We Now Know is the title of John Gaddis’s much-discussed overview of Cold War history that was published in 1997.1 Gaddis has a point, although perhaps not in the way that he intended. It is unlikely that many new sources will come to light that will dramatically change the ways in which we approach the Cold War. As Vojtech Mastny, one of the historians with the best insider knowledge of Soviet and Warsaw Pact archives, observed a few years ago: ‘The greatest surprise to have come out of the Russian archives is that there was no surprise.’2 The debates about the Cold War’s causes, and about which party was most to blame for its origins, duration and decline, now seem like a thing of the past.3 We can now encounter the Cold War’s material...

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