The Vocabulary of Confrontation

Four decades of ups and downs, seen through a special lexicon

It is an adversary relationship unique in history and, appropriately, an entire new vocabulary has been created to describe it. Some of the words are little more than political science jargon; many have become household terms. Together, they offer a surprisingly complete record of the ups and downs that have marked U.S.-Soviet relations in the 38 years since the two countries emerged as superpowers. The main entries in the U.S.-Soviet lexicon:

Cold War: neither war nor peace; a rivalry kept in check by fear...

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