HKS Authors

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Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor, Emeritus


Today we celebrate 11/9. The end of the Cold War was a greater historical transformation than 9/11, but controversy persists about its causes. An article by Steven Erlanger in today's New York Times quotes the neo-conservative commentator Robert Kagan as saying that "the standard narrative is Reagan." But the standard narrative is misleading. A greater portion of the cause belongs to Mikhail Gorbachev. Gorbachev wanted to reform communism, not replace it. However, his reform snowballed into a revolution driven from below rather than controlled from above.


Nye, Jr., Joseph S. "Who Caused the End of the Cold War?" Huffington Post, November 9, 2009.