Archie Brown is Emeritus Professor of Politics at Oxford University and Emeritus Fellow of St Antony’s College, Oxford. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1991 and has been an International Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2003. His latest book is The Human Factor: Gorbachev, Reagan, and Thatcher, and the End of the Cold War (Oxford University Press, 2020). Brown’s previous books include The Myth of the Strong Leader: Political Leadership in the Modern Age, chosen by Bill Gates as one of the best five books he read in 2016; The Rise and Fall of Communism which won the W.J.M. Mackenzie Prize of the Political Studies Association of the UK for best politics book of the year and also the Alec Nove Prize; and The Gorbachev Factor, an earlier winner of both the Mackenzie and Nove prizes.
Books by Archie Brown
Interviews with Archie Brown
The Cold War: A World History
by Odd Arne Westad
For the Soul of Mankind: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War
by Melvyn P Leffler
Russia and the Idea of the West
by Robert English
The Enigma of 1989: The USSR and the Liberation of Eastern Europe
Jacques Lévesque (trans. Keith Martin)
Reagan and Gorbachev
by Jack Matlock
American military and economic superiority cannot explain why the Cold War came to an end in the late 1980s and early 1990s. According to the historian Archie Brown, you need to accept the primacy of politics and human agency both in the USSR and the West. He chooses five books to understand the Cold War and offers some broader reflections on the qualities of good political leadership—then and now.