Robert Service Calls Hoover Archives "Critical" to Understanding the Cold War

Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Robert Service
Robert Service
Hoover fellow Robert Service delivers keynote at the 2015 Workshop on Totalitarian Regimes
Robert Service's new book, The End of the Cold War, will be published in November by PublicAffairs
Robert Service's new book, The End of the Cold War, will be published in November by PublicAffairs

On July 29 Robert Service, keynote speaker for the 2015 Hoover Institution Workshop on Totalitarian Regimes, delivered a lecture entitled “Looking at Both Sides: Why Did the Cold War End As It Did?” Service is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a fellow of Saint Anthony’s College, Oxford. His book The End of the Cold War, which will be published in the US in November, discusses the interactions between the USSR and the US from the late 1980s to the early 1990s, with an emphasis on Ronald Reagan, George Schultz, Mikhail Gorbechev, and Vitalii Leonidovich Kataev as central figures of the period.

Service, who consulted the Hoover Archives’ Vitalii Leonidovich Kataev Collection during his research for the book, reflected that Hoover holdings are “so rich in showing us a way to look at the end of the Cold War.”

Arguing that the period was one of the most dangerous moments in human history, Service praised Hoover for its illuminating collection of maps, diaries, and documents that record the foreign policy decisions made by both sides of the conflict. Subsequent to the lecture, Service took the stage with former secretary of state and Hoover distinguished fellow George P. Shultz, who provided insights from his experience of Cold War policy- and strategy-building under former president Ronald Reagan. 

Organized by Hoover research fellow Paul Gregory, the Workshop on Totalitarian Regimes brings together scholars from across the globe to research and discuss the history and development of authoritarian regimes. The workshop promotes the comparative study of modes of personal dictatorship, of institutions of coercion and repression, and of the economic and social consequences of totalitarian rule. Participants in the workshop draw from the vast resources of the unique and fast-growing holdings of the Hoover Archives on totalitarian regimes in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The year 2015 marks the workshop’s twelfth year. 

Click the play button to listen to Robert Service's keynote address