CNN's Cold War Documentary: Issues and Controversy

Friday, April 7, 2000

CNN produced a twenty-four part television series on the cold war that generated heated discussion among scholars and in the media. Is the CNN series an accurate depiction or revisionist history? To provide perspective on this issue, CNN's Cold War Documentary—a collection of important articles, commentaries, and reviews about this CNN-published book and CNN television series, Cold War—presents material on both sides of the debate.

Is the television series and related book, as columnist Charles Krauthammer says, a moral affront to the West's resolve, dedicated to a "relentless attempt to find moral equivalence between the two sides"? Or, as executive producer Sir Jeremy Isaacs says, is CNN's Cold War "simply and directly, without gloss or spin . . . a guide you can trust to the story of our time"? The essays in this documentary collection will guide the reader to an informed conclusion.

In addition to the debate and discussion that appeared in print, the volume contains original essays from

  • John Lewis Gaddis, eminent historian and historical consultant to the CNN project, Yale University—"The Cold War, Television, and the Approximation of Truth"
  • Richard Pipes, Sovietologist and professor of history at Harvard University—"The Cold War: CNN's Version"
  • Robert Conquest, senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution and author of The Great Terror and Harvest of Sorrow—"The Historical Failings of CNN"
  • Others, including Kenneth Auchincloss, Arnold Beichman, Thomas Doherty, Mark Falcoff, Lawrence Freedman, John L. Harper, Jacob Heilbrunn, Sir Jeremy Isaacs, Charles Krauthammer, Thomas M. Nichols, Ronald Radosh, Gabriel Schoenfeld, Raymond A. Schroth, Joseph Shattan, Mark Steyn and David Wilson
  • A series of letters to the editor of Commentary magazine

Copyright 2000.