to remind yourself that the Third World War never happened -- Dominic Sandbrook * Sunday Times * Taylor Downing's gripping and frankly terrifying book on the US-Soviet nuclear confrontation -- Tom Holland