The Dead Hand is the first non-religious book I can recall that is claimed by its British publishers to be ‘hugely revered’. Despite the overblown encomiums of Icon Books, however, this is an important, well-written volume that makes a major contribution to our understanding of the last decade of the Cold War and its aftermath.
David Hoffman begins by reminding us that there was no sign at the start of the 1980s that the Cold War was entering its final decade. On the contrary, relations between the superpowers were more tense than at any moment since the Cuban Missile Crisis. The combined strategic