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Doc Type: 
Historical Study
Mann, James
Full Title: 
The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan: A History of the End of the Cold War
Language Type: 
Pub City: 
New York

(Summary by Holly Decker, Harriman Institute, Columbia University)

               In The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan, Mann describes the preparation of the American administration prior to Geneva. He describes the role of the CIA in preparing Reagan for the summit, but fails to recognize the role of Ambassador Matlock and “Soviet Union 101.” Mann does recognize the importance Reagan attributed to the human side of the Soviet Union over the analytical facts.

               The book does not provide a very detailed analysis of the Geneva summits, simply stating that the agreed statement was a “vague, generalized assertion” that a nuclear war could not be won and should never be fought.[1] Mann fails to recognize the importance of this statement; this was the first time that it had been articulated and mutually agreed upon by both governments.

               The book does focus on an interesting aspect. During the summit, Gorbachev invokes “God” twice and a bible verse once.[2] These three instances were interesting because of Gorbachev’s position as a communist and an atheist. According to Mann, after these utterances at Geneva, Reagan supposedly hoped that Gorbachev harbored some latent religious tendencies.

[1] James Mann, The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan: A History of the End of the Cold War (New York, Penguin, 2009 ,93

[2] Ibid