Brownwell’s short volume is a concise account of the major ideas and events related to the Cold War, from its beginnings in World War II to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and beyond. Early chapters chronicle the increasing power of the U.S. and the Soviet Union and the Americans’ early efforts to check Soviet power through containment. Brownwell then shifts the focus to the Cold War at home, describing the terror produced by McCarthyism and the Red Scare. Subsequent chapters explore the implications of nuclear proliferation, including the impact of a policy of “mutually assured destruction” on the national psyche and the brinkmanship that led to the Cuban Missile Crisis. U.S. involvement in conflicts around the globe, in Vietnam, the Dominican Republic, Chile and elsewhere are explained within a Cold War context. The volume concludes with a discussion of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the ramifications globally, including a rise of regional tension and conflicts, especially in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia. As with other volumes in this series, The Cold War offers a valuable introduction to the topic for middle school and high school students. Highly recommended for school libraries.